http://members.webs.com/s/designer/#

Latest News Post New Entry

view:  full / summary

Try Dives Divers must have full medicals

Posted by Mark Allen on February 7, 2017 at 8:30 PM Comments comments (0)

After a visit from the HSE to the Diving Standards Team it has been deemed that a self declaration medical is no longer sufficient for service personnel to carry out a try dive as the service personnel are deemed to be at work. Thus they are subject to the Diving at Work Regulations 1997 (DWR97) and must have completed the military ‘Sports Diving Medical’ as laid down in BRd 1750A.

http://www.jssadc.org/category/safety/

 

Up Date to BSAC BLS Guidelines

Posted by Mark Allen on March 3, 2016 at 5:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Up Date to BSAC BLS Guidelines  

 

 Please find below an important update to BSAC's Basic Life Support Techniques (BLS) that you need to be aware of.

Every five years, experts in resuscitation from organisations around the world conduct a review of published literature. The 2015 review and a resulting consensus statement form the scientific basis of the European Resuscitation Council and the Resuscitation Council (UK).

Their guidelines are consistent with the recommendations of similar resuscitation organisations worldwide. Having considered the revised guidelines, BSAC has updated its own recommended techniques for Basic Life Support (BLS).

A detailed information sheet on the updated Basic Life Support Techniques is now available.

Below is a summary of the essential changes to BSAC’s recommended techniques for Basic Life Support. BSAC is now recommending the following in-water rescue sequence:

• Give one minute of rescue breaths (10 rescue breaths)

• If no spontaneous breathing returns, either:

(i) Tow the victim to shore as quickly as possible without further rescue breaths

Or

(ii) Continue on the spot with approximately 10 rescue breaths per minute, until support from rescue boat or helicopter arrives to take over the resuscitation. This decision will depend on the local situation, such as sea conditions, distance to shore, and availability of rescue boat or rescue helicopter.

• In either case, when reaching shore, or having access to the boat or helicopter, the casualty should be promptly de-kitted and landed as quickly as possible without further rescue breaths.

Once the casualty is landed, basic life support should be carried out in line with the

current guidance.

If you have any further questions regarding BSAC guidance on BLS please email BSAC’s Safety and Rescue Skills Advisor.

Many thanks and kind regards,

.

Sophie Heptonstall

BSAC National Diving Officer

 

 

 

Letter Reference Lifting of the prohibition on CCR diving

Posted by Mark Allen on January 15, 2015 at 1:15 PM Comments comments (0)

9 Jan 15

JSSADC/250

ACNS (Pers)

Copy to:

CNPers 

Capt PFCS&PD

CLOSED CIRCUIT REBREATHERS AND ADVENTUROUS TRAINING DIVING

References:

A. Use of Closed Circuit Rebreathers (CCR) For MoD AT Diving dated 22 May 14.

B. ACNS(Pers) OSWG held on 19 Sep 14.

Issue

1. In May 14 you endorsed the recommendations made in Reference A and prohibited the use of Closed Circuit Rebreathers (CCR) until four conditions had been achieved. Superintendent of Diving has now received the six month report from the QinetiQ trial of the replacement O2 sensor and is now content to recommend the lifting of that prohibition.

Recommendations

2. You should note that all four conditions have now been met. You are therefore requested to remove the prohibition on the use of CCRs for AT diving with the following stipulations:

a. Only the APD 16 oxygen sensors are suitable for use in AP Valves CCRs.

b. The trial will continue for another 18 months, should further issues be identified by QinetiQ then the prohibition will be reintroduced.

Timing

3. An immediate lifting of the prohibition on CCR diving will enable JSSADC to conduct refresher training in order to allow them to use CCRs on their annual staff training in Feb 15 which will in turn allow courses to be delivered during 2015.

Background

4. Rebreathers in various different forms have been used by JSSADC since 1996 and the current AP Valves Inspiration systems since 2007. More widely they have been increasing in popularity amongst both civilian and military divers due to the significant benefits they offer over more traditional SCUBA equipment. They have been used successfully on some very high profile diving expeditions and were fundamental to the Ex JURASSIC SHARK series which have achieved national recognition, including being twice awarded the BSAC expedition prize by the Duke of Edinburgh.

5. During the annual JSSADC staff training period in Feb 14, a number of faults were reported with AP Valves Inspiration CCRs which led to the following recommendations:

a. A replacement oxygen (O2) sensor should be tested and proved reliable.

b. A Safety Case should be provided for CCRs.

c. A clear training need should be identified for CCRs.

d. The testing of the replacement sensor should be expedited.

6. Testing Regime. The full tests of the oxygen sensors will require two years, it was agreed by all parties that an initial clearance can be given after six months. This will then provide a suitable buffer to allow remedial action to be taken if any issues are subsequently found during the tests.

7. Replacement Sensor. Since Reference A was produced, the equipment manufacturer, AP Valves Ltd, has produced a new model of sensor known as the APD 16. A number of these have been at QinetiQ since early July 14 and Enclosure 1 is a report at the five month point to indicate that they are performing well. QinetiQ inform us that, subject to continued good performance, they expect to recommend in early Jan 15 that the APD 16 sensor is suitable for use by AT divers.

8. Safety Case. This requirement was discussed with Mr Stewart Collier as part of a presentation by CESO(RN) on Safety Cases that he gave to the ACNS (Pers) Operational Safety Working Group (OSWG) during Reference B. He agreed that the extensive documentation & procedures that already exist could be considered to constitute a safety case and therefore he believed that this requirement is already met. The specific list includes:

a. European Standard (CE mark) covering the manufacture and testing of the CCRs.

b. Maintenance procedures carried out in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines by suitably trained people.

c. Use of consumables, such as sofnalime and breathing gases, that conform to existing military standards.

d. Training delivered according to the National Governing Body (NGB) standards.

e. Diving conducted under the restrictions of JSP 917 and the NBG Safe Diving practices.

f. Additional mitigating measures are put in place through JSSADC risk assessments and standing orders.

9. Training Need. Annex A explains the rationale behind the requirement for CCRs to be used as part of the Joint Service Adventurous Training (JSAT) scheme and thus taught at JSSADC.

10. Summary. Rebreathers have formed an important component of AT diving for nearly 20 years. They provide AT divers with a unique capability that has been fundamental to the success of several high profile expeditions. Training and diving with CCRs will also allow service AT divers to keep abreast of wider developments in the civilian world.

11. This issue with oxygen sensors has demonstrated that the reporting and rectification process for AT diving is as rigorous as for other service divers. QinetiQ are confident that the new APD 16 sensors do not share the faults of their predecessors. It is now time to remove the prohibition on CCRs to allow JSSADC to deliver their programme for 2015.

{Signed Electronically}

 

S WINKLE

Cdr RN

SO1 AT

 

Annex:

 

A. Rebreathers - The Requirement.

 

Enclosure:

 

1. QinetiQ Five Month Report on APD 16 Oxygen Sensors.

ANNEX A TO

JSSADC/250

DATED 9 JAN 15

REBREATHERS - THE REQUIREMENT

1. Rebreathers provide significant advantages to divers over the traditional open circuit (OC) SCUBA equipment with which most people are familiar. Although once the sole preserve of military divers, civilian development of these items now leads the way with significant levels of adoption amongst more experienced and technical divers.

2. A new generation of semi Closed Circuit Rebreathers (sCCR) have recently been introduced that are likely to bring the benefits to much more junior divers including those who have never dived before.

Operation

3. The majority of the gas inhaled by a human is exhaled unchanged with only a fraction of the inhaled oxygen converted to carbon dioxide. Unlike open circuit systems where all exhaled gas is vented to the surface, rebreathers take advantage of this by removing the carbon dioxide and replacing the consumed oxygen. As much less gas is used this means that they require much smaller cylinders and produce far less bubbles

4. This is taken a step further by electronically controlled CCRs which continually monitor the partial pressure of oxygen in the breathing loop. This is used to calculate the optimum nitrogen-oxygen (NITROX) or nitrogen-oxygen-helium (TRIMIX) mixture based on current depth which is then fed to the diver.

Benefits

5. All rebreathers offer benefits including:

a. Less Bubbles & Noise. Divers wearing SCUBA gear tend to be given a wide berth by much marine life, especially larger animals, due to the amount of noise and bubbles it produces. Rebreathers allow divers to get much closer and are particularly attractive to underwater photographers.

b. Reduced Gas Consumption. Rebreathers use much less gas than SCUBA gear which can allow extended dive times and/or reduce costs.

c. Smaller Gas Cylinders. The smaller cylinders used by rebreathers can make them less bulky and heavy than SCUBA equipment.

d. Warm Moist Gas. The breathing gas delivered to the diver is more pleasant than that received from OC systems. This reduces diver dehydration and is also of benefit when operating in colder climes, such as the UK.

6. Electronically controlled CCRs have the additional benefit of continuously calculating and delivering the best diving gas mixture for a diver at a given depth. This offers a significant reduction in the likelihood of a decompression injury over someone completing the same dive wearing SCUBA equipment. It also offers the opportunity for greater duration dives.

Use

7. The cost and complexity of rebreathers means that they are currently used by the more experienced divers who are looking for an additional challenge or wish to progress to more technical diving. Amongst AT divers they tend to be owned by the instructors and supervisors who deliver the vast majority of Distributed Training (DT) in service clubs and on expeditions. These individuals are absolutely critical for the continued success of AT diving. Preventing them from diving with the CCR equipment that is their pride and joy will inevitably drive them away from the JSAT scheme. The loss will be felt by the junior soldiers, sailors and airmen who would have otherwise been trained by them.

8. There are a small number of expeditions that have used the benefits of rebreathers to achieve specific aims. A good example is the joint service shark tagging team (Ex JURASSIC SHARK) which completed its fourth expedition in 2013. They used the low noise properties of CCRs to get close to sharks in order to fit them with systems to monitor their movements across the Eastern Pacific seaboard. CCRs also formed a significant part of their risk reduction procedures to cover the lack of recompression facilities within a suitable travel duration of their diving locations.

9. The Royal Navy website recently featured Lt Adam Bolton RNR using a CCR to visit the wreck of the HMS Repulse in the South China at a depth of 57 metres. It is a pity that this was done in a private capacity as it would make an excellent aim for a Royal Navy AT diving expedition, especially as the only two previous expeditions to the site were conducted by the Army.

Adoption

10. There are no reliable statistics for the number of rebreather AT divers although an estimate would place it at less than 5%. What is clear is that there is a very high level of demand for the courses run at JSSADC with each place usually having 2-3 applicants.

JSSADC

11. JSSADC is the lead centre for AT diving across the services and provides Subject Matter Expertise (SME) to HMS TEMERAIRE in their capacity as the tri-service lead for diving AT. It is also the only location at which Sub Aqua Diving Supervisors (SADS) can be qualified and has run rebreather courses for almost 20 years.

12. If CCR diving is to continue to be included in the JSAT scheme then the highest possible quality of training should be offered to those service people who wish to participate. The best way that this can be guaranteed is for the training to be delivered by the lead centre.

13. Ensuring that JSSADC has personnel qualified to dive and instruct CCRs has other benefits. A critical one is that the centre is in the position to offer knowledgeable advice to HMS TEMERAIRE and other single service AT authorities. Staff with CCRs can also ensure that student supervisors and instructors are exposed to them in a suitably controlled environment thus improving the course output.

Summary

14. Rebreathers, and particularly modern CCRs, offer significant safety and other benefits. They are largely used by the divers who are critical to the continued success of service AT diving. In addition they provide capabilities that allow service men to conduct expeditions that would otherwise not be possible except at greater levels of risk. In short, CCRs need to continue to be included within the umbrella of AT diving.

15. If CCRs continue to be used for AT then it would seem unusual that they were not taught and used by the lead centre. For this reason it seems sensible to continue to direct JSSADC to utilise them.

 

SOD UPDATE

Posted by Mark Allen on October 16, 2014 at 1:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Nitrox Membrane Compressor

Posted by Mark Allen on July 28, 2014 at 5:15 PM Comments comments (0)

 

Dear all from the RAF SAA

I’m sure you’ll be pleased to hear that RAFS-AA’s Equipt Team has now installed and commissioned the additional Nitrox Membrane Compressor at the English Bay Expedition Centre on Ascension Island. The Equipt Team is lead by WO ‘Dickie’ Dickens and is comprised of a group of willing volunteers who take on this role outside of normal work. Funding was secured through the RAF Central Fund; Army Welfare Grants also provided financial support. One of the factors which lead to selecting this compressor was the similarity in operation to the original compressor.

The key headline is that in addition to the existing measures, this new facility further reduces the risks presented by AT sub-aqua diving on the Island to ALARP by ensuring that diving gas up to at least EAN36 (but no greater than EAN40) will always be available to visiting expeditions.

 

diver recall

Posted by Mark Allen on February 11, 2014 at 12:10 PM Comments comments (0)

From : Mr DP Robinson

Officer in Charge

Joint Service Sub-Aqua Diving Centre

HMNB Devonport

Plymouth, Devon

PL2 2BG

Tel: 01752 553718

Fax: 01752 552862

All JS scuba divers

JSSADC/305

27 Jan 14

Following the JS Diving Safety Conference on 14 Jan 14, it is clear that clarification is required concerning the responsibilities of SADS for ensuring that they have adequately considered diver recall. In my capacity as the sub-aqua SME to Captain Naval Physical Development (CNPD), and in conjunction with Superintendent of Diving (SofD), I’ve put together the note below which I hope provides the necessary clarification.

Most experienced divers know that many commonly relied on diver recall systems, such as metal on metal or engine revving, have limited effectiveness, particularly when wearing a hood. This was recently highlighted at a meeting of the British Diving Safety Group (BDSG) following an assessment carried out on their behalf. Subsequently, it was briefed at the Joint Services Safety Conference.

Existing BSAC procedures and training states that a suitable diver recall system should be available during all open-water diving. Although explosive devices, such as thunderflashes, are undoubtedly extremely effective in alerting divers they carry additional risks, are unsuitable for transportation on civilian aircraft and are also illegal in many countries. Other options, such as SMBs and underwater audio systems, are either unsuitable for all types of diving, or expensive and bulky. The bottom line is that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach.

This issue was also raised at the JS Sub Aqua Diving Policy Advisory Committee on 15 Jan and I’ll be recommending that it is highlighted up the chain of command via inclusion on the Adventurous Training Operational Safety Working Group(AT OSWG) risk matrix. As part of the mitigation measures, a key recommendation will be to carry out a more scientific investigation than the BDSG assessment. This should provide a clear understanding of the effectiveness and suitability of different diver recall systems. This information can then be widely disseminated for use by SADS and others. Hopefully this work will also recommend a solution that can then be resourced via the various funding routes.

Clearly this will not happen overnight and therefore in the interim we will all need to operate using existing methods. SADS need to be aware that all methods have limitations and this needs to form part of the risk assessment that you already carry out before every dive. Like many of the decisions you make, you may need to balance dive profile, site conditions, hazards and other factors and be prepared to justify them in the event of an incident.

Just in case you feel that these are not the sorts of issues that impact on us here at JSSADC then please let me illustrate with an example. Along with staff from CJSATC and KTC, we’re shortly due to conduct our annual staff training period based in Aqaba, Jordan. Thunderflashes are not an

V1.1

option and many of the dives will be on walls or wrecks making SMBs a potential snag hazard. My

plan therefore will be to document the risk in the project plan and put in place a series of mitigation

measures. As examples, these will include the requirement to use SMBs whenever possible, or

deploy a DSMB once clear of the wreck/wall, or if separated. We will also conduct a test of the

alternative systems on the shakeout dive so that everyone has heard them and reinforce this by

briefing throughout the trip.

I know many of you will be concerned by the scrutiny that will be applied on this issue during your

periodic inspections by the Diving Standards Team (DST). They are both experienced and

pragmatic SADS who understand the challenges that the diver recall issue poses to branches and

expeditions. Their role is to ensure that you have also identified that the risk exists and put in place

appropriate mitigating measures. That to me seems eminently reasonable and something that I’d

hope we’d all support.

If this isn’t clear or you’d like to discuss particular situations then please do not hesitate to get in

If this isn’t clear or you’d like to discuss particular situations then please do not hesitate to get in

touch.

Safe diving,

{Signed Electronically}

V1.1

Letter concerning diver recall systems

Posted by Mark Allen on February 2, 2014 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (0)

 Diver Recall Clarification

I’ve just put out the letter below which I hope should address one of the concerns raised at the JS Diving Safety Conference:

Following the JS Diving Safety Conference on 14 Jan 14, it is clear that clarification is required concerning the responsibilities of SADS for ensuring that they have adequately considered diver recall. In my capacity as the sub-aqua SME to Captain Naval Physical Development (CNPD), and in conjunction with Superintendent of Diving (SofD), I’ve put together the note below which I hope provides the necessary clarification.

Most experienced divers know that many commonly relied on diver recall systems, such as metal on metal or engine revving, have limited effectiveness, particularly when wearing a hood. This was recently highlighted at a meeting of the British Diving Safety Group (BDSG) following an assessment carried out on their behalf. Subsequently, it was briefed at the Joint Services Safety Conference.

Existing BSAC procedures and training states that a suitable diver recall system should be available during all open-water diving. Although explosive devices, such as thunderflashes, are undoubtedly extremely effective in alerting divers they carry additional risks, are unsuitable for transportation on civilian aircraft and are also illegal in many countries. Other options, such as SMBs and underwater audio systems, are either unsuitable for all types of diving, or expensive and bulky. The bottom line is that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach.

This issue was also raised at the JS Sub Aqua Diving Policy Advisory Committee on 15 Jan and I’ll be recommending that it is highlighted up the chain of command via inclusion on the Adventurous Training Operational Safety Working Group(AT OSWG) risk matrix. As part of the mitigation measures, a key recommendation will be to carry out a more scientific investigation than the BDSG assessment. This should provide a clear understanding of the effectiveness and suitability of different diver recall systems. This information can then be widely disseminated for use by SADS and others. Hopefully this work will also recommend a solution that can then be resourced via the various funding routes.

Clearly this will not happen overnight and therefore in the interim we will all need to operate using existing methods. SADS need to be aware that all methods have limitations and this needs to form part of the risk assessment that you already carry out before every dive. Like many of the decisions you make, you may need to balance dive profile, site conditions, hazards and other factors and be prepared to justify them in the event of an incident.

Just in case you feel that these are not the sorts of issues that impact on us here at JSSADC then please let me illustrate with an example. Along with staff from CJSATC and KTC, we’re shortly due to conduct our annual staff training period based in Aqaba, Jordan. Thunderflashes are not an option and many of the dives will be on walls or wrecks making SMBs a potential snag hazard. My plan therefore will be to document the risk in the project plan and put in place a series of mitigation measures. As examples, these will include the requirement to use SMBs whenever possible, or deploy a DSMB once clear of the wreck/wall, or if separated. We will also conduct a test of the alternative systems on the shakeout dive so that everyone has heard them and reinforce this by briefing throughout the trip.

I know many of you will be concerned by the scrutiny that will be applied on this issue during your periodic inspections by the Diving Standards Team (DST). They are both experienced and pragmatic SADS who understand the challenges that the diver recall issue poses to branches and expeditions. Their role is to ensure that you have also identified that the risk exists and put in place appropriate mitigating measures. That to me seems eminently reasonable and something that I’d hope we’d all support.

If this isn’t clear or you’d like to discuss particular situations then please do not hesitate to get in touch.

OiC JSSADC

Dominic Robinson

Ascension Diving Restarts

Posted by Mark Allen on July 22, 2013 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (0)

A letter circulated today from CNPD & SOD has once again authorised Sub Aqua Diving In Ascension Island if Any Member wishes to have a copy of the Letter please Email Cdr Geoff Bowker

UPDATE ON BOVISAND

Posted by Mark Allen on July 15, 2013 at 5:55 PM Comments comments (0)

You may be aware that there has been an ongoing issue at the Joint Service Sub Aqua Diving Centre at Fort Bovisand (Plymouth) – namely erosion associated with the single access road. As a result there has been some progress on a move to an alternative location within the same region, and some potential sites within Plymouth Dockyard have been identified. The issue has just become even more pressing as the emergency services will no longer bring their vehicles (ambulance, fire appliance) beyond the gate. thus diving courses have had to cancelled.

 

At a meeting with Defence Estates et al on 2 Jul 13, a temporary location was identified at South Yard (Plymouth Dockyard) which appears suitable. This is good news but you will appreciate that there is much to do, both in preparing the building and moving equipment from Fort Bovisand without the use of vehicles beyond the gate. JSSADC Staff are in the process of cancelling courses for the 2 weeks following this week. They are reluctant to announce a ‘re-opening’ date until there is a better idea of the scale of the task but everything possible is being done to get the Centre up and running at this new location ASAP.

 

One advantage this brings is living and working on one site at Devonport rather than having to drive around Plymouth twice a day. However, to access Devonport, individuals need to undertake a short piece of trg on the DLP. Anyone planning to use Devonport for courses or expeds is recommended to log on to the DLP and find the course ‘Devonport Site Access and Induction’ DSAI, complete the course and print off the certificate. The certificate needs to be presented on entry to Devonport, otherwise you will have to sit through a 25min DVD.

 


Rss_feed