JFD completes delivery of two next generation Self-Propelled Hyperbaric Lifeboats to Flash Tekk Engineering

9 August 2018

JFD, the world-leading underwater capability provider serving the commercial and defence markets and part of James Fisher and Sons plc, has successfully delivered the latest pair of next generation self-propelled hyperbaric lifeboats (SPHLs) to Singaporean diving engineering firm Flash Tekk.

The SPHLs are being delivered to Flash Tekk’s parent company Ultra Deep Solutions, the leading builder and operator of ultra-deep diving heavy construction vessels, as part of an ongoing drive to realise significant improvements in safety standards in the offshore industry. In the event of a major vessel emergency, the new next generation SPHLs have the capability to evacuate the entire complement of divers under pressure, safeguarding their lives and ensuring that the required decompression process can be carried out fully and without additional risk. The divers are transferred to a pressurised chamber inside one of the vessel’s SPHLs (located both port and starboard). They are then deployed with a coxswain and life support crew to deliver the divers to a safe environment where decompression can be carried out.

Shel Hutton, CEO, Ultra Deep Solutions, commented: “Operators aboard our vessels conduct often complex and challenging work in a variety of environments and conditions. Ensuring their safety is of paramount importance, and this includes making sure there is a highly capable hyperbaric lifeboat provision in place to safeguard their lives at all times. We proactively sought to make certain our vessels had the best possible escape and rescue capabilities that live up to the highest standards in safety.”

The new lifeboats, which successfully completed testing in April, will be installed on the Andy Warhol, Ultra Deep Solutions’ new diving support and construction vessel (DSCV). The SPHLs are engineered to 18-man configurations and up to 300m, allowing divers to safely evacuate the saturation diving system, in the event of an emergency or vessel abandonment.

Chris Blake, JFD’s business execution director, said: “At the outset of our partnership with FlashTekk, the challenge was set to develop the safest, most advanced and most ergonomic SPHLs on the market that provide the highest levels of assurance of diver safety. The successful delivery of these new lifeboats represents another milestone in realising that ambition, and allows us to further offer our global client base solutions that meet the most demanding of saturation diving system requirements.”

The delivery of the systems marks the completion of the second order under the partnership between JFD and Singapore-based lifeboat manufacturers Vanguarde, with a further three planned projects underway. This partnership commits JFD and Vanguarde to developing a range of next generation SPHLs and integrated davit systems that drive significant improvements in safety standards within the industry.

Blake continued: “Through our partnership with Vanguarde, we have created a market-leading force within the offshore industry that is bringing the next generation of advanced SPHL capability to the diving market.”