Dickenson Ship Wreck discovered in in 2,000 feet of water

Researchers from the University of Hawaii and the NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries discovered an intact “ghost ship” in 2,000 feet of water nearly 20 miles off the coast of Oʻahu.

Sitting upright, its solitary mast still standing and the ship’s wheel still in place, the hulk of the former cable ship Dickenson, later the USS Kailua, was found on the seabed last year on a maritime heritage submersible mission.

On the mission were the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory’s (HURL) Terry Kerby, and James Delgado and Hans Van Tilburg of the maritime heritage program in NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.

Dickenson’s history
Launched in Chester, Pennsylvania, in early 1923 for the Commercial Pacific Cable Co., Dickenson was a vital part of a global network of submarine cable that carried telecommunications around the world. Dickenson arrived in Hawaii and started work in July of that year. Repairing cable and carrying supplies, Dickenson served the remote stations at Midway and Fanning Island from 1923 until 1941.

Dickenson was also chartered by Cable and Wireless Ltd., the British telecommunications company also operating in the Pacific, to evacuate company employees from Fanning Island. With Britain at war with Germany and its Axis partners, it was feared the station would be a target. Dickenson arrived at Pearl Harbor with the Fanning evacuees on the morning of December 7, 1941, sailing into a port at war. Some of the evacuees on Dickenson noticed a submarine following their ship, only to see it disappear as U.S. forces attacked the sub and drove it off.

Dickenson, later chartered by the U.S. Navy, entered service as USS Kailua (IX-71) to service cable and submarine nets in the South Pacific until it returned to Pearl Harbor at the end of the war. No longer needed by the Navy or the Commercial Cable Co., the former USS Kailua was sunk as a target by submarine torpedo fire on February 7, 1946. The exact location was not recorded, and the final resting place of the ship had remained a mystery.

“It is always a thrill when you are closing in on a large sonar target with the Pisces submersible and you don’t know what big piece of history is going to come looming out of the dark,” said Terry Kerby, HURL submersible pilot. “One of our first views of the USS Kailua was the classic helms wheel on the fantail. The ship was surprisingly intact for a vessel that was sunk with a torpedo. The upper deck structures from the bow to the stern were well-preserved and showed no sign of torpedo damage.”

“From her interisland service to her role in Pacific communications and then World War II, Dickenson today is like a museum exhibit resting in the darkness, reminding us of these specific elements of Pacific history,” said Hans Van Tilburg.

Press Release From: Subsea World News

James Ellison (British Superbike Rider) Hyperbaric Recovery

Check out this short video, where British Superbike rider James Ellison talks about his recovery and healing process from a horrific crash at Brands Hatch in 2014. After the accident the doctors advised him we would not be able to walk for 3 months, he was back competitively racing his bike within 6 weeks.

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James attributes part of his recovery to using a Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Chamber at Submarine Manufacturing and Products (SMP Ltd) facility just outside Preston. James states  “The main focus for me was just getting better, and the first step towards that is hyperbaric chamber treatment”

SMP Ltd design and manufacture a wide range of Hyperbaric Chambers and Oxygen Therapy equipment for use by divers, sports people and medical treatments. On the video Phil Connolly, managing director of SMP Ltd talks about the benefits of chambers like this for private medical institutions and sports injury clinics.

If you wish to learn more about our range of Hyperbaric Equipment and how they can benefit you or your business please get in touch with our sales team on +44 (0)1772 687775 / sales@smp-ltd.co.uk

Hyperbaric Reception Facility (HRF) Case Study

Case Study – OCTOBER 2014

Test mating of Sea-Force Hyperbaric Reception Facility with a Technip Self Propelled Hyperbaric Lifeboat

Hyperbaric Reception Facilities (HRF) are used to provide a permanent onshore
environment for the safe decompression of saturation divers who need to be evacuated from a saturation diving vessel. Previously the use of HRFs by the commercial diving industry has been considered an optional item to have as long as an actual Hyperbaric Evacuation System (HES) is provided. For example a Self Propelled Hyperbaric Lifeboat (SPHL) used in conjunction with a Life Support Package (LSP). However with the recent Guidance on Hyperbaric Reception Facility which was published by IMCA in relation to (IMCA D 053), HRFs are now considered to be a fundamental requirement to form part of an effective HES given the length of time required to safely decompress saturation divers.

The completed Sea-Force Hyperbaric Reception Facility

The Challenge
Seaforce approached SMP to provide a full turnkey solution which encompassed a 3D design proposal, full HRF system manufacture, export logistics, onsite installation, testing and certification. As this project was a large undertaking for both parties, the key to the success of this project was to clearly define and agree with the client the design brief and scope of work to be undertaken. SMP was able to use its considerable experience in designing and developing of commercial diving equipment to provide an innovative solution that would put us at the forefront in the marketplace for our technical design and engineering capability for hyperbaric reception facility.

A number of design considerations needed to be accounted for in the design proposal. Firstly despite the physical size of the equipment, this needed to be transportable for ease of mobility including the rapid mobilization and assembly at the shore side facility.

As the HRF needs to accommodate saturation divers who can potentially be working at depths of up to 300 metres, so the maximum working pressure of the system needed to be rated for use at 30 Bar which is the equivalent pressure for a depth of 300 metres.

Another key element of the design which needed to be carefully considered was the SPHL mating trunk which allows the docking of the lifeboat (SPHL) or alternate HRV to the transfer under pressure (TUP) chamber. The divers can then transfer via the TUP chamber into one of the two HRF chambers which needed to accommodate up to 18 divers.

Environmental control of the HRF environment is also an important consideration for the well being and comfort of the divers housed inside the HRF. The monitoring and control of the environmental control would need to be integrated into the life support control panel.

In order to control the system a fully enclosed safe working environment also needed to be created to house the life support technicians who would be operating the system. This integrated life support panel would need to be able to control all 3 locks on the system i.e. DDC1, DDC2 & TUP.

Fire safety in the form of a fire suppression and activation system also needed to be incorporated into the design with the fire deluge system nozzles being external to the chamber.

Finally gas distribution, electrical switchgear, medical monitoring area were also requirements for the system.

The Solution

Read a report of the Sea-Force Hyperbaric Reception Facility Mated with Technip Self Propelled Hyperbaric Lifeboat .

View a Youtube Video of the Sea-Force Hyperbaric Reception Facility Mated with Technip Self Propelled Hyperbaric Lifeboat.

Read the technical specification of the Sea-Force Hyperbaric Reception Facility.

Case Study: Crowley:Titan Salvage / SMP – Containerised Dive System

SMP have been working alongside Titan Salvage to design and manufacture a Containerised Dive System for use on a salvage project in South Africa. Read our case study about how the project developed.

About Crowley Maritime Corp: Titan Salvage

Crowley Maritime Corp. subsidiary Titan Salvage is a world leader in the provision of salvage, wreck removal and maritime emergency response solutions, providing world-class services that ensure long-term company durability while ensuring the safety of their people, the public, and the environment.

Titan Salvage along with the Italian underwater construction firm Micoperi received worldwide publicity in May 2012 when they were awarded the salvage contracts for the Costa Concordia cruise liner which famously sank off the coast of Isola del Giglio in Italy on 13 January 2012.  The expected cost of their salvaging plan, which came to more than US$300 million, makes it the most expensive salvage operation ever.

Sub Marine Manufacturing & Products Ltd (SMP) has previously provided bespoke engineered solutions to Titan Salvage on a number of occasions in support of their pursuit for excellence in offshore commercial diving operations.

The Challenge
Titan Salvage approached SMP in early 2014 to purchase a new standard of containerised dive system which would be designed to the individual and exacting requirements of Titan Salvage for use on a salvage project in South Africa.  Specifically they were looking for a hybrid container design that would support both Dive Control operations combined with supporting breathing air machinery all within a single 20ft ISO shipping container.

Within the container designs were several considerations which would need to be incorporated as follows:

  • Environmental control to support use in hot weather climates
  • Dual electrical voltage supply (USA and UK)
  • Integrated LP/HP breathing air compressors together with LP/HP air storage
  • 3 Diver gas control panel
  • Diver CCTV monitoring and communications

Due to the bespoke nature of Titans requirements, an initial design drawing was going to be required to see how we would squeeze all of the required equipment into a single 20ft container.

The Solution – Initial Consultation and Design Proposal
Following a meeting with the client here at SMP to better understand the requirements of Titan Salvage, the SMP in-house design team set to work and produced a series of detailed general arrangement drawings which were then agreed with the client.

The images shown below are a selection of the general arrangement proposal drawings which were sent to the client for approval following our meeting to understand in detail their requirements.

Following approval from the client of the general arrangement drawings we then proceeded to full manufacture.  During the manufacturing process SMP worked closely with the client  who was regularly onsite to monitor the progress of the build and to provide any feedback.

Dive Control area with 3 Diver Gas Control Panel with Gas Analysis, diver comms and diver CCTV monitoring station.

8 x 50Litre Cylinders HP Gas Storage Bank, Decant Panel and Coltri MCH 36 Breathing Air Compressor.

Louvered Container Panels Were Used Along with Air Conditioning to help with the environmental control

Bulkhead wall with PVC windows and door along with solid wood worktops

LP Air Compressor, Receiver and Additional Vertical Air Receiver

The Result
This date critical system was completed and delivered on time, in full and on budget for use on a salvage project in South Africa to the clients’ complete satisfaction.  The client Titan Salvage are very happy with the system and are now proceeding to upgrade their other containers to this same high standard of specification and quality.

Daniel Dolson who is the Operations Manager for Titan Salvage worked closely with SMP on this project and provided the following feedback:

“Titan Salvage is proud to take ownership of our newest containerized system built by SMP in the UK. This three diver air system was built to Titan’s specifications, addressing issues such as hot weather climate work, dual electrical voltage (USA and UK), and built-in compressors and safety systems. Thank you to the team at Submarine Manufacturing for putting this system together for us! This is the second unit in a series of three on order. The first two delivered systems are currently working in South Africa on a Titan salvage project. ”

Download this case study (PDF Format)