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Shoreham’s divers take on Dubai’s newest visitor attraction

The divers unfurl the White Ensign in the pool
9 August 2021
Divers from HMS Shoreham ‘christened’ the world’s deepest man-made pool ahead of its official opening.

The team from the minehunter were invited to plunge 60 metres – 197ft – to the bottom of Deep Dive Dubai to showcase the UAE’s newest tourist attraction, which also doubles as a safe training environment for divers of all abilities.

The divers – normally found conducting fingertip searches of the Gulf seabed for mines or placing explosive devices on unexploded ordnance to render it safe – took advantage of their ship’s visit to the nearby port of Jebel Ali to test the waters of Deep Dive Dubai, days before it opened to the public.

The visit was prompted by Leading Diver Liam Pullman who asked the attraction’s bosses if there was a hyperbaric chamber on site.

Although Shoreham is fitted with such a chamber – to treat divers in the event of decompression sickness – it’s always useful to know where these rare facilities can be found ashore.

Contact with Deep Dive Dubai snowballed and, although the attraction wasn’t quite open, led to the RN team being invited to enjoy some leisurely activities whilst testing their tanks, stepping away from their day-to-day routine.

Set in an abandoned sunken city ready to be explored, state of the art lighting and sound systems created alternative ambiences around the facility, offering an exciting change of scenery – and considerably clearer waters – from operating in the Gulf and Arabian Sea.

Filled with 14 million litres of fresh water at a very pleasant 30°C, the man-made pool is 15 metres deeper than any counterpart around the world. Some 56 cameras are positioned at various depths to provide keepsake mementos.

"Our drills always have to be up to scratch. Clearance divers are trained to dive to profound depths in zero visibility, on a closed-circuit rebreather system and go up against magnetically and acoustically activated mines,” said 28-year-old Liam.

“Getting the chance to practise them in a world-class facility like this was such a fantastic opportunity for the team and me.”

His ship is coming to the end of her three-year stint based in Bahrain with her replacement, HMS Bangor, already inbound for the Gulf from her home in Faslane.

Pictures: Jarrod Jablonski, Deep Dive Dubai

Getting the chance to practise our skills in a world-class facility like this was such a fantastic opportunity for the team and me.

Leading Diver Liam Pullman, HMS Shoreham

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