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RescuEAN before...

ISSUE 3 ARCHIVE - TEST DIVE: RESCUEAN

That Man Mr Wilson

When the guys at the chamber are given a job to do, we like to do it well. That's why when Martin and Chris asked us to utterly destroy their RescuEAN we were more than happy to oblige.

At least, I'm pretty sure that's what they said; it might have gotten a little lost amongst "Test it, see what you think" and "See if it can go to 50 metres in the pot". To me that means, drop it, kick it, take it further than the manufacturers would like in the chamber, take it utterly apart and reassemble without the instructions and then run it over with the van.
OonasDivers
RescuEAN during Now this uniquely new invention has been well tested before we got our paws on it to ensure it does what it's supposed to: Deliver enriched air from otherwise unusable scuba cylinders to needy divers by connecting the low pressure hose normally assigned to the BCD to the unit and then connecting the (supplied) hose to an oral/nasal mask which is then put on the stricken diver. Thus enabling divers to make use of any high oxygen percentage mixes left over or donated by other divers without having to stick the second stage in the mouth or a clip on the nose, particularly useful when tending an unconscious diver.
This of course it does very well, it is simple to use, handles oxygen flow well, has few parts to break or fall off and, of course, is a fantastic combination of industrial chic orange plastic and weakened black rubber.
But, it is all very well it working straight out of the box. What if, and this would be more common than not, it's called upon after an age of sitting at the bottom of your dive bag or rattling around in the back of the estate, will it still work then? That's where The London Diving Chamber team come in, experts in pressure systems and environments, explosives and non destructive testing and access to a van, let the testing begin...

First of all, we kicked it through the car park to the resuscitation department to be given the once over by brains much larger than our own. The verdict: "Jolly good". Gas goes in one end and comes out the other, flow rate is spot on. So far so good. Next - repetitive pressure tests. The RescuEAN accompanied elective patients and divers on dives in the pot to 14m and 18m for 90 minutes and 6 hours respectively. Often with as little as 10 minute surface intervals.

The Result
Nothing. No cracks, no compression of the internal pipes and no bends, good working order, it was time to get serious.

Final Pressure Test
This time we picked up on the one thing the manufacturers were concerned with, which was water not getting into the internal pipes quick enough because of the rubber seals covering the quick connectors. This would lead to compression of the pipe inside due to unequal pressure. So, at last, a weakness to exploit...

The ingredients were all here for the final assault: deep chamber, 300,000 litres of air on tap, exhausts big enough to blow London's carbon footprint all the way to China. This could mean only one thing, fast compression, fast decompression, no stops. If we could get the pot down deep enough quickly enough and bring her back up before someone had a chance to say "You've missed my deep stop", then we might be able to squeeze the internals so flat that even Zebedee couldn't put the spring back in them.

The Dive
Medium: air environment, RescuEAN in water
Max Depth: 73 metres
Time to Depth: 4.8 minutes
Time at depth: 5 minutes
Decompression rate: 9 metres per minute

Result
No compression of pipes, water ingress noted in internal pipes to equalise pressure, no compression of housing (was easily disassembled after dive), drained and usable in 1 minute 6 seconds.
The Underwater Channel

The Final Curtain
So nothing we could do could put a dent in the armour of this device, we were beaten by an orange suppository, downbeat and demoralised; we dragged ourselves off to get the keys to the van:

Conclusion
Much like Top Gears' Hilux, the RescuEAN still worked even after all the abuse we gave it, which is a real testament to its engineering and simple design. In fact, the cracked housing was the only damage the unit sustained. The stainless connectors and the internal mechanicals survived intact, proving it hardy enough for even the clumsiest of divers.

Whether divers will take this into the water with them is another thing, it will probably be left on the boat or shoreline until needed. But those who feel the need can rest assured their big orange pill will resist the pressures of the deep admirably and return to the surface fit for its purpose.

To be fair, we did put the RescuEAN through extremely arduous tests, far more than would be usually expected of it and yet it still survived (reasonably) intact. Even with the van, we had to drive slowly over it, allowing it to realise the full weight of the vehicle before it succumbed and cracked. It has to be said though, that the drain time was significantly reduced to about 1.5 seconds after the outer shell had been "rearranged". The RescuEAN is one of those pieces of kit that you just love to own, it's well designed, works with minimum fuss or input from its owner and looks good. So good in fact that you could easily see it becoming a common sight rolling around both the dashboards of dive sheds and the bilges of RIBS around the country.

Rating: A

RescuEAN basic unit MRP 79.95 (incl VAT) + P&P
RescuEAN basic unit + Facemask MRP 89.95 (incl VAT) + P&P

rescuean.com

Nautilus Lifeline

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