Project SS "Pionier"
Preparations - locating the wreck
- The wreck was located on the 10th January 1999 using a small RIB and an echo sounder. A small team of 4 divers took off from Skagen on a harsh and bitterly cold sunday morning and made it to the wreck in about 45 minutes. Here the wreck was located very quickly confirming the correct position and the maximum depth.
- The depth in the area was considerably deeper than expected. Before discovering the wreck, the team had planned the depth in around 100 meters (305 FSW). With the finding of the wreck they had to add another 20 meters (60 FSW) to the diveplan. After locating the wreck the real preparations began.
Test dive in Göteborg, Sweden
- Friday the 18th June 1999 the entire project team went to Göteborg in Sweden to make the final test of the dive and support setup. For the first time during the project planning, the trimix divers was going to use their equipment in exactly the configuration it would be used during the SS "Pionier" dives. The support divers should perform a series of simulated situations and assist during the ascent together with the trimix divers.
- On the first day all made some shake down dives. Trimix divers reaching a depht of 60 meters (180 FFW) and the support divers reached 45 meters (140 FFW).
- The second day the trimix divers planned their dive to round 85 meters but they only reached 77 meters (235 FFW) did their skills and turned the dive. The support divers assisted the trimix divers during the ascent and later they performed a basic skill dive to 55 meters (168 FFW).
- During the weekend the dive team conducted a total of 3 trimix dives and 16 deep air dives (180 FFW). All the test dives proved that the chosen method of using support divers during the ascent was the right approach for deep mixed gas diving. The support setup worked as planned and everything was ready for the dives on SS "Pionier".
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