Scotland’s National Hyperbaric Centre has been given a multi-million pound redevelopment.
The Aberdeen based centre provides subsea pressure testing expertise to the offshore industry as well as housing a rescue centre for people who have suffered decompression sickness.
The extension, first announced in November 2016, now accommodates the next generation of larger hyperbaric lifeboats.
Self-propelled hyperbaric lifeboats are pressurised and can be used in emergencies when a diver is in a hyperbaric condition.
The North Sea has seen an increase in the number of large diving support vessels being used in recent years, leading to necessary expansion of facilities.
The Hyperbaric Reception Facility (HRF) is able to house and monitor casualties during recovery, and benefits from being connected to a Diving Medical Advisory Committee compliant medical chamber.
Supported by leading hyperbaric specialists, this allows owner JFD to offer the most comprehensive support package in the world.
Giovanni Corbetta, JFD managing director said: “JFD has successfully improved the standard of hyperbaric rescue through its National Hyperbaric Centre for nearly 30 years. Having one of the most capable facilities in the UK means we can transfer these skills and expertise to help support hyperbaric reception globally.
“We are committed to enhancing the standard of subsea safety and believe a similar level of hyperbaric rescue capability to what we provide in the UK should be available for divers globally.”
JFD, which was created in 2014 through the merger of James Fisher Defence and Divex, has an office in Westhill.
The National Hyperbaric Centre, bought from David Smith in 2015 in a deal worth up to £4.5million, has worked in close collaboration with North Sea diving contractors for 28 years.
Laura Stewart, JFD head of sales commercial programmes and services, said: “Being the subsea centre of excellence for 30 years and as the market has progressed to the bigger boats we’ve had to meet the challenge of industry also.
“We’re the only fixed system in the UK and that’s important. Being on a hospital complex we have acute and critical care on our doorstep. That’s the difference between us and anyone else worldwide.”