Saturation Dive Record: China Sets Depth of 330.2 Metres

A monitor shows a diver with the Chinese navy walks out of a 19-cubic-meter cylinder to perform a saturation dive effort, a technique involving a pressurized environment that allows for longer dives while reducing the risk of decompression sickness. [Photo:]

Saturation Dive Record

Saturation Dive Record

Four divers with the Chinese navy have reached a depth of over 330 meters during a saturation dive effort, a technique involving a pressurized environment that allows for longer dives while reducing the risk of decompression sickness.

The four entered a 19-cubic-meter cylinder on January 4th and pressure was slowly increased to the equivalent of a depth of 300 meters.

Gao Jie, one of the divers, describes the experience in the deep sea.

“We thought 300-meter-deep seabed would be nothing but darkness, but when we opened the chamber, we found the visibility was good.”

Xu Xiao is the first diver to exit the chamber at a depth of 300 meters to check the diving bell and the environment.

“I felt like it was very cold and it was hard to breathe.”

Saturation diving technology enables human beings to withstand high water pressure by saturating human tissue with inert gas.

The divers were released from the cylinder yesterday after the decompression process was finally completed.

To date, eight countries, including Britain, the United States, and Russia have succeeded in 400-meter saturation dive.

Saturation diving is commonly used in deep sea exploration, in rescue operations and in engineering construction.

Chinese divers successfully reached 300 meters during a saturation dive for the first time last year, though have only experienced conditions over 490 meters during lab experiments.


Here at SMP we manufacture Saturation Diving Systems in the UK. For speciifcation and pricing of our systems please contact us on +44(0)1772 687775 or email

Commercial Diving Transfer Under Pressure (TUP) System

SMP’s well established manufacturing and design teams have recognised the requirement of the next step to extended bottom times with air, nitrox and mixed gas diving with the ever increasing demands in the renewable, oil and gas sectors in the offshore industry.

SMP have developed a solution for a closed Bell TUP System which will be a unique one-off design available to interested parties. This system is configurable to client requirements on a short lead time.

Transfer Under Pressure System

The system provides a cost effective diving solution through increased bottom times for the diving teams. This provides the capability for the diving team to be working from a Schedule 6 type Bell whilst the second team will be in decompression after completing their bell diving operations.

This will mean continual productivity from the diving bell teams with less down time and smaller diving crews that would be utilised with normal air and nitrox diving.

Transfer Under Pressure System

The system utilises a minimum 4.5 m3 saturation diving bell which has the capability of bounce diving operations. This is critical to the utilisation of this system. The diving bell can be lowered to the seabed under atmospheric conditions. When the divers arrive at the work site the supervisors will have the capability to pressurise the diving bell equivalent to the work site depth which will allow the divers to exit the bell to proceed with their tasks. This can be a single diver or two diver lock out with a standby diver remaining in the bell.

Transfer Under Pressure System

On completion of the dive the divers will return to the diving bell where the doors will be sealed. At this stage the divers in the bell will start their decompression procedure. The bell will then be recovered to the surface with the divers continuing their decompression within this controlled atmosphere. The bell will be recovered by the handling system into the bell capture arrangement thereafter manipulated onto the bell handling trolley for mating to the divers transfer lock.

The above process allows for much greater productivity with diver’s bottom times, a more controlled and safer working environment and quicker and safer decompression procedures as opposed to the regularly used oxygen surface decompression procedure.

Transfer Under Pressure System

TUP System – Features and Specifications


  • L : 40’ (12 mtr) x W: 11.8’ (3.5 mtr) x D: 11.8’ (3.5 mtr)
  • Weight: 38,000 kgs
  • 2 x Personnel Doors
  • 2 x Heating and Air Conditioning Units
  • 4 x Gas and Air Penetrator Plates
  • 1 x Electrical Penetrator Plates

DDC and TUP:

  • Side Mating Manway and End Mating to SDC (Bell)
  • Divers Transfer Lock with toilet and shower facility
  • 1.8 mtr Twin Lock Chamber for Diver’s Decompression Treatment
  • Built in Master Control Panels
  • Capacity for 8 persons in the Twin Lock Chamber and 3 persons in the DTL
  • System currently rated to 50 mtr SWD but can be re-rated to 18 Bar 180 mtr (590 fsw)
  • Medical Locks and Chamber and DTL
  • Chamber and DTL outfitted with Comms, Lighting, Gas Analysis, CCTV Systems, Cooling/Heating, Scrubbers

Other Equipment:

  • LP Air Storage System
  • Fire Suppression System
  • Electrical Breaker System
  • Distribution Panel
  • Transformers and Battery Back Up Supply

For more information on the TUP system please use the links below:

Our Sales Team and Technical Advisors from our UK office are available to offer help on any questions relating to this system. Please call +44 (0)1772 687775 Mon – Fri (9am – 5pm). Alternatively email and we will get back to you.

Sat System in Stock For Sale Immediate Delivery

SMP Ltd have available for immediate delivery this 9-12 man modular saturation diving system.

This system can be sold “As Where Is” or as a completed fully operational saturation diving system.

Further details can be viewed by downloading the PDF document below.

If you have any further questions regarding this saturation diving system please contact Phil Connolly (

Click here to download the PDF datasheet for this saturation diving system

August 2012 Commercial Diving Equipment Newsletter

We have released the latest version of our commercial diving equipment newsletter.

Spanish Diving Bell

Spanish Diving Bell

To view this newsletter click here: August 2012 Commercial Diving Equipment Newsletter

Hyperbaric Chambers Video

We have created a video of our hyperbaric chambers using a collection of professional photos Hyperbaric Chambers Manufacturer UK

60" Twin Lock Hyperbaric Chamber

60" Twin Lock Hyperbaric Chamber

For more info on our manufactured hyperbaric chambers please visit: Hyperbaric Chambers