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Dolphin -The Tank!

bigbaddog

Banned
These pics should stir some memories. At least the water was warm.
 

andym

War Hero
Had trip round ot once when i was in Dolphin 2 doing my MA's training.Treated a few pts with problems from fast ascents
 

UncleAlbert

War Hero
The Tank
Done it three times in the sixties as we had to do it every year, I know there are a lot on here who have done it but for those who haven`t

Before doing the tank we first had to do the equivalent depth in a de-compression chamber and this was a weird experience. The most unpleasant part was during the pressurisation when the air got hot, but I think the main object of the exercise was to permanently bugger up our ears and at this it was very successful.

Then we were split into groups and issued with our gear, this was a full safety suit for one member only, and for the rest of us a life jacket and a nose clip.

First we went into the side of the tank at 30ft ducking out and rising up to the surface just by holding our breath… easy.

Then we went into the air lock at 60ft and this time we had to make sure we were breathing out all the way to the top. There are PTIs in there hovering looking for victims

100ft down in the base of the tank was a simulated submarine compartment containing an escape hatch with the standard canvas ring
After we climbed in the outer door was shut and sealed and the instructor dropped the canvas trunking down to about 3 ft above the floor and secured it with some rope.
Then came the orrible bit …suddenly water started swirling around our feet and although we knew that it should stop around waist level with air/water pressure equalised the canvas trunk under the water it was defiantly a moment that separated the men from the boys.
In the compartment we had a bibs system (emergency breathing mouthpieces) which we now used and with the water equalised at waist level the instructor ducked inside the canvas trunking and opened the hatch.
Air pressure is half the depth so at 100ft the air we were now breathing was at a pressure of about 50lbs /sq” . How free accent works is, you take a breath at a high pressure and as you ascend the air in your lungs expands, therefore as you rise to the surface you have to breath OUT all the way up.
As bodies began leaving we moved along and took the next mouthpiece then it was my turn, I ducked under the trunking rose up through the hatch.
I was immediately grabbed by a PTI who, when happy that I was breathing out, let me go and the life jacket took over.
Some panic on leaving the hatch and forget to breath out, the normal course then is a swift punch in the stomach and if that doesn’t work there is a diving bell nearby.
I rose up and could clearly see the wall markings giving the depth, all the time breathing out, then at 30ft I ran out of breath but before I knew it I was on the surface, climbing out I was told to get fell in.
The ordeal over we were then made to stand upright in a line for 10 minutes all the time a medical team walked up and down peering intently into our ears, noses and any other holes they could find.
Finally the tension was broken by a 2 ring MO asking if anyone had any discomfort.
Yes sir, came a reply in a heavy welsh accent.
“That ferkin nose clip really hurt”


.......
 
A

angrydoc

Guest
AndyM - suspect safety is more of a priority now! Pretty rare to have probs as those with issues are selected out before they do the main ascent. There are problems occasionally which are horrendous, but in general the team is pretty good at what they do.
 

andym

War Hero
This was back in the 70's.We got them after they did a stint in a chamber.More of a precaution than anything really.
 

jpl_75

Badgeman
I did the tank twice in the early sixties and can recall it was as Uncle Albert says.
I had thought the 100ft ascent was without a life jacket, but time dulls the old memory so I will bow to U.As.recollection of events.
I do remember that it left us with a great feeling of achievment.
JPL
 

electric_chef

Badgeman
like the rest of you I have failing memory, but as I recall there was two 100ft ascents one as UA states and a second in the escape suit, where one at a time you enter into the escape chamber shut the lower hatch, plug yourself into the bibs system, flood the chamber yourself and when equalised open top hatch and away 100ft in about six seconds,but it was 40 years ago now! and the tank is now sublet to free divers, the MOD are short of funds these days!
 

bigbungy

Badgeman
electric_chef said:
like the rest of you I have failing memory, but as I recall there was two 100ft ascents one as UA states and a second in the escape suit, where one at a time you enter into the escape chamber shut the lower hatch, plug yourself into the bibs system, flood the chamber yourself and when equalised open top hatch and away 100ft in about six seconds,but it was 40 years ago now! and the tank is now sublet to free divers, the MOD are short of funds these days!

Thats just about how i remember it! did the tank about 3 times. The most vivid memory is however, speaking like daffy duck what with the pressure affecting your vocal chords etc. People get the same effect now with hydrogen balloons at parties! Couldn't escape for laughing.
keep your bubble in the middle,
bungy
 

Jack77

War Hero
Managed to do the Dolphin SETT 3 times. Scary at first but good fun. Who remembers being asked 'Did anyone have more than one pint of beer last night?' and the earnest reply from the troops 'Not me Chief!' I was annoyed when the RAN built their own tank and the requal jollies to the UK were stopped. Rockingham in WA is not quite the same run ashore as Pompey or Gosport. :sad:

Its a bit disconcerting that the SETT has been reduced to a civilians plaything.
 
electric_chef said:
like the rest of you I have failing memory, but as I recall there was two 100ft ascents one as UA states and a second in the escape suit, where one at a time you enter into the escape chamber shut the lower hatch, plug yourself into the bibs system, flood the chamber yourself and when equalised open top hatch and away 100ft in about six seconds,but it was 40 years ago now! and the tank is now sublet to free divers, the MOD are short of funds these days!

The only thing I would add was that doing the suit and tower escape as you came out the tower one of the swim bouys clipped you onto a jackstay that ran up the centerof the tower, and you went up so fast thatyou came well out the water at the surface.

I visited the tower a few years ago because we were considering using it for some trials (they decided not to go ahead with thatprogramme in the end) and all seemed very much as it had been in the 60s and 70s.
 

electric_chef

Badgeman
Maxi_77 said:
electric_chef said:
like the rest of you I have failing memory, but as I recall there was two 100ft ascents one as UA states and a second in the escape suit, where one at a time you enter into the escape chamber shut the lower hatch, plug yourself into the bibs system, flood the chamber yourself and when equalised open top hatch and away 100ft in about six seconds,but it was 40 years ago now! and the tank is now sublet to free divers, the MOD are short of funds these days!

The only thing I would add was that doing the suit and tower escape as you came out the tower one of the swim bouys clipped you onto a jackstay that ran up the centerof the tower, and you went up so fast thatyou came well out the water at the surface.

I visited the tower a few years ago because we were considering using it for some trials (they decided not to go ahead with thatprogramme in the end) and all seemed very much as it had been in the 60s and 70s.

reading through all the accounts of the tank, we've all forgotten, "purse your lips and whistle all the way to the surface"
 
I think that as long as they behaved themselves bunting tossers were allowed to go below when the bota dived
 

jonny_quest

Midshipman
I did the SETT tank last week,it was really good!
Blue peter were there which was interesting to say the least!
Its on in april apparently!

JQ
 
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