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Recompression chambers for Type 45s

29th September 2016 - 15:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


A recent successful trial has confirmed that the British Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyers can now deploy recompression chambers for submarine rescue, it was announced on 27 September.

The Submarine Escape Rescue and Survival Team (SMERAS) from Gosport conducted the trial on HMS Dauntless.

The ability to fit recompression chambers to the Type 45 flight deck expands the deployment options for the navy's two recompression chambers; until now only Type 23 frigates were able to deploy the emergency stores which are held at six hours’ notice to move in HMNB Devonport in Plymouth.

Each recompression chamber is housed in an ISO container, weighs 13.6 tonnes and can accommodate 11 people. It shrinks the size of the damaging gas bubbles that are formed in the tissues of divers – or submariners who have undertaken an emergency departure from their boat – who rise to surface too quickly.

Steve Micallef, SMERAS Warrant Officer, said: 'In the unlikely event of a submarine being in distress, our preferred method of rescue is clearly on the surface, or via the NATO Submarine Rescue System from HMNB Clyde in Scotland.

'If submariners have to leave their boats underwater, they could possibly suffer from the bends, or decompression sickness. So being able to have a broader range of surface ships to carry our two recompression chambers quickly to the scene provides us with more options, should our services ever be required.'

The Shephard News Team


The Shephard News Team

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