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saturation divers are professional deep-sea

by Uneeb Khan

Diver who dive into depths as deep as 500 feet (152 meters) or more to maintain equipment used on offshore oil rigs as well as undersea pipelines. In contrast to commercial divers, who only do just a few hours at depth before returning on the shore, divers who are saturated take up to the length of 28 days working on one job and live in a cramped high-pressure cylinder where they eat , sleep and eat during shifts. Pay is great for saturation diversaround $30,000 to $45,000 per month but it’s hard work in a secluded and unnatural space. It can also be hazardous. In 1983 four saturation divers and one member of the crew were killed in a horrific accident on a Norwegian-owned oil rig, known as Byford Dolphin. Byford Dolphin. The Byford Dolphin tragedy was a wake-up call to divers in the industry of commercial dive who responded by implementing more stringent safety procedures in order to make sure that other divers was to suffer the same fate. Before we go into the details of what happened in detail, let us provide some basic information about decompression sickness, also known as “the bends.”

Why ‘The Bends’ Are Bad News

Divers first discovered diving in the 1940s. Divers have learned many things about how to swim safely to incredible depths, but sometimes in a difficult method. When a diver dives into the water around them creates pressure to all cells in their body. The pressure also compresses the molecules of gaseous


The lungs absorb nitrogen inhalation, which causes nitrogen gas to disintegrate into through the bloodstream.The ingestion of nitrogen isn’t what’s the issue. The issue arises when divers attempt to ascend to the surface too fast. Imagine shaking a two-liter bottle of soda before opening the cap. The gases that were trapped under pressure immediately create bubbles. That’s the way it works in the body of divers when they experience decompression sickness , or “

The bends

.” When they move too fast from the pressure that is high in deep water, to the lower pressure on the surface, nitrogen molecules that dissolved under pressure rapidly expand and then turn gaseous. “Nitrogen bubbles can develop in bloodstreams and can block the flow of blood and blood vessels, which includes your heart.” states Phillip Newsum who is a seasoned commercial diver, and the director-executive of the,

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Association of Diving Contractors International

. “That’s when you are at chance of developing decompression

How Saturation Divers Stay Under for So Long

You dive in, the further you remain in the water the more nitrogen will be dispersed into your bloodstream. In the end, the body of a diver gets “saturated” with dissolved nitrogen this is the reason why saturation divers are referred to as. Saturation divers work at depths

up to 1,000 feet

(304 meters). If they followed the same approach as recreational divers to decompress safely by slowly ascending, with long pauses it could take days for them to get to the surface. Saturation divers instead are transported to the surface by dive bells that are pressurized, and later transferred to specially designed chambers for decompression. For each 100ft (30 metres) that the saturation diver dives the need to spend around a full whole day within the room where they relax on cots, relax, watch films and get food through slot machines with pressurized pressure. It’s expensive for oil companies to pay saturation divers just a few hours of work and a few days of relaxation. It’s interesting to note that when you’ve reached saturation your body won’t be able to absorb more nitrogen, regardless of how long remain underwater. Therefore, instead of decompressing following every dive, divers who are saturated simply remain in pressure. for up to 28 consecutive daysthe industry’s maximumsaturation divers can be able to travel to the depths using the bells of diving that are pressurized. However, instead of getting into a decompression room on the top, they sleep in an hyperbaric chamber which keeps them at the same level of pressure as deep water.

A Routine Procedure Gone Horribly Wrong


hole crew

to create a saturation diving operation. Life support personnel ensure that the air mixture in the hyperbaric chamber is in line with the air the divers breathe under water. the dive controllers are responsible for running the

Bells that dive

that elevates and lowers cranes — and monitoring divers while they perform their work. They also have cooks who provide meals and meals to men locked inside the living chambers.Workers known as “tenders” have a very crucial support role. They aid in the unwinding and retracting of the “umbilical,” the thick line of tubes for air supply and communication wires connecting diver to surface. There was a time when tenders held additional responsibilities, including docking the bell of the dive to the living chambers that are pressurized. “The saturation divers are completely at the mercy of the tender and of their supervisors on the dive control team,” Newsum says. Newsum.

On Nov. 5, 1983

A seasoned tender known as William Crammond was in the middle of a routine process on board the Byford Dolphin semi-submersible oil-rig which was in operation within the North Sea. The rig was outfitted with two living chambers that were pressurized which could hold two divers. Crammond was just connecting the bell for diving to one of the chambers , and was able to safely place a pair of divers into chamber one. Two divers were already in chamber two. This is the moment that everything got horribly out of hand. Normally the bell for diving wouldn’t be removed from the living rooms until the doors to the chamber were shut. But, the bell broke off before the doors to the chamber were closed, which is referred to in the field as “explosive decompressio “It’s an execution sentence,” says Newsum. “You won’t survive.” The pressure in Byford Dolphin’s Byford Dolphin living chambers instantly increased to

9 atmospheres

The pressure felt at a distance of thousands of feet under water — as high as 1 atmosphere.

Hard Lessons Learned and Delayed Justice for the Families

In the 1960s, the time when petroleum was first discovered near on the shores of Norway There was a boom in oil production within the North Sea. Safety was not always the highest priority. In one study there were at the very least at least 58 drowning deaths within the North Sea from the 1960s until the beginning of 2000 “The Byford Dolphin was one of the worst oil field disasters in history,” states Newsum, “and it led to major shifts throughout and around the North Sea and in commercial diving safety worldwide.Today, Newsum says, every dive operation has to conduct a thorough risk assessment and Hazard analysis. Redundancies are in every process to avoid human error or defective equipment. Certain oil rigs are equipped with specially designed hyperbaric lifeboats which can take the saturation diver away from fire or hurricane without the need to return them to the surface pressure first. It took a long time to get the Norwegian government that was running Byford Dolphin in 1983, Byford Dolphin at the time of its death in 1983 to accept responsibility for the tragedy and pay restitution for the family members of five victims. It was not till in 2009 in 2009 that the Norwegian government made a secret payment that were paid to relatives of the seven victims in the accident of 1983.

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