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What is a Hyperbaric Rescue Chamber (HRC)? - Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The work of a commercial diver is not for the faint of heart. Our profession can be rewarding, but of course, a job that requires working in the high-pressure environment of deep ocean waters is inherently dangerous.

On any given day on the job, a commercial diver must be mindful of both the integrity of his submerged working quarters and the amount of breathable air available. In such unforgiving environments for humans, having a reliable course of action in the event of an emergency is a matter of life and death.

To this end, hyperbaric rescue chambers (HRCs) are an essential piece of equipment while on a deep-water dive. Sometimes called a Hyperbaric Lifeboat (HLB), Hyperbaric Rescue Vessel (HRV), or Hyperbaric Rescue Chamber (HRC), these are essentially a sealed, pressurized diving vessel that can be used as a submersible lifeboat.

Aqua-Air's Horizontal HRC

Aqua-Air's Horizontal HRC


The hyperbaric rescue chamber isn’t just useful in emergency situations. During normal operations, the hyperbaric rescue chamber can be utilized as a living chamber, particularly in a portable saturation diving system. Additionally, a standard hyperbaric rescue chamber can boost a wide arsenal of tools and amenities. For the 16-man 1000FSW (305M) Aqua Air HRC, these features include:

  1. Sixteen seats and drawers
  2. Crash frame with holders for 4bottles on each corner, for a total of 16 bottles.
  3. Insulated exterior with reflective aluminum jacketing
  4. Spool piece 24” I.D. x 26” long – mating flange on each side of Sypris Technologies Tube Turns coupling with chain drive
  5. Painted inside and out
  6. Thirty-two penetrators – qty 1 2” NPT and qty 31 ¾” NPT
  7. Aluminum Deck Plates
  8. Two 24” I.D. Manways with hatches


Aqua-Air's Vertical HRC

Aqua-Air's Vertical HRC


Aqua Air Industries designs and manufactures custom saturation diving systems and equipment for the commercial diving industry. Contact us here for your SAT systems needs!

So just how safe is it to use a hyperbaric rescue chamber in the field? Our hyperbaric rescue chambers, including Aqua Air’s 16-Man HRC 1000 FSW (305M), are built in accordance with the following codes and standards:


  • ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code Section VIII Division 1 and 2
  • ASME-PVHO-1 Safety Standard for Pressure Vessels for Human Occupancy
  • ABS-Rules for Building and Classing Underwater Vehicles, Systems, and Hyperbaric Facilities.


In other words, just as you would never drive a car without a seatbelt, a hyperbaric rescue chamber plays an invaluable role in keeping divers safe.


For all of your commercial diving needs, check out more gear from Aqua Air Industries, Inc.


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