Sea Technology

DEC 2018

The industry's recognized authority for design, engineering and application of equipment and services in the global ocean community

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Page 10 of 52

10 ST | December 2018 H idden far beneath the waves, commercial div- ers operate in some of the most dangerous and extreme conditions of any industry. Operating out of sight, often isolated and in a dark and cold environment, divers conduct complex operations even in the most hostile of settings, facing a plethora of potentially life-threatening risks. For this reason, it is vital that HSE (health, safety and environment) is the primary focus for every organization and corporation throughout all operations, and that divers have the utmost confi- dence in the safety standards applied to all work carried out in a subsea environment. Divers are experts in their field and are trained to in- stantly recognize any signs of danger that may pose a risk to their lives or the lives of their fellow divers. However, the ability to successfully act upon these warning signs and conduct a safe rescue is almost entirely dependent on the capability and reliability of the equipment they are using, as well as the technologies they apply to pro- vide the necessary contingency measures, should there be an incident. Whether through accident or circumstance, the risks associated with any incident when operating subsea are of the highest degree and cannot be overstated. Reliable contingency measures need to be in place that cover all aspects of a safe rescue operation. This encompasses all stages of safely returning divers to the shore, from the provision of an emergency gas supply through to the safe decompression of the divers. Divers need absolute assurance that, should they need it, their emergency gas supply will allow them suf- ficient time to return to the safety of the diving bell, even when operating in the more hazardous or extreme envi- ronments. Given today's economic challenges, many divers operate as contractors to a range of companies and in a variety of re- gions, rather than as permanent employees to one company. As a result of this, safety provisions and emergency procedures can differ for individual operations. Currently, regulatory requirements for the supply of emergency breathing gas vary depending on the gov- erning body and the regions in which the divers are operating. In addition, consider- ations need to be made for the conditions that will impact the supply of emergency breath- ing gas, in particular operating depth. Even where there is a more stringent regulatory re- quirement for the min- imum supply of emer- gency breathing gas, such as under NOR- SOK or IMCA D 024 standards, it is not reflective of the technological capability available in the market today. COBRA Rebreather Until now, the industry standard for the provision of emergency breathing gas has been limited to just a few minutes, depending on the method employed and the diver's operating conditions. This poses a significant risk, particularly when working in extreme conditions. Indeed, there have been incidents that have resulted in a near-miss and could easily have become a fatality due to inadequate emergency breathing gas supply. It is a criti- cal industry challenge that cannot be left unmet. Ensuring Safety Undersea Technology Safeguards for Saturation Diving By Danny Gray The JFD COBRA rebreather set.

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