Australian Navy to use JFD’s hyperbaric equipment to treat submariners

6 July 2018 (Last Updated July 6th, 2018 12:47)

The Australian Government has granted a licence for the operation of the Royal Australian Navy's (RAN) new $A19.7m (£11.05m) hyperbaric equipment, which includes a transfer under pressure (TUP) chamber and a re-compression treatment suite.

Australian Navy to use JFD’s hyperbaric equipment to treat submariners
JFD’s hyperbaric equipment. Credit: James Fisher and Sons plc.

The Australian Government has granted a licence for the operation of the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) new $A19.7m (£11.05m) hyperbaric equipment, which includes a transfer under pressure (TUP) chamber and a re-compression treatment suite.

The equipment has been supplied by JFD and is expected to allow the RAN to treat the entire crew of a submarine simultaneously.

JFD Australia general manager Toff Idrus said: “Achieving acceptance and global certification from Lloyds Register (LR) is a very rigorous and demanding procedure.

"Up to 88 people can now receive life-saving medical treatment in the hyperbaric equipment suite and pressurised transfer chamber at any one time."

“And what it means for submariners is extremely significant, as up to 88 people can now receive life-saving medical treatment in the hyperbaric equipment suite and pressurised transfer chamber at any one time.”

RAN’s new hyperbaric system was delivered as part of an existing Escape and Rescue contract with JFD’s advanced manufacturing headquarters at Bibra Lake in southern Perth, Australia.

The JFD equipment suite is capable of withstanding and operating effectively in rough, continuous seas with swells of 5m.

The system helps rescue the crew members from a disabled submarine and transfers them safely into a JFD-supplied, free-swimming piloted rescue vehicle, which carries the submariners to the surface and onto the deck of a rescue ship.

Personnel are then moved from the rescue ship and through the TUP chamber into the hyperbaric equipment suite, where doctors are deployed to monitor the submariners and help them overcome any life-threatening effects that could result from being rescued from pressurised waters.

Idrus added: “Emergencies of this type rely on highly skilled personnel and world-class equipment to bring people who have been under pressure at depth to the safety of the surface, and it is critical for Australia’s defence capability and national security that we are able to do this.”

Nearly 100 JFD personnel worked together to build the hyperbaric equipment over a period of two years.

The new systems are slated to undergo additional naval testing and evaluation in August.