What do you call this gear?

Discussion in 'Advanced Scuba Discussions' started by Akimbo, Sep 7, 2012.

  1. Akimbo

    Akimbo ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Just curious. What phrase do recreational Scuba divers use to describe divers like this?

    Helium-Hat.jpg

    I was thinking more like “Heavy Gear” or “Deep Sea” as opposed to nuts, dinosaur, or historic. ;) For those interested, this is a US Navy Mark V Helium Hat.
     
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  2. DandyDon

    DandyDon ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Hard Hat diver
     
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  3. Akimbo

    Akimbo ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    I can buy that, but a lot of posts call the lightweight hats like the one in my avatar “hard hats”???
     
  4. PansSiren

    PansSiren Single Diver

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    Maybe there's more that goes into it (?) but I've always called it "saturation diving" / "saturation suit", or as Don said, "hard hat diving". The suit you have on in your avatar, is that basically the same thing, just modern? I lost my Mark V keychain yesterday, I'm pretty bummed! It's like the 6th one I've lost!!
     
  5. g1138

    g1138 NAUI Instructor

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    Those divers with the heavy duty metal helmets and lead boots. WWII Salvage diver.

    "....the what?"

    The Cuba Gooding Jr diver.

    ______________
    On a side note, do they still use that for modern Sat diving?
     
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  6. dumpsterDiver

    dumpsterDiver Scuba Instructor

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    "deadman walking"???
     
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  7. Akimbo

    Akimbo ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    If you are interested:

    The gear in the OP was developed by Augustus Siebe in the 1830s. Air continuously flowed, there was no demand regulator though some divers had tried jury-rigging one into a hat in the late 1950s and early 60s. To my knowledge, the classic spun-copper free-flow helmet and attached drysuit (or "dress") has never been used except for surfaced-supplied diving.

    Saturation diving was developed by the US Navy’s Captain George Bond (affectionately known as Papa Topside) in the 1960s. All divers know that the deeper we go and longer we stay, the longer decompression will be. That is true until we stay long enough for our tissues to become fully saturated, as they are normally as sea level. At that point decompression times no longer increase. Theoretical saturation time is about 24 hours. As a result, it does not matter if you stay 24 hours, 24 days, or 24 months, the decompression time is the same. Typical sats are 2-4 weeks on the bottom (plus decompression) or until the job is done. Many jobs last much longer so crews are swapped out through various chambers connected to the complex.

    You hear about some habitat-based scientific saturation dives but they are relatively shallow and rare. Sat crews live in chambers on deck pressurized to their holding depth, typically at the shallow range of their working depth. They transfer to the work site via a diving bell, lock out, and typically spend 6-12 hours between crew changes. They all wear lightweight hats and hot water suits breathing HeO2 mixtures typically between .3 to .8 ATA O2, almost always using a closed-circuit surface-based recirculating system to conserve gas.

    Search Saturation Diving on YouTube, there are lots of videos. I never realized that people might confuse the oldest diving gear (after breath-holding) with the most advanced and sophisticated diving. Here is an image of a typical North Sea saturation diving support vessel.

    Seven Pelican.jpg

    She is 94 Meters long x 18 Meters wide, supports 18 divers in sat to 370 Meters (1,214 FSW) with two bells and a ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle). Onboard gas is measured in hundreds of thousands of cubic feet.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2012
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  8. lonebrave

    lonebrave DIR Practitioner

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    hard hat (both the old and the new as in your avatar...both are hard, not necessarily heavy, right?)
     
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  9. graham_s

    graham_s ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    standard diving dress.
     
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  10. Blackwood

    Blackwood SoCal DIR

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  11. scubadada

    scubadada Diver ScubaBoard Supporter

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    I was fortunate to have the opportunity to dive a Mark V helmet while taking Dick Rutkowski's hyperbaric medicine course at Hyperbarics International in Key Largo. This was really a tremendous experience, one that I will not forget, highly recommended.

    Good diving, Craig
     
  12. Akimbo

    Akimbo ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    True. The “old” hats were spun copper, and displaced a lot more water than they weighed. The weight varies but the US Navy Mark V is 54 Lbs for the hat and breast plate. The navy used an 85 Lb weight belt plus 35 Lb shoes, though the commercial diving industry’s models were around 15-25% lighter.

    Modern lightweight hats are pretty close to neutral in the water and in the 20-30 Lb range. Most are fiberglass and a few are Bronze or Stainless. The industry leader is Kirby Morgan. This is the same Bev Morgan who was an early pioneer in Scuba diving. With few exceptions they have demand regulators, support freeflow, and bailout bottles to backup the primary umbilical supply. Also hard-wire communications is standard.

    Kirby Morgan actually started building heavy-gear/spun copper hats with dramatically improved large view ports made from 1" Plexiglas. They soon added fiberglass full face masks and starting building experimental mask/hat hybrids for the Navy. Fiberglass was one of Bev’s many talents picked up from building surf boards.

    I guess "....the what?" prompted my question. It was called “Deep Sea” or “Hard Hat” gear in the Sea Hunt Days (1950s). Heavy Gear became common in the US commercial diving industry after lightweight FFMs and hats started to dominate. I lost track of what the general population called it. Believe me, I wished it was WWII vintage. In hind sight I don’t regret training in this gear, but I am sure glad I never had to actually work in it.

    As much as I hate to say it, being one of the many post-heavy gear evangelists, heavy gear still has its place. Aside from being the least expensive gear to maintain, it is what you want to wear in a cold contaminated harbor running a hack hammer. You can make yourself 50 Lbs heavy on the bottom or wrap your arms around some 200 Lb part, inflate the suit, and walk it over the bottom like you are superman… just don’t let go.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2012
  13. ermaclob

    ermaclob Barracuda

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    I now call these types of divers "hard hat diver", but before i ever started diving i was prone to call them "Big Dady" or "Metal Dady" as i played alot of Bioshock. :dork2:

    What is the offical term for these divers?? OP if you say that the helmet you have isnt a "hard hat" isnt it pretty much the same thing.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    ---------- Post Merged at 11:02 PM ---------- Previous Post was at 11:01 PM ----------

    i think you answered my question as i was writing this post
     
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  14. DandyDon

    DandyDon ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Your helmet looks hard. Is it?
     
  15. smellzlikefish

    smellzlikefish Loggerhead Turtle

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    Having no comercial or saturation diving experience, this is one of the most interesting threads I have seen on this site. Thanks for sharing.
     
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  16. Akimbo

    Akimbo ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    I would call these guys Sir followed up with a humble bow as I am looking for the door!

    No joke, that is why I asked the question. There is no “official name”. Even if there was, American’s probably wouldn’t use it anyway. ;)

    Hard Hat and Deep Sea Divers are the “classic” names I know. But there is obviously no “standard” used here. Besides, by modern saturation diving standards it is hard to call common air-breathing surface supplied divers “Deep Sea” — especially dressed in gear invented before the Civil War. I would not expect the term “Heavy Gear Divers” to be used outside the commercial diving industry so I thought I would ask.

    ---------- Post Merged at 09:09 PM ---------- Previous Post was at 09:02 PM ----------

    Sure, 316 Stainless Steel. Nobody is to say Hard Hat is wrong, but the term was used for the spun-copper Mark V variety long before lightweigh hats and hot water suits (or wetsuits for that mattter) were invented.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2012
  17. ermaclob

    ermaclob Barracuda

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    just as a generality, any dive helmet thats make a knocking sound when you knock on it is a hard hat to me.

    to be honest i, think of "hard hat diving" as the type of diving when some one walks (no fins), with a surface air line to a helmet (doesn't mater what its made of). if you use use tanks its scuba even with a hard helmet. at least thats how i think of it. this really isnt a subject i ponder about :dontknow:
     
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  18. DaleC

    DaleC Great White

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    I call it awesome!

    When they came on the scene, the first SCUBA divers (Cousteau first labeled them "menfish") were called "skin divers" because they were relatively naked in comparison to hardhat divers, who were just called "divers". They were also called "free divers" because they were not tethered to the surface like real divers. This was all very distrusted by most of the existing diving fraternity as being quite dangerous. As SCUBA became common place, snorkelers began to be called "skin divers" as they then became rather lightly dressed in comparison. Now the term "free diver" is used to describe a snorkeler who's main objective is to descend beneath the surface (rather than float and look down).
     
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  19. AfterDark

    AfterDark Orca

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    Hard Hat (heavy rig) Helmet rig a major diffference IMO is the helmet rig can faciltate underwater swimming.
     
  20. Drewpy

    Drewpy Surface Interval Member

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    Museum artifacts..
     

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