JFD has completed mating trails with their Lloyd’s classed portable Hyperbaric Rescue Facility (HRF) with Boskalis DSV BOKA Atlantis.
The mating trials with the HRF and two self-propelled hyperbaric lifeboats (SPHLs) were completed, as planned, in a period of 11 hours with no complications – representing a significant advancement for hyperbaric rescue, the company said.
During the trial JFD successfully mated with the port and starboard SPHLs to the portable HRF. The entry locks of the SPHLs were pressurised to 305msw, equivalent to the equipment’s maximum working depth. The speed with which the SPHLs are mated is critical as transferring the divers as quickly as possible can be vital to saving their lives. Therefore it was important that the trials simulated the maximum duration expected to safely transfer divers from the SPHL into the HRF. The mating exercise was performed in a safe, controlled manner using hydraulics to lower and align the SPHL, allowing the operator to retain optimum control to maximise the potential of a successful rescue operation.
In the event of an offshore emergency evacuation, even once saturation divers have reached the perceived relative safety of the surface via a hyperbaric lifeboat, they still need to undergo a thorough decompression process to gradually return them to sea level before being exposed to atmospheric pressure. This requires the capability of a hyperbaric rescue system. Although the preferred option may be to transfer saturation divers to a fixed Hyperbaric Rescue Centre (HRC), often due to time constraints and depending the location of the diving campaign, this can be challenging. Therefore having access to a portable HRF at the nearest available port is a key element which allows the divers to begin decompression sooner. It is critical that this process is handled with care and due diligence to ensure that the divers are not exposed to any risk of decompression sickness, JFD explained.
Giovanni Corbetta, JFD managing director, said: “Speed is critical in ensuring the safe and successful rescue of divers, and having not only the technical capability but the tried and tested expertise to deploy them in the event of an emergency will safeguard the lives of those operating subsea in some of the most extreme and hazardous conditions. The success of these mating trials is testament to the hard work and dedication of both Boskalis and JFD’s personnel in ensuring that there is the best possible safety solution in place, should this service be called upon.”