TUP DIVING COMPARED TO SATURATION DIVING
Both diving techniques share the same approach of transferring the divers to and from the work spot using a dry diving bell. However, that is where all similarities end and a hard clear line should be drawn between the two diving techniques.
In TUP diving, the bell is connected to a Deck Decompression Chamber (DDC) for decompression to the surface, while in Saturation diving the divers are connected to the pressurized living chambers and brought back to the surface at the end of a shift of many days or weeks. So, in TUP diving, the divers are being decompressed after the daily job, whereas, in Saturation diving, the divers are only decompressed at the end of a work shift of weeks.
This is often advocated as an advantage of Saturation diving to have 1 decompression at the end of a work period, while TUP divers are being decompressed daily and thus being more often exposed to the risk of decompression illness (DCI). However, this is only a psychological advantage and depends on the decompression procedures used.
In Saturation diving the divers are being compressed and decompressed regularly throughout dive excursions. Upward excursions are particularly feared for the possible occurrence of inner ear decompression sickness. Furthermore, the confinement in pressurised living chambers for weeks, in many instances, carries a number of risks and disadvantages such as, disturbed biorhythm, infections and delayed treatment in case of trauma.
After we have acknowledged and accepted the clear and hard line, “Both techniques use a dry diving bell for getting the diver to and from the work spot and that’s where all similarities end” the approach when carrying out a risk assessment will be far cleaner, more to the point and will enable you to determine far better mitigation measures.
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