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Chris Lemons, a 32 year old commercial diver survived for almost 40 minutes under the North Sea when his air and heat supply were severed.
He was inspecting a drilling rig at the Huntington Oil Field, 115 miles off the East coast of Aberdeenshire, when, at a depth of 262 feet (80 metres), his umbilical line, which supplies fresh oxygen and heat, became snagged and snapped.
Mr Lemons was left with just his back-up tank of oxygen, and no heat source for 38 minutes before his colleagues were finally able to rescue him.
Following safety procedures to conserve energy he sat completely still on top of the drill structure despite the freezing temperatures. When his oxygen supply ran out he lost consciousness and remembers nothing more.
After 38 minutes workers on the rig found him using a remote controlled vehicle and then a fellow diver dragged him to the safety of a diving bell.
The diver described the incident. “Chris said he knew to try and conserve his gas even though he was freezing to death. He doesn't remember slipping into unconsciousness, it just happened. It took 38 minutes to get him back in the bell. After two breaths by the bellman he started breathing on his own. Once his breathing was restored he recovered quite quickly so they proceeded to start and warm him once the bell was on its way up (he was blue when they removed his hat).”
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com