VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Navy Diving is celebrating the Year of the Military Diver in 2015, with 100 years since the Mark V diving helmet was first developed, later becoming the cornerstone piece of equipment for the community for more than 65 years.
Though current divers no longer wear the iconic helmet, many other facets of diving have remained the same.
With the recent acquisition of the Diver 6 telemetry system, Navy diving is poised to plunge into its next century, beginning with a practice dive at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, June 17.
"We are testing the first generation of diver telemetry," said Chief Warrant Officer Coy Everage, assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Group 2 Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) 2. "It tells us a diver's location, diver's depth, diver's air pressure, breathing rate and how long they have left to breathe based on the depth."
The Diver 6 is one of a few new systems that has been approved for use by the Navy and is now in the next phase of implementation and evaluation for use by diving commands.
The Diver 6 system will allow dive supervisors to keep better track of divers once they are submerged, thus allowing the supervisor to better monitor the diver.
Before Diver 6, dive supervisors had little knowledge of what was happening under water during a SCUBA dive.
With the new system, supervisors will now have real-time information on a submerged diver, essentially getting eyes under the water.
Previously, this information was provided only by the diver themselves.
"If a diver were to get trapped, I can now know exactly where he is," said Everage. "I can point another diver to him. I know how much air he has left just while he is doing his regular day to day job and I know how much air he has left for decompression in the event of an emergency."
Commands from around the Virginia Beach area will be some of the first to test the new system and practice putting it into use before it can be used for mission essential dives.
Everage went on to explain that although the current system procedures that divers and dive supervisors use to communicate with each other does work and has worked for many years, it is beneficial for them to have the opportunity to step into a new technological area of diving.
This will enable a move forward for the safety and capabilities of Navy divers.
"When our divers go under, the dive supervisors have to rely on that diver to know what is going on," said Everage. "It works, and we've done it for years, but any way we can advance into a new era is a great benefit to our community."
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