A new website called jimsuit.com is devoted to the emergence 45 years ago of the atmospheric diving suit. Better known as the JIM suit, it was developed to enable divers to work safely as deep as 457m without the need for decompression.
The mainly pictorial website is intended to complement the book ‘Check for Leaks’ by Richard Castle. Containing what are described as many rare photographs, it is dedicated to those who worked on the JIM suit in the 1970s and ’80s with the Atmospheric Diving Group (ADG) of the Royal Naval Physiological Laboratory (RNPL) at Gosport.
The RNPL was formed in WW2 to tackle decompression issues in divers, and in the 1970s it was the need for a deep-sea diving capability, particularly in the North Sea, that saved the laboratory from closure. Castle was a core-member of the ADG, which from 1975 was tasked with evaluating the JIM suit and training divers in its use.
Although the project was abandoned in 1986, the suits were still in commercial use in the mid-’90s.
Meanwhile the Protected Wreck Association (PWA) has just launched the website www.ProtectedWrecks.org.uk designed to share knowledge and promote best practice among the volunteer licensed divers who work to protect historic wreck-sites in England.
The website’s unveiling coincides with the award by Historic England (HE) of a £29,000 grant to the PWA to support the divers’ work.