Since the early 70's there have been tremendous advances in deep diving techniques and equipment spurred largely by the offshore oil industry, but these developments have stagnated since the mid 80's as "diverless" has been the fashionable approach Yet very few would predict that diving will be replaced by unmanned techniques. What is likely is that the diver with his unique abilities will become more of a contingency to be used when the planned remote systems fail. This resulting reduction in familiarity with his equipment requires us to provide the diver with equipment which is simpler and imposes less influences on him. In short, more "user friendly".

The advances referred to largely focused on the diving vessels and their ability to deploy the diver in ever deeper water in extreme weather conditions, but with the exception of diver gas recovery equipment, and bail out systems, these have been augmentative in approach, very little has changed at the diver himself. It is now universally accepted that the greatest opportunity to significantly improve the safety and effectiveness of diving is with the diver's personal equipment. This includes his primary and emergency systems for breathing, communications and heating.

These essential life support areas have been dealt with independently of each other by separate equipment suppliers, where in reality it should be one integrated approach With deep diving operations estimated to cost between £1,000 to £ 3,000 per working hour, it is clear that even an incremental improvement in performance can reap considerable financial payback and yet there is negligible investment currently being made. It is for these reasons that GAS SERVICES OFFSHORE LIMITED has produced two initiatives to date, namely, the Integrated Diver Life Support System (IDLSS) and the less ambitious Integrated Diving Helmet (IDH) but these have yet to gain sufficient support to take them beyond the proposal stage

This paper outlines a particular approach to a breathing system, but for the first time giving full consideration to the other essential life support areas The steady flow reclaim system is protected by international patents. It is worth noting that the aim was not to increase diving depths, but to simplify the system and thereby effect safety and efficiency improvements.


The life support system presented is based on a gas reclaim system which incorporates a unique double counterlung. This has supply and return counterlungs which are linked in such a way that a change in volume in one counterlung is matched by a similar change in the other This feature enables the whole life support system to be simplified as well as significantly improving its characteristics, which are detailed below.

features of system

Excellent Breathing Characteristics:

  • Work of breathing less than any known diving apparatus

  • Low hydrostactic imbalance for all orientations

  • Very Stable

  • Fully Redundant System: No single failure will hazard the diver

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