Under Dark Waters: The Life and Distressed Times of a Commercial Diver
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His colleagues were able to drag him up to the diving bell after 38 minutes without his air supply but feared the worst when they pulled his unconscious body from the water. Nearly seven years later, Mr Lemons has described how he is still perplexed as to how he managed to survive for so long without oxygen.
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His extraordinary story of his brush with death has been turned into a feature length documentary called Last Breath, in cinemas from this week. On the day, the team were lowered feet 91 metres to fix a pipe on the sea bed at the Huntington Oil Field in Aberdeenshire. A deep sea diver who cheated death has described how he survived under water for 30 minutes after a computer failure saw his oxygen supply cut off.
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In , Chris Lemons was working about feet under water in the North Sea. He and his colleagues Dave Youasa and Duncan Allcock were lowered from a dive support ship in a diving chamber to fix a drill deep below the surface. The sea was a little rough on the surface, but it was pretty clear underwater,' he said.
Mr Lemons was in the middle of the repair when he heard an alarm. They began following their umbilical cords, but the ship had already drifted back over the tall metal structure they were working on, meaning they had to climb it. However when they neared the top, Mr Lemon's umbilical became snagged on a piece of metal sticking out of the structure.
On the day, the team were lowered 91m to fix a pipe on the sea bed at the Huntington Oil Field in Aberdeenshire.
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Here, a scene reconstructed in the documentary. Here, a still from the trailer showing the umbilical cord, which snapped when Lemons was under water. Mr Lemons, then 33, was left with just his oxygen tank remained still to conserve his energy but lost consciousness when the air supply from the tank ran out. This graphic explains how the accident happened deep under the oil rig. Mr Lemons, here with his wife Morag on their wedding day, was left with just his oxygen tank but lost consciousness when the air supply ran out.
His colleagues were able to drag him to the surface 38 minutes later but feared the worst when they pulled his body from the water. Mr Lemons is a professional diver working from an oil rig in the North Sea pictured. A diving medical expert claimed the cold temperatures of the North Sea might have helped save Chris Lemons.
The freezing water could have activated his diving reflex which would have slowed his heart and optimised his respiration while under water. Oliver Firth, medical director of the London Diving Chamber, said: 'It's staggering that he survived. He should be dead at that sort of depth. It sounds like the diving reflex might have played a part in this. This might have activated the reflex.
It's a protective response.
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His colleagues put in a 'superhuman effort' to locate him, believing they were coming down to recover a body. Dave Youasa hauled him to the diving bell where his colleague Duncan Allcock gave him two breaths before he miraculously came to life. Without oxygen, the human body can only survive for a few minutes before its cells begin to fail.
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With nothing to breathe for that long, Mr Lemons could easily have suffered brain damage. But according to experts, it is likely the cold water may have played a part in his survival. Without the hot water flowing through the umbilical cord to heat his suit, his body and brain will have quickly cooled.
How you use that up depends on your metabolic rate. The training of saturation divers like Chris Lemons may also have taught his body to cope with extreme situations.
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I'm interested in books related to diving history and progress. I would love to read your recommendations.
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