Antarctic welding project will take place underwater

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An underwater welding project is set to begin in the Antarctic Circle this February, as a pair of firms will address structural issues at Rothera Research Station.

As the BBC reports, a representative for one of these companies, engineering business Arch Henderson, confirmed it will be their first time working in the Antarctic in the company’s near-100 year history.

Along with Ocean Kinetics, a marine repair company based in the Shetland Islands, Arch Henderson will address a damaged quay at the station. This structure has developed a hole in its deck, and repairs will involve not just underwater welding but fabricating necessary materials to make sure all required pieces were present.

In such extreme locations, divers need appropriate gear as well as components of important tools. A recent article in Underwater Today classified the kinds of suits divers can use, which vary depending on the temperature.

For extreme temperatures below 28 degrees Fahrenheit, the source recommends a professional “hot water suit”: at $5,000 or more, it can be an expensive investment, but it also provides greater coverage to the diver and can last for years.

Ocean Kinetics marine projects director Michael Fox said that his company prepared for isolation by ensuring they have access to all of the necessary parts during their time on the job.

“Taking into consideration how remote the location of the project is, we had to send plenty of spare parts along with back up welding sets and generators,” he said. “If something was to breakdown there it would take weeks, if not months, to ship in a replacement.”

Diving services often require tailored insurance that reflects their specific investments. It could be a good practice to research the policy best for your work.

 

 

 

 

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