JFD launches new breakthrough bailout rebreather system

Associations, Health and Safety, HR — By on February 24, 2016 at 12:12 AM

Breather JFD one 23FEB to 24FEB 2016The COBRA system significantly enhances subsea safety, providing more than double the standard supply of emergency breathing gas

JFD, the leading global subsea operations and engineering company, part of James Fisher and Sons plc, has today announced the launch of its new Compact Bailout Rebreathing Apparatus (COBRA) for commercial divers, as a direct response to the urgent need for significant improvements in safety in the saturation diving industry.

The system significantly extends the duration of the supply of emergency breathing gas, delivering 45 minutes of emergency life support at a depth of 120 meters.  A conventional open-circuit 300 bar twinset bailout system will deliver only seven minutes at that depth. The extended emergency breathing gas supply significantly improves the likelihood of a successful rescue in the event of an emergency.

COBRA is a unique bailout system, designed and developed by JFD as part of its Divex range of rebreathers, and supplies up to 45 minutes of fully independent breathing gas in an emergency scenario. The system is designed to be smaller than most bailout systems, ensuring COBRA does not impact on the operations of the diver.

COBRA is entirely mechanical with no complex electronic systems that could potentially compromise its safety. COBRA is operated via a single turn activation and can be tested prior to its use without affecting the functionality of the system, providing reassurance to the diver that there is a reliable and efficient life support system in place in case of an emergency. Compared to conventional bailout methods such as SCUBA, which at certain depths provides less than ten minutes of breathing gas, the development of the advanced technology of COBRA is a significant step forward in improving subsea safety.

Giovanni Corbetta, managing director at JFD, said: “Modern diving operations bring significantly more risk, and continuing to use systems which can only provide a few minutes of emergency gas puts lives in danger.  The COBRA system has been rigorously tested and has a proven ability to significantly extend the provision of emergency life support without impacting the operations of diver, allowing them to carry out their duties with minimal risk. Our entire focus and commitment as a company is founded upon improving diver safety and setting new benchmarks within the industry.”

It is widely recognised in the commercial diving industry that the same extended bailout breathing facility used as standard in operations at depths of over 200 meters sea water (msw) should be available for divers operating at 50-200 msw, a far more common operating depth. Modern diving operations often require the use of extended excursion umbilicals from bigger diving bells, meaning that the time required to return to the safety of the bell can be greatly extended. When combined with factors such as cold water, darkness, subsea structures and a diver’s alarm and disorientation, the risk to the diver’s life is significantly increased. It is critical that divers have a substantial emergency breathing gas supply that is adequate for the operating conditions to ensure that their safety is assured.

The diving industry has already begun to recognise and address the increased risk associated with modern saturation diving operations; the Norwegian petroleum industry has dictated via NORSOK standards that divers must have a minimum of 10 minutes of emergency breathing air, circulated at a rate of 62.5l/min. This requirement renders many common systems such as SCUBA out of scope and therefore unsafe for use.

JFD has undergone an extensive period of rigorous testing and trials of the COBRA system to ensure that the equipment reaches the highest standards in safety and quality. COBRA has already been recognised for its innovative approach to driving the improvement of safety standards in the diving industry, following its nomination for an Innovation Award at the annual Elevator awards in 2015.

For more information, please see http://www.divexglobal.com/capabilities/commercial-diving/helmets-masks-and-scuba/show/cobra 

JFD is one of the world’s leading subsea operations and engineering companies providing complex diving and underwater systems to the commercial and defence industries.  Operating in more than 80 countries worldwide, the company is the world’s leading provider of submarine rescue capability and an established provider of submarine escape training.  The company is at the forefront of Hyperbaric Rescue, along with being the leading supplier of commercial diving equipment and saturation diving systems to the commercial industry.  JFD was created in 2014 through the merger of James Fisher Defence and Divex. In 2015 JFD acquired the National Hyperbaric Centre to further boost the services offered to its customers.

For more information see http://www.jfdglobal.com

James Fisher and Sons plc is a leading service provider in all sectors of the marine industry and a specialist supplier of engineering services to the nuclear industry in the UK and abroad. Operating in over 40 countries worldwide, the company serves both the private and public sectors and adopts a practical approach to the management of assets and provision of high quality services, ensuring an appropriate use of technology and a sound understanding of each customer’s requirements. Building on the experience and expertise gained over more than 165 years of operating in the marine environment, James Fisher brings practical experience, innovation and commercial best practice to all clients’ projects and services.

For more information see www.james-fisher.com

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