Four divers with the Chinese navy have reached a depth of over 330 meters during a saturation dive effort, a technique involving a pressurized environment that allows for longer dives while reducing the risk of decompression sickness.
The four entered a 19-cubic-meter cylinder on January 4th and pressure was slowly increased to the equivalent of a depth of 300 meters.
Gao Jie, one of the divers, describes the experience in the deep sea.
“We thought 300-meter-deep seabed would be nothing but darkness, but when we opened the chamber, we found the visibility was good.”
Xu Xiao is the first diver to exit the chamber at a depth of 300 meters to check the diving bell and the environment.
“I felt like it was very cold and it was hard to breathe.”
Saturation diving technology enables human beings to withstand high water pressure by saturating human tissue with inert gas.
The divers were released from the cylinder yesterday after the decompression process was finally completed.
To date, eight countries, including Britain, the United States, and Russia have succeeded in 400-meter saturation dive.
Saturation diving is commonly used in deep sea exploration, in rescue operations and in engineering construction.
Chinese divers successfully reached 300 meters during a saturation dive for the first time last year, though have only experienced conditions over 490 meters during lab experiments.