The Owners of ShipEco Marine Limited were at the forefront of the financing, development and design of the Shearwater Sapphire. She was the first in a series of Diving Support Vessels (DSVs) built at De Hoop Shipyard in Lobith, The Netherlands. The vessel was named and launched on 1st May 1982 and sold to Lyle Shipping for $26 million USD.
The DSV was built around a saturation diving system (as can be seen below) which is the core component part of the vessel enabling divers to live at depth. These state of the art multi-purpose offshore support and diving vessels were very successful and took divers into a new realm of safety. This vessel had a split level 18 man saturation diving system onboard, dive control room and gas room for breathing support. The Shearwater Sapphire is now called the Seamec II, operated by Seamec Limited under Indian Flag. She is an offshore support vessel and is still going some 34 years on from her delivery date in May 1982.
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A Diving Support Vessel (DSV) is effectively a special purpose ship designed around the requirement for commercial divers to work in great depths of water. These vessels have two moonpools, and dynamic positioning to stay on station whilst diving operations are taking place below on the seabed. The pictures below show the decompression chambers located within the saturation diving system and the inside of the chambers together with tight living quarters shown and can be seen better in the following videos.
The saturation diving system is a life support mechanism to enable divers to stay at the same pressure at which they are working at. This enables the the commercial deep-sea drivers to work and rest at the same atmospheric pressure. Teams of Divers can work around the clock offshore on a mobile facility which can flow the pipeline slowly and by using dynamic positioning on the ship. Once the divers have done their stint, they are replaced by other teams of divers and so the cycle continues until the job is done.