Scottish diving centre launches new closed-bell training course with hyperbaric ‘lifeboat’

The Underwater Centre
The Underwater Centre

Following a major refurbishment, the Underwater Centre at Fort Williams has become the world’s only commercial diving school to offer a closed bell saturation diving system with a self-propelled hyperbaric lifeboat (SPHL).

Thanks to significant investment and support from the global oil and gas sector, The Underwater Centre relaunched its three-week closed bell diving course in June.

The redevelopment of the system and course is seen by industry as key to maintaining the UK’s ability to train closed bell divers and underlines confidence that demand for saturation divers will grow as the energy sector continues to recover from the global downturn.

Subsea 7 and TechnipFMC have provided technical support, site supervision and conducted the refurbishment work on behalf of The Underwater Centre, which was also project managed by Subsea 7 with close collaboration and support from TechnipFMC.

As well as refurbishing equipment, completely rebuilding the closed bell and adding the SPHL from Subsea 7’s decommissioned Rockwater 1, a vessel has been converted to create a new training system – renamed Deep Diver 1.

SPHLs are one of the main means of evacuating divers form a saturation diving environment in the event of an emergency, and are an important part of most modern closed bell diving systems.

Having this facility available on The Underwater Centre’s closed bell courses will provide a more realistic training environment than was previously available, better preparing trainees for their future roles and providing a best-practice training experience.

13 Jul 2018

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