Science Diary: Dive Operations (2006)
http://farasanislands.livingoceansfoundation.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=107&Itemid=126: The Golden Shadow has been a very busy diving platform for the past two weeks of research in the Farasan Islands; 14 diving researchers have accumulated more then 400 dives in 20 days.... and the expedition is not yet over....
These past weeks have been very stimulating in all aspects of our diving operations. Different objectives have been fulfilled, all boats have been used, many sites were studied, a wide variety of research equipment has been utilised and lots of tanks filled!!
Safety is our main priority in all diving operations. First we make sure that all divers keep good diving profiles for their work by staying in shallow depths (max 30m), which also gives them more time to carry out their underwater tasks.
Keeping divers well hydrated in this warm climate is another very important factor. Thanks to the ROV, work can also be carried out at greater depths - up to 70m without getting wet! The use of SSB (Single Side Band) underwater communications has facilitated some of the diving work by allowing divers to talk to one another or even communicate with somebody on the boat (topside).
All our tenders, the small cat and Golden Cat (8 vessels in total), have been used for diving; even the Golden Shadow itself has been used as a platform when possible. With all those boats and divers in the water at the same time, good radio communication between all boat operators and the Golden Shadow are vital to assure proper safety procedures are respected. Prevention is always the best way to keep safe under and above water... But in case something did go wrong (touch wood so far!) the Golden Shadow is well equipped to deal with any diving incident. The crew are well trained to start with in many different fields, but most important for diving operations in remote areas like the Farasan Islands, is our onboard recompression chamber. We have a crew team trained in the chamber operations and I have a REMT (Remote Emergency Medical Technician) certificate to enter the chamber with a casualty if needed.
Since all researchers and crew involved in the diving operations aboard Golden Shadow are professionals, well trained and safety orientated, all is progressing extremely well; loads of bubbles have been blown and many more will follow!