Naval divers set national deep sea diving recordBy IANS
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
KOCHI - Five Indian Navy divers on board the INS Nireekshak have set a new national record for deep sea diving by reaching a depth of 233 metres, a statement said here Wednesday.
The feat was achieved in the seas off Kochi earlier this month.
“The divers from the Southern Naval Command — Lieutenant Commander Abhijeet Sangle, Chief Petty Officer K.K. Singh, Chief Petty Officer Shriom Singh, Leading Seaman M.K. Prusty, and Leading Seaman Narender Kumar — dived to a depth of 233 metres in the seas off Kochi, breaking an earlier record set by Indian Navy divers,” a defence ministry spokesperson said.
Such deep dives, called saturation diving in professional circles, involve complex support systems from the diving support vessel (INS Nireekshak) to enable the divers to explore the final frontiers in physical and mental endurance, the statement said.
Water pressure increases by 1 kg/cm2 every 10 meters as the depth increases.
Other complications of deep dives include physiological problems of bubbles formed by gas throughout the body causing ‘decompression sickness’ as the divers come up to surface.
The complex science of saturation diving circumvented these problems with the aid of devices like decompression chambers.
The saturation divers are pressurised to the required depth in the deck decompression chamber (DDC) on board the ship, till their bodies are saturated with specially prepared breathing gas.
A diving capsule pressurised to the same pressure is thereafter connected to the DDC and the divers move into that capsule. The capsule or bell is then lowered into water to the set depth and one or more divers swim out to accomplish their tasks.
The divers use an umbilical chord that provides breathing gas, communication and hot water to keep them warm at that depth.
On completion of task, the divers re-enter the bell, close the hatch and return to the support ship under the same pressure.
This procedure could be repeated till the task is completed. Once the task is completed, the DDC is gradually brought back to normal pressure over several days based on calculations, as the divers continue to remain inside, the statement added.
INS Nireekshak’s commanding officer Commander A.P. Golaya said the Indian Navy affords its personnel the satisfaction and challenge of stretching the limits of human endeavour in all spheres of activity.
INS Nireekshak, commissioned into the Indian Navy in 1995, has a 120-member crew, including divers, and undertakes salvage and other underwater operations.