Umbilical severed at 80 meters in North Sea

Discussion in 'Accidents and Incidents' started by DandyDon, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. DandyDon

    DandyDon ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    [h=1]Diver survives 40 minutes without air[/h]
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2012
  2. Scuba_Noob

    Scuba_Noob Manta Ray

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    I can't even imagine how freaky that would be, especially to feel so helpless. Thank goodness he made it out safely.
     
  3. lavachickie

    lavachickie Nassau Grouper

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    Nerves of steel, man. Damn.
     
  4. Thiad

    Thiad Divemaster

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    That's keeping one's head when the sh*t hits the fan. Wow.
     
  5. Griff..

    Griff.. Scuba Instructor

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    Indeed.. Can't imagine what must have been going through his head
     
  6. GramsciBeat

    GramsciBeat Angel Fish

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    Respect.

    I assume it was an emergency gas tank he used at 80m and and not - as reported - an oxygen tank.
     
  7. tempoffroad

    tempoffroad Angel Fish

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    Wow! Remaining calm saved him for sure.
     
  8. Akimbo

    Akimbo ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    A lot of time and money is spent in anticipation of this failure. Every sat diver, supervisor, and support technician is always considering this possibility and ways to prevent it. Fortunately (or a testament to the crews), it is amazingly rare that the procedures and systems actually have to be used.

    Every bell has emergency gas and battery power. Most can drop weight and disconnect the steel lifting cable from inside — a really scary last ditch option. Hyperthermia is the biggest danger, beyond pressure hull failure.

    As usual, this report is confusing. It sounds like the main (surface to bell) umbilical was severed, but also talks about the diver’s (bell to diver) umbilical was entangled. Does anyone know any more of the details?

    These guys are brothers... they know everything possible is being done to get them back safe. You could not do this work otherwise.
     
    DCBC, Ayisha, koozemani and 3 others like this.
  9. Searcaigh

    Searcaigh Moderator Staff Member

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  10. ajduplessis

    ajduplessis Loggerhead Turtle

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    SAT Divers plan for thing like this, but you still need to execute when pooh hits fan. It's another reminder for any type diver rec or tec, that you need to plan for "will never happen" or "very unlikely" events. Practice your skills, Murphy is always looking for diving buddies!!!
     
  11. Duke Dive Medicine

    Duke Dive Medicine Moderator

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    This sounds like a gas jump in an open-bottom bell vs. a saturation dive. Sat divers' umbilicals come from inside the bell so it would be all but impossible to sever them from the surface. Glad there's a happy ending to the story... this must have been a solid dive crew.
     
  12. Akimbo

    Akimbo ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Last I heard, that would be illegal in the North Sea. 50 meters max on air, mixed gas requires a bell system with mating deck chamber. As a result, virtually all diving below 50 meters is sat.
     
  13. Lemna

    Lemna DIR Practitioner

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    krawlings and Akimbo like this.
  14. Duke Dive Medicine

    Duke Dive Medicine Moderator

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    Thanks for the clarification. The blog post above makes it look like the diver's umbilical got fouled and parted vs. got cut. Makes sense now.
     
  15. Akimbo

    Akimbo ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    28 minutes is a really long time below 250'! Any idea what bailout system was used? Hard to imagine being that cold and living — hot water suits fit like coveralls for someone twice your size so you may as well be naked when the water stops.
     
  16. Crush

    Crush Loggerhead Turtle

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    Very excellent news. The commercial diving community takes safety very seriously, in part because they understand the dangers. A portion of the recreational diving community takes safety (in terms of redundancy, planning contingencies, etc.) less seriously, in part because they don't understand the dangers.
     
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  17. Lemna

    Lemna DIR Practitioner

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    Probably twin 7L/300 bar tanks.
     
  18. Searcaigh

    Searcaigh Moderator Staff Member

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    When I worked offshore in the 80s it was a single 15L steel HP with 16% O2 in HeO2

    Hot water suits were not exactly tight but we wore a fleece lined one piece suit called a wooly bear underneath to prevent burns from the hot water should the temperature get out of control.
     
  19. renoun

    renoun DIR Practitioner

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    More details from the professional mariners point of view posted to a diffearnt forum. It appears that the cause of this emergency was the failure of the dive ship's dynamic positioning system which is designed to hold the ship in position above the work site. When he DPS failed the ship drifted off and had to be manually returned to station and held in position before a rescue could be attempted.
     
  20. Akimbo

    Akimbo ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    We used AGA (now Interspiro) 3.8L/300 bar twins for bailouts in the 1970s and 80s... still my favorite Scuba rig in cold water. Who makes those HP 7 Liter bottles now?

    In any case, they could not have lasted long after the hot water stopped flowing. His core temperature must have dropped like a rock. As a reference, Helium conducts heat about 6x faster than air and about 50% or our heat loss is through respiration.

    You have to take slow deep breaths to conserve gas in a lightweight hat — shallow breaths builds up CO2 in the oral-nasal mask pretty fast. I don’t know about you guys but my respiration rate skyrockets when that cold water hits my crotch. He must have had amazing self-control or the cold shut his body down in ways science doesn’t fully understand to last that long without gas.

    Maybe some of you guys with more recent sat experience know: Are they running rich O2 bail-out mixes these days? Hyper-oxygenation might account for some of the added survival time. We used to keep ours the same as the umbilical mix, between .3 and .5 ATA.
     

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