Supporting the use of hyperbaric medicine in the British Isles
Diver safety up in the air by Gerard Laden Hull Hyperbaric Chamber
A simple Saturday evening took a turn when Mimir Marine the UK based global lead in hyperbaric and saturation diver rescue received a call following damage to an in county (BP Baku owned) Hyperbaric Reception Facility (HRF) rending it unserviceable, BP agreeing with their diving contractors a replacement was necessary to allow seamless safe diving operation to continue.
The Hyperbaric Reception Facility is a triple compartment 300metre depth rated chamber complex that forms a shore based safe-haven available for the controlled decompression of saturation diver if the diving vessel has to be abandon, for example following a fire or collisions.
The diver’s decompression can take many days, see Fig 1, the hyperbaric lifeboat with its small internal chamber whilst appropriate for evacuation and getting clear of the danger their cramped conditions mean they are not appropriate for the multiday decompression of between 9 to 24 divers.
HRF`s are positioned so if required, the hyperbaric lifeboat can be taken to an appropriate safe harbour and the dives transferred under pressure (TUP) into the HRF chamber with it comfortable seating, show & toilet section so called (wet pot) and a sleeping area. HRF`s have multiple redundancy of all their life support systems.
The Hull UK based company Mimir Marine own globally deployable HRF systems and brough one to immediate notice for mobilisation by air to Baku using an Antonov 124 heavy lift aircraft from East Midland airport. The system was confirmed ready withing two hours of the call and held on standby.
The 80-ton life support package was designed by Mimir for air transport, Gerard Laden Director at Mimir commented whist designed for air transport; for overseas operations pre-positioning by ship is the norm.
Vessel Manager Diving BP AGT Region commented accessing both a HRF and Antonov 124 at short notice is a logistics challenge, however we have policy and procedures to ensure the safety and security of our diving operations.
BP Global Diving Technical Authority said, occasionally other than routine decision making is required to ensure there is no deviation from our very high standards of emergency properness planning. The equipment arrive in country within 12 hours of leaving the UK.
The Antonov 124 was design in the Ukraine in the 1980`s and is the world 2nd heaviest gross weigh production aeroplane. The 124 can carry150 ton of cargo with a 120-ton single package being winched onboard. The 24-wheel landing gear is design for landing on rough terrain.
Decompression of divers