Chilean Navy Achieves International Certification for Deep-Water Scuba Diving

Chilean Navy Achieves International Certification for Deep-Water Scuba Diving

By Dialogo
April 15, 2015




The Chilean Navy has received international certification for its deep-water scuba diving program. A team of eight Navy divers that had trained for six months demonstrated their capacity to dive to a depth of 100 meters.

“We achieved two major milestones: depth of knowledge, training and equipment, as well as time. It is possible to reach the bottom in approximately 25 to 30 minutes, but it takes longer to come back up,” said Lieutenant Juan Pablo Tessada Lüscher, head of the Salvage Team of the Chilean Navy’s First Naval Zone.

"To achieve the certification, the Chilean divers – who are highly qualified physically, psychologically and professionally – conducted four dives to depths of 60 meters and ended the course with two dives to 100 meters,” explained Lt. Tessada, also one of the eight certified divers. The final stage was conducted between March 9 and March 14.

The Chilean Navy has approximately 100 rescue divers. The certified divers are members of the Valparaíso Salvage Team, made up of 15 members.

Chile is the first country to reach 100 meters of depth with a scuba diving team, “totally independent of the surface, we’re the first South American Navy to achieve this,” Lt. Tessada said. Previously, underwater searches were limited to 60 meters in depth, he added.

Training coincided with commemoration


The Chilean Navy’s achievement was carried out off the coast of Robinson Crusoe Island in the Juan Fernández Archipelago, under the framework of the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the German cruise ship SMS Dresden, which is located at a depth of 65 meters, Mar de Chile
reported on March 24.

The certification carried out by the International Association of Nitrox and Technical Divers (IANTD), a specialized agency, will allow the Chilean Navy to conduct body rescues, explorations, inspections, reconnaissance in the event of the loss of any material, and, if necessary, conduct the recovery efforts with a team that is specialized in underwater work.

With these capacities, “the rescue divers meet international standards, achieving the same skills as the Armed Forces of the States,” reported a March 17 press release from the Chilean Navy.

To achieve this goal, the divers, who are between the ages of 28 to 40, on average, were equipped closed circuit respiration (CCR) equipment, dry suits with thermal insulation for cold water and gas mixing stations.

The Navy explained that Peter Den Hann, the well-regarded U.S. diver and instructor, provided the training.

Den Hann has been a dive instructor in the United States and Europe for the past 15 years and has recorded more than 3,000 dives over the past 25 years, Defensa
reported.

Training occurred in three stages


Since November 2014, the training process began to enable the eight Chilean soldiers to “reach depths that were previously unattainable,” Lt. Tessada said.

The Chilean divers were trained in three stages: the first consisted of familiarizing themselves with the equipment at a depth of 30 meters, which was carried out during the first half of November 2014.

The second stage involved the use of different gas mixtures through the respirator, such as the trimix gas mixture, composed of oxygen, nitrogen and helium, which allowed them to dive as deep as 60 meters in January.

The Navy team then had to acquire an additional 25 hours of diving experience with the equipment in order to carry out the final stage, which happened in March. In the final stage, a gas mixture similar to that of the previous stage was used, but with hypoxic characteristics, with less than 16% oxygen, which allowed them to reach a maximum depth of 100 meters.

The configuration of a diving operation with these characteristics is complex, requiring a lot of support personnel on the surface. A team of 18 people is needed to conduct a dive, Lt. Tessada said.

“It was an extensive and arduous process. We trained seven days a week,” he said.

“This is the first step with respect to all of the goals that we have established and there is a lot of work ahead to be able to say that we have the capacity to respond to every type of scenario,” he added.

Goal is to have two deep-water diving teams


The salvage diving activities are led by the Naval Operations Command, with headquarters in Valparaíso; the most appropriate vessels that the Navy has to use as diving platforms are the Galvarino tugs or, as an alternative, the OPV and LST units, the website Defensa
reported.

The Navy will be prepared to handle all situations related to deep-water diving, Lt. Tessada said. The goal is to have two teams working simultaneously – one focused on search work, with the other prepared to do the heavy work at high depths.

“The work that the divers of the Chilean Navy do is very professional and must be maintained, given that the entire Chilean coast is rather deep,” said Oscar Ramírez, former Navy tactical diver and director of the Neptuno Professional Diving School in Chile.

“The Navy must continue training," Ramírez said. "The better-trained the members of the Navy are, the better they will do their jobs.”









The Chilean Navy has received international certification for its deep-water scuba diving program. A team of eight Navy divers that had trained for six months demonstrated their capacity to dive to a depth of 100 meters.

“We achieved two major milestones: depth of knowledge, training and equipment, as well as time. It is possible to reach the bottom in approximately 25 to 30 minutes, but it takes longer to come back up,” said Lieutenant Juan Pablo Tessada Lüscher, head of the Salvage Team of the Chilean Navy’s First Naval Zone.

"To achieve the certification, the Chilean divers – who are highly qualified physically, psychologically and professionally – conducted four dives to depths of 60 meters and ended the course with two dives to 100 meters,” explained Lt. Tessada, also one of the eight certified divers. The final stage was conducted between March 9 and March 14.

The Chilean Navy has approximately 100 rescue divers. The certified divers are members of the Valparaíso Salvage Team, made up of 15 members.

Chile is the first country to reach 100 meters of depth with a scuba diving team, “totally independent of the surface, we’re the first South American Navy to achieve this,” Lt. Tessada said. Previously, underwater searches were limited to 60 meters in depth, he added.

Training coincided with commemoration


The Chilean Navy’s achievement was carried out off the coast of Robinson Crusoe Island in the Juan Fernández Archipelago, under the framework of the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the German cruise ship SMS Dresden, which is located at a depth of 65 meters, Mar de Chile
reported on March 24.

The certification carried out by the International Association of Nitrox and Technical Divers (IANTD), a specialized agency, will allow the Chilean Navy to conduct body rescues, explorations, inspections, reconnaissance in the event of the loss of any material, and, if necessary, conduct the recovery efforts with a team that is specialized in underwater work.

With these capacities, “the rescue divers meet international standards, achieving the same skills as the Armed Forces of the States,” reported a March 17 press release from the Chilean Navy.

To achieve this goal, the divers, who are between the ages of 28 to 40, on average, were equipped closed circuit respiration (CCR) equipment, dry suits with thermal insulation for cold water and gas mixing stations.

The Navy explained that Peter Den Hann, the well-regarded U.S. diver and instructor, provided the training.

Den Hann has been a dive instructor in the United States and Europe for the past 15 years and has recorded more than 3,000 dives over the past 25 years, Defensa
reported.

Training occurred in three stages


Since November 2014, the training process began to enable the eight Chilean soldiers to “reach depths that were previously unattainable,” Lt. Tessada said.

The Chilean divers were trained in three stages: the first consisted of familiarizing themselves with the equipment at a depth of 30 meters, which was carried out during the first half of November 2014.

The second stage involved the use of different gas mixtures through the respirator, such as the trimix gas mixture, composed of oxygen, nitrogen and helium, which allowed them to dive as deep as 60 meters in January.

The Navy team then had to acquire an additional 25 hours of diving experience with the equipment in order to carry out the final stage, which happened in March. In the final stage, a gas mixture similar to that of the previous stage was used, but with hypoxic characteristics, with less than 16% oxygen, which allowed them to reach a maximum depth of 100 meters.

The configuration of a diving operation with these characteristics is complex, requiring a lot of support personnel on the surface. A team of 18 people is needed to conduct a dive, Lt. Tessada said.

“It was an extensive and arduous process. We trained seven days a week,” he said.

“This is the first step with respect to all of the goals that we have established and there is a lot of work ahead to be able to say that we have the capacity to respond to every type of scenario,” he added.

Goal is to have two deep-water diving teams


The salvage diving activities are led by the Naval Operations Command, with headquarters in Valparaíso; the most appropriate vessels that the Navy has to use as diving platforms are the Galvarino tugs or, as an alternative, the OPV and LST units, the website Defensa
reported.

The Navy will be prepared to handle all situations related to deep-water diving, Lt. Tessada said. The goal is to have two teams working simultaneously – one focused on search work, with the other prepared to do the heavy work at high depths.

“The work that the divers of the Chilean Navy do is very professional and must be maintained, given that the entire Chilean coast is rather deep,” said Oscar Ramírez, former Navy tactical diver and director of the Neptuno Professional Diving School in Chile.

“The Navy must continue training," Ramírez said. "The better-trained the members of the Navy are, the better they will do their jobs.”






GOOD MORNING, I AM HAPPY ABOUT THIS KIND OF ACTION AND TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE HAPPENING DURING THIS TIME OF TRUE REVOLUTION. KEEP IT UP TOWARD FULL FREEDOM, GOD BLESS THE WHOLE WORLD. that's the attitude
Share