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.

Commercial Diver Training Limited opens in St Austell, Cornwall

A new Commercial Diver Training Centre has opened in England. Commercial Diver Training Limited is based in St Austell, Cornwall and is run and operated by George Gradon and Warren Salliss. For more information on the courses available please visit their website: – www.commercialdivertraining.co.uk

After over three years of development, Commercial Diver Training Ltd has successfully achieved accreditation from the health and safety executive (HSE) to conduct all levels of commercial air diver training, from marine biologists to offshore oil rig and wind farm divers.
CDT - Commercial Diver Training

CDT is the only facility in England and Wales to offer such training, and the only school globally to accommodate students aboard a fully operational dive vessel.

The individuals behind the school, George Gradon and Warren Salliss, already operate a Cornish based inshore construction diving company and undertake subsea operations for the North Sea offshore oil and gas producers.

“All too often the newly trained guys entering industry are completely under prepared for the challenges ahead of them. This is a widely held view both inshore and offshore. We felt a change was long overdue, hence we formed CDT,” says Gradon.

“Our team has been selected from personnel who still work in the real world. Over 75 years of diving experience has gone into the make-up of our programmes. Our facilities are purpose built and ultra high spec, as is our approach to training.”

“We are working divers, who train divers to work” seems to be the CDT motto.

Whilst commercial diver training is expensive (upwards of £1000/week for 4-9 weeks courses) the earning potential for CDT graduates is between £150-£600/day.

You can also find them on Facebook – www.facebook.com/commercialdivertraining