History of Diving, Part 9

In part 9 we take us from 1966 – 1984.

(A good source in creating this chronology has been SPUMS Journal Volume 29 No.2 June 1999. Spums Archive

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1966 The Society for Underwater Technology, SUT

The Society for Underwater Technology (SUT) is an interdisciplinary organization that unites organizations and individuals with a common interest in underwater technology, marine science, and offshore engineering.

SUT was founded in 1966 and has members from more than 40 countries, including engineers, researchers, other professionals and students working in these areas 128 .

1966 Ron and Valery Taylor

Valerie and Ron Taylor were among the first to explore and film the Great Barrier Reef. In 1967, the couple collaborated with a Belgian scientific expedition and spent six months filming underwater environments.

In 1974, Hollywood contacted them and Taylor filmed live shark sequences for Steven Spielberg’s iconic thriller “The Shark” – a decision they regretted.

Terrified, they saw how the movie “The Shark” reinforced the public’s negative attitude towards sharks, it changed the couple’s lives forever and they invested in increasing knowledge about sharks to protect them. “Universal Studios took Ron and me to the United States and we starred in every talk show in America and told people it was a fictional story, that sharks don’t behave like that and so on,” Taylor said. in a talk for wildlife. “

During their careers as sharks defenders, they have managed to protect marine life and underwater environments. Taylor was instrumental in protecting sea lions in New South Wales in 1971. In 2012, the Neptune Islands Group Marine Park was named after Taylor because of their work to protect the oceans.

But despite their life’s work, sharks are still in danger from human activities that threaten a creature that has been in the oceans for more than 400 million years. “Sharks are part of life’s network,” says Valerie Taylor. “I have seen the sharks return for 12 years and revive a dead reef.”

In 2019, Valerie Taylor turned 83 and was still active both in diving and giving lectures. 129 .

Editorial note. Today, sharks are even more endangered due to Covid19. Several of the vaccine candidates who are developing against Covid19 use the substance squalene. Squalene is basically a natural substance that occurs in a number of plants and animals. In sharks’ livers, the squalene is particularly large. The squalene strengthens the immune system. Deep-sea sharks naturally have most of the squalene. Estimates suggest that the slaughter of up to half a million sharks would be required to protect the world’s population from the viral disease.

1967 Claes Lundgren

Claes Lundgren, born in 1931, was early fascinated by diving and staying underwater. He grew up in Halmstad and studied medicine in Lund. His career as a hyperbaric physiologist and diving physician began at the Department of Physiology at Lund University, where Lundgren studied mechanisms around decompression sickness. A burning interest in technology led to several ideas and patents regarding the improvement of breathing equipment for diving and close collaboration with AGA (now Linde Gas AB), which manufactured breathing apparatus for diving. A study trip to the USA, after the dissertation in Lund in 1967, led to contact with fluid respiration, and a series of experiments were performed on mice after returning to Lund. An offer to conduct research as a professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo, SUNYAB, ten years later led to Lundgren moving to the United States in 1977. Shortly before, Lundgren and colleagues in Sweden had tested nicotine in chewing gum as an aid in smoking cessation. This led to the well-known product Nicorett.

In the United States, work continued on diving medical research at SUNYAB, mainly supported by the US Navy. Several Nordic researchers were invited by Lundgren to SUNYAB as guest researchers. Among the research projects were studies of the physiology of respiratory diving and attempts to find an oxygen-transporting blood substitute based on the type of chemicals that Lundgren used during his studies of fluid respiration in Lund. When the Center for Research and Education in Special Environments, CRESE, was created at SUNYAB in 1985, Claes Lundgren took over as head. In connection with this, Lundgren’s responsibility and research area were expanded from diving to also include other areas of extreme physiology such as spacewalks, high G-forces, and thermophysiology.

Claes Lundgren remained as manager until his retirement in 2007 and has since been active as emeritus 130, 131. .

1970 SI Tech, Stig Insulán

Stig Insulán became interested in diving at an early age. As early as 1958, he began diving with a so-called “Follin equipment” but considered that it had its shortcomings and began to modify it. He worked in 1959 as a workshop mechanic and diving instructor at Aqua-Sport, later Poseidon, but was, according to his own statement, fired when they discovered that he was developing his own diving regulator. He started his own company, AB Dykmateriel, where they developed the regulator Air Matic Aquastar, but also suits, diving lights, cranes and their own weight systems. The company grew a little too fast and went bankrupt.

In 1970, Stig started the company SI produkter and developed a collaboration with the Norwegian diving suite manufacturer Viking. Subsequently, the company was transformed into SI-Tech and the first automatic valve for dry suits was designed, which at first was only available on Viking suits 132 .

1970-talet, Hookah-diving

Hookah diving, also known as snub diving, is a further development of surface air supply that was first introduced by the Dean brothers in the 1820s. The Hookha system consists of a smaller, petrol-powered compressor or a battery-powered air pump/compressor placed on a mobile and floating unit, which supplies the diver with air via an air hose (Hookha is the Sanskrit word for coconut, but was converted in Indian to the word for the smoking equipment ware pipe) . Modern Hookah systems are often equipped with the same safety system as for scuba diving as well as light and sound alarms that alert the diver when the power source is approaching a critical level. Often a Hookha system can be used by several divers at the same time. The depth limit for Hookah systems is usually set at 12 meters or less, but there are systems that can supply two divers with air down to 25 meters and one diver down to a depth of 40 meters. 133

1971 Jim

Jim became the successor to Joseph Perres Tritonia from 1931 and was manufactured by DHB Construction Ltd.

Jim also became the most famous “Atmospheric Diving System”, ADS. The name, Jim, which was a tribute to Tritonia’s most diver, Jim Jarret, became a double issue. It gave the ADS a personality and it could seem a little demoralizing to the operator. After all, most people want to have “a pat on the back” and hear that, “you did that well”, but in the case of Jim, it was usually Jim who got the credit and the diver who actually both performed the task and had the courage to test the limits, came into the shadows. The second problem was that even the designers got into trouble sometimes when they talked about “Jim” because there were several different versions. Below is a description of the main differences listed.

Type 1 (Jim). The original “Jim” prototype with cast magnesium/aluminum body.

Type 2 (Jim). A modified type of “Jim” but built in the same material.

Type 3 (Sam). A smaller, more compact version of “Jim” with an aluminum body and modified joints.

Type 4 (Sam). Redesign of “Sam” and with a fiberglass body.

In addition, the Wasp was manufactured, a device that had a tubular part under the body section rather than articulated legs and was powered by water jet engines (in the other models, it was the operator’s leg movements that moved the ADS). Jim was built with the needs of the oil industry in mind, but they were not particularly interested. It was not until the American company Oceaneering bought DHB Construction and all the rights to Jim that it began to gain momentum, but only after a number of “test jobs” were done with Jim, including the Arctic, in 1976, where the water temperature was -1.6 degrees and the temperature inside Jim was +10. The following year, Jim got 35 jobs and was successful in the offshore industry for several years. In 1979, Jim set a depth record of 381 meters with oceanographer Sylvia Earle as the operator. In 1981, a total of 19 Jim had been built.

Competition from Wasp was intensified and since 1989 Jim has not been used in commercial work.

Jim also had a couple of film roles. The first in the 1981 James Bond movie “For Your Eyes Only” (Jim plays the villain). In addition, Jim had a relatively large role in the sci/fi horror film Deepstar six 1989 134 .

1977 Hans Örnhagen

Hans Örnhagen

Hans Örnhagen began his career in diving medicine at Lund University, wherein 1967 he and his supervisor Claes Lundgren began conducting fluid respiration experiments and studies of the heart’s pacemaker function at very high pressures. Research in Lund and partly in the USA (1975-76) led to a dissertation and associate professorship in 1977. Work at LU continued until 1981. After that, he worked with diving medicine research for the Swedish Navy as a laboratory/research manager at FOA / FOI with placement at MDC, Berga, and Karolinska Institutet, until retirement in 2004. Other assignments have been a part-time professor at the University of Gothenburg, and a consultant to the oil diving industry in Norway for a few years in the 80s.

During the period 1973 to 1997, Örnhagen was a member of the European Underwater Baromedical Society, the board of EUBS and he was its president 88-91. Between 1989 and 2004, Örnhagen was the Swedish medical representative on the European Underwater Technology Committee, EDTC. The conference “Humans in Submarines” in 2004 in connection with the Swedish submarine weapon’s 100th anniversary was Örnhagen’s last activity as an FOI employee.

Since retiring in 2004, we meet Örnhagen as a lecturer in diving medicine, consultant for companies in the diving industry and telephone consultant in diving medicine, but also as active in the Swedish Scuba Diving Association 1981 – 2019 and in the Swedish diving history association SDHF. Örnhagen was involved in saving Dyktankhuset from demolition in 1979 and was the association’s chairman from 1979 to 2008 and was appointed an honorary member in 2014 135 .

1979 Svensk DykeriHistorisk Förening, SDHF

Swedish Diving History Association, SDHF, is the world’s oldest diving history association. It was formed in 1979 with the aim of saving the old dive tank house at Galärvarvet in Stockholm. Hans Örnhagen was elected chairman and Bo Cassel secretary. They succeeded in their task and today Dyktankhuset is a museum run by SDHF that houses the association’s collections of all kinds of diving equipment 136 .

1983 Interspiro

The company AGA started in 1904 with the manufacture of lighthouse equipment. The company expanded its operations early on from navigation aids and gas to a number of related products, including regulators to save gas in AGA’s lighthouses.

In the late 1940s, AGA developed a breathing valve with inhalation and exhalation in the same diaphragm. The valve is exposed to the same pressure, which reduces breathing effort by reducing the pressure difference.

In 1954, the NK department store in Stockholm decided to launch a range for scuba diving. For the regulator, they turn to AGA. The regulator was designed and given the name Divator, better known as the “tea-strainer” both inside and outside the company.

In 1961, the company, with experience from the Aviatic respirator for the aviation industry, developed a full face mask with safety pressure. This is now standard on most full-face masks.

In 1963, a fog-free full-face mask is introduced. The effect is achieved by blowing dry air against the inside of the glass. 1965 The 300-bar bottle system is introduced, which means that the bottles can be made smaller.

In 1969 came the ACSS (Alternative Closed Semi-Closed Breathing System, ie fully or semi-closed early type of rebreather) which provides a mechanically controlled diving apparatus for gas mixing. Four years later, radio communications are incorporated into certain systems. In the same year, the reserve air system is developed.

In 1974, Interspiro developed an octopus system In 1983, AGA tightened its corporate portfolio and Interspiro left the AGA Group.

In 1987, a fresh air hatch was introduced on the full face masks, to be used in surface mode

In 1996, a computerized self-test system for the air system is introduced.

2003 introduces a new type of hose for diving with air supply from the surface. The hose is of the high-pressure type and functions both as an air supply and a safety line. The company has previously designed composite bottles for smoke diving, in 2004 an integrated weight system was developed for them so that they can also be used for water diving 137 .

1984 Phil Nuytten

Phil Nuytteen is a Canadian entrepreneur, deep-sea explorer, researcher, inventor of Newtsuit, and founder of Nuytco Research Ltd. While still in his teens, he began designing diving equipment and opened the first dive shop in the province of Western Canada. He has worked as a commercial diver and during the 1960s and 1970s, Nuytteen was involved in the development of decompression tables for mixed gas. He was part of the team that carried out the first 183-meter “bounce dives” within Project Nesco. In the 1970s, he founded Oceaneering International, Inc. This company became one of the world’s largest underwater companies. He has been a pioneer in design related to diving equipment and has worked with NASA for more than 25 years on applications related to underwater and space technology. Today, his equipment is used by a wide range of organizations, including the National Geographic Society and NASA, and is standard for nearly a dozen fleets. In 1984, he developed Newtsuit, which is an atmospheric diving suit. The suit is used for work on drilling rigs, pipelines, rescue work, and photographic investigations. It is standard equipment in many of the world’s fleets. Newtsuit is an aluminum suit and has fully articulated, rotating joints in the arms and legs, which gives the operator great mobility. When the suit was built, it was the first of its kind in this regard. The operator can check objects and handle tools with special pliers at the ends of the sleeves. Although the suit is certified to 300 meters, it has been tested to 900 meters. The suit works freely and can be fitted with a drive motor package that can be mounted on the suit. Newtsuit is navigated with foot controls. The left foot provides vertical control, while the right foot provides lateral control. Other equipment includes twin camcorders, an ecological color image, and an AMS monitoring system that transmits information to the surface, such as CO2, HPO, O2%, depth, temperature, and cabin pressure. Communication is achieved through digital voice/data transmission via water and umbilical cord. Specifications Length: 162 – 193 cm Weight: 275 to 378 kg Weight in water: -2 to -4 kg Hull: A356 cast aluminum Propulsion: two water jet engine packages Operating depth: 305 m (tested to 900 m. Power: two electric 2.25 hp (at 400 Hz) electric motors, electricity supplied via cable from the surface vessel, 5 hours emergency power from battery Survival support: closed rebreather system, (up to 48 hours) with fan-driven CO2 scrubber and a back-up rebreather. Emergency equipment is as follows: Wire and The latest generation of Newtsuit is a shell-built suit called Exosuit, also designed by Phil Nuytten 138 .


128. SUT. Visited 20200503.

129. Ron och Valery Taylor. Visited 20200502.

130. Via Hans Örnhagen

131. Claes Lundgren. Visited 20200502.

132. Stig Insulán. Visited 2020 05 02.

133. Hookahdiving. Visted 20200701.

134. Jim. Visited 20200501.

135. Via Hans Örnhagen

136. Svensk DykeriHistorisk Förening, SDHF. Visited 20200501.

137. Interspiro. Visited 20200501.

138.Phil Nuytten Visited 20200426.