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What do you call this gear?

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

  1. Akimbo

    Akimbo Lift to Freedom Volunteer Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

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


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

    DandyDon Old men ought to be explorers ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: One kilometer high on the Texas High Plains
    Hard Hat diver
    AfterDark likes this.
  3. Akimbo

    Akimbo Lift to Freedom Volunteer Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    I can buy that, but a lot of posts call the lightweight hats like the one in my avatar "hard hats"???
  4. ScubaSparky85

    ScubaSparky85 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Denver, CO
    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 Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Charleston, SC
    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?
    thirtyfivefox likes this.
  6. dumpsterDiver

    dumpsterDiver Banned

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    "deadman walking"???
    danvolker and Jax like this.
  7. Akimbo

    Akimbo Lift to Freedom Volunteer Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    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
    Randy g, descent, CT-Rich and 5 others like this.
  8. lonebrave

    lonebrave DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Maryland
    hard hat (both the old and the new as in your avatar...both are hard, not necessarily heavy, right?)
    shoredivr likes this.
  9. graham_s

    graham_s ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Al Khobar, Ash Sharqiyah, Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arab
    standard diving dress.
    Searcaigh likes this.
  10. Blackwood

    Blackwood DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Redondo Beach (SoCal, not Washington)
    Child's play

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