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RE: [PSUBS-MAILIST] Emailing: msg00024

Received Rick thank you...very interesting and pretty gutsy stuff. I am assuming that this welding at that depth is with some type of hot water suit and several days decompensation?

Years ago, about the same time frame, there was a WWII military ship in the straights of Alaska in about 800' where some divers cut through the outer hull, then a fuel oil tank to get to a shipment of gold bullion. Since you guys number in the dozens, I am sure you know who that was, if you weren't one of them yourself. Again, pretty gutsy stuff.

It would seem the Russians simply ran out of money. There is a lesson to be learned there somewhere but, not by the boys in DC eh?



From: "Land N Sea Welding" <landnsea1@verizon.net>
Reply-To: personal_submersibles@psubs.org
To: "psubs.org" <personal_submersibles@psubs.org>
Subject: [PSUBS-MAILIST] Emailing: msg00024
Date: Sat, 01 Apr 2006 07:59:45 -1000

Hi fellow psubers,  I had gotten some requests to re post a post that I had sent a while ago that a lot of people said that they had not seen and would like to see it so I finally found it in the archives and rather than re type it, I will try and send it out right from the archives so hope it works as I don't know much about how to work computers, my specialty is hyperbaric pipe welding and telling bad jokes.
If this comes threw, maybe someone could acknowledge it so I know.
Rick Patton

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Hello fellow Psubbers
Just thought I'd fill you in on some interesting information about Russia's underwater capabilities or lack of.
Most of my career has been saturation diving specializing in Hyperbaric welding on petroleum pipelines around the world, (welding pipe in a dry room on the bottom of the ocean)  I can't remember the specific year but around the mid 80,s myself and three other Yanks were hired to go over to Turku Finland and work with the Russians.  They were having a state of the art  diving vessel built that specialized in commercial diving work and capable of performing Hyperbaric welding mainly in the Caspian sea.  Our job was to show them our technique in Hyperbaric welding and go threw all the systems and make sure that they all functioned properly before they made their final payment to the shipyard that built it.
We went out into the Baltic sea, put the Habitat down in 500 feet of water and did a full weld joining two 40 foot sections of 24" pipe together to make sure everything in the Habitat worked properly (that is another story in itself!).  The name of the diving vessel was "SKATT" and was around 400 feet in length.  I was told that the Russians had spent about 80 million U.S. on it which I believe as everything on it was top notch and they had cut no corners at all.  It was much nicer than any other system I had ever been on and I had been on a lot of them in the past.  The vessel also had a small sub that had two separate compartments that could take two divers down in the pilots sphere and then they could crawl threw to the other sphere, close their hatch, and pressurize  their compartment to equal the existing depth, lock out to do a job and then return where the sub would surface,  be retrieved by a stern "A" frame and then set on deck on a set of what looked like railroad tracks where it would then hydraulically travel along the deck going threw a large set of double doors to the inside of a large heated room where it would then mate up with the sat system which was one floor below, where the divers could then crawl threw and decompress in comfort.
This sat system even had two hyperbaric life boats which was something I had never seen before!  We also pressurized to 1000 feet to test out a new helmet that they had developed which looked like a gold fish bowl and had what looked like a windshield wiper on the inside to wipe away any condensation that may occur.  Everything checked out, they paid the final payment and it headed to the Caspian sea and docked in Baku ready to go to work.  Almost right after that, the Berlin wall came down and from what I understand, the SKATT was being used as a floating hotel and has never worked as what it was intended for!  It is frustrating with these two sub incidents to hear that they have no deep water capabilities when if fact I know they do or atleast did!  I would love to find out what ever happened to such a fine diving support vessel.
Sorry for the long email but thought some of you might find it interesting.
Rick Patton

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