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Commercial diving
Imbert, J.P.; Egi, M. (2017). Commercial diving, in: Balestra, C. et al. The science of diving. Things your instructor never told you. pp. [57-87]
In: Balestra, C.; Germonpré, P. (2017). The science of diving. Things your instructor never told you. Lambert Academic Publishing/Éditions Acrodacrolivres: Villers-la-Ville. ISBN 978-2-512007-36-4. [262] pp., more

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  • Imbert, J.P.
  • Egi, M.

    Saturation diving is a technique where divers are “stored” under pressure onboard a vessel and deployed from a diving bell at bottom. The “storage depth” is defined as the living depth in chambers. Several divers’ teams are generally saturated in the chamber system to permit continuous operations at bottom. At the end of a work period, the team is transferred in a separate chamber that is decompressed to the surface. The modern spot market of the North Sea is split into shallow air surface supplied intervention (20%) and heliox saturation (80%). It is estimated that an average of 1000 saturation exposures are performed each year in the North Sea. Several attempts have been made in the diving history to set up databases to assess the safety performances of these diving procedures and document the longitudinal effects of these diver exposures. Unfortunately, these databases are no longer maintained. The best available information on commercial diving suggests that the current safety level of saturation DCI incidence is around 0.2% (2 cases of DCI for 1000 men x saturation exposures). This suggests saturation diving is a relatively safe procedure.

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