People react very differently. Some go straight into survival mode. Then you faint as much as possible to use as little oxygen as possible. At the same time, you must think rationally.
This is what former North Sea diver Liv Morten Rush told Dagbladet.
For nearly 15 years his job was to dive to 180m in the North Sea, and he himself suffered from the fear of being left sitting at the bottom because something should go wrong.
He deeply sympathizes with the passengers of the missing submarine “Titan”, who will have only emergency oxygen left until about 1pm today.
The environment is important
– It must be terrible, says Rush to Dagbladet about the condition of the five passengers.
From 1981-1995 he worked as a diver in the North Sea. During these years, he never agreed to dive to a depth of 180 meters.
– The reason was a combination of the fact that I had changed jobs, but I was also skeptical. I’ve heard a lot about people who didn’t feel well after these dips, even though the dips were rated as successful.
He determines that single-atmospheric subs like this are not his domain, and that being on a ship like this is a different situation compared to diving. In terms of pressure and coolness, to name a few.
At the same time, it highlights several aspects that can be compared. Among them you find yourself in such an emergency situation.
– The environment, in our case, the working environment is very important in a crisis situation. So team composition is important.
There were five people on board the submarine: the famous French sailor and researcher Paul-Henri Nargolet (73), who is considered the leading expert on the “wreck of the Titanic”; Stockton Rush (61), CEO and founder of OceanGate Expeditions – the company that organizes tours to the famous shipwreck.
Along with them are British adventurer and billionaire Hamish Harding (58), as well as Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood (48) and his son Suleiman (19).
The former two had been on this submarine many times before.
Three main challenges
For divers in the past, the biggest fear was that the link to a dive watch might break, and that you’d be left at the bottom, Rush explains.
– For my part, it was close, and it happened many times over time. Then you get a similar situation where you have a certain amount of time left with oxygen.
Part of the challenges are avoided when incidents with divers on such a vessel are involved. Then you basically find yourself in one atmosphere, Rush explains.
At the same time, he believes, the biggest challenges for the five passengers on board are the submarine’s carbon dioxide content, the lack of oxygen, and last, but also important: the cold.
– Apparently they have something called “scrubbers” on board. Simply explained, it is a kind of fan that absorbs CO₂. The challenge is that it needs electricity. But surely they also had emergency scrubbers on board these ships, and something else would be quite untenable. You can use these with the help of your breathing [pust]says Rasch to Dagbladet.
Gear is also assumed to be on board for emergencies. Breathing through this will clean out some of the carbon dioxide, Rush explains.
The price of many divers’ efforts in the North Sea has been long-term health problems and late-term injuries. Deep down pressures have led many to suffer from depression. Many committed suicide.
Today, Rush works as a special diving consultant for the Social Policy Department of the LO Industri Energi consortium. Here he fights, among other things, for the rights of the Sons Divers.
Former Dagbladet journalist Gunnar Ringheim has covered the struggle of divers and their relatives to obtain compensation from the state for 15 years.
“Coffee trailblazer. Certified pop culture lover. Infuriatingly humble gamer.”