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SPHL survivability research – first testing phase completed!

Thrust Maritime is pleased to announce that the first phase of our new research initiative has recently been completed. This initiative aims to provide fact based information to allow for more accurate assessments of the risks associated with hyperbaric evacuation.

SPHL Seakeeping trials

Global practices for hyperbaric evacuation vary wildly. Some procedures allow up to 54 hours between commencement of a hyperbaric evacuation and mating onto a Hyperbaric Reception Facility (HRF). However, there is limited evidence to validate the ability to survive and crew an SPHL (Self Propelled Hyperbaric Lifeboat) at sea for this period of time. Best practice is to minimize the time divers spend within the SPHL as much as possible. Within Australia the SPHL must be able to be recovered onto a larger vessel within 2 hours of an incident.

This first year of research is being completed at the Australian Maritime College (AMC) with Thrust Maritime providing funding and support. Nathan Wallace, from the AMC, is leading the research effort with the guidance of Associate Professor Jonathan Binns. The current phase has involved the manufacture and testing of a scientifically accurate scale model SPHL. A series of seakeeping tests were designed to identify SPHL motion response characteristics by exposing the model to various sea conditions within a towing tank. The completion of these motions’ trials marks the end of the first step into a four-year research program.

SPHL research team

The results of this year’s research will form the basis for further investigation into the effect these motions have on human occupants. This will be achieved by the conduct of medical assessments and full-scale simulations based on the obtained motions data. We are looking forward to seeing the results of Nathan’s findings and continuing to work with AMC on further research.

Our core focus at Thrust Maritime is to ensure the safe recovery of saturation divers in the event of a diving catastrophe. Through funding this research, we hope to provide the industry and regulatory bodies with more specific and quantifiable information with which to improve diver safety.

Thrust Maritime is always open to working with others to improve safety offshore. If you are interested in the results of this research, or supporting it in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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