Volume 2, Number 14, Page 2


April 2000


Fundamental to any underseas program is the platform used to carry the investigator beneath the sea. The fixed habitat offers long-term, continuous, in-situ observation and experimentation. Simmilar to a lockout submersible, it can deploy the best manipulation system to date: the human being. The saturation diving habitat, HYDROLAB, constructed in 1966 by Perry served as a shallow water underwater laboratory for science missions for fifteen years, beginning in 1970. The HYDROLAB was a cylindrical chamber 16 feet long by 8 feet in diameter, equipped with spartan accommodations, yet unmatched in its day in scientific support efficiency. Funded by the Perry Foundation and NOAA, the HYDROLAB was the basis of MUS&T’s coral reef research program. In 1978, with the reorganization of the Diving Program, the habitat operations began being conducted through the NOAA Undersea Research Program. From 1977-85, HYDROLAB, situated in Salt River Canyon, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, hosted over 120 scientific groups, 352 aquanauts totaling 11,251 excursion man-hours of safe diving to depths of 150 feet during 55,056 total saturation hours. The 85 scientific missions produced a 90% publication per mission productivity level. The habitat was decommissioned in 1985 and placed on display at the Smithsonian Institution’s National History Museum in Washington, D.C. The HYDROLAB legacy was maintained with the arrival of the undersea habitat AQUARIUS in 1987. End of Article


Two months ago an inventory checklist of items required for a complete NOAA/SEP Oxygen/First Aid Medic Kit was distributed. All vessels and units were to compare the equipment found in their issued kits with the required list and return the results to LT. Hoshlyk at NDC. Thus far only nine units have responded. NDC will order and distribute items requested once quantities are known. As the majority of units have not responded, this delays the ordering process. UDSs/Divemasters – if you have not completed this evaluation do so without any further delay. NDC fax is 206/526-6506. The inventory checklist is included in this month’s mailing and is available on the UDS website. If there are questions, contact NDC. End of Article


Annual Safety Inspection checklists have been distributed to Line Office Diving Officers, who, in turn have distributed these checklists to their Units. Units/Vessels who have not responded and are overdue have a Safety Inspection included with this months mailing. Units and vessels are to complete this inspection and forward the results to NDC. Reports were due 30 days after the end of the calendar year or January 31, 2000. End of Article


Part of the recent Y2K Diver/SEP database problems have affected the output on the roster, such that the REG MAINT column may not indicate regulators issued and the respective due date. NDC is working to correct this problem and maintain the repair rotation. If you require immediate replacement contact Andrea at Also Divers in possession of more than one Scubapro 1st and 2nd stage regulator assembly must return those additional regulators currently being retained. In order for the SEP to perform efficiently regulator exchanges must proceed without delay. When replacement units are received, divers are to immediately turn around units due for annual service. Failure to return regulators promptly will result in additional SEP assessment. End of Article

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