diving, deep-sea: Helmet Diving Suits

Helmet Diving Suits

Modern helmet diving suits usually consist of a waterproof one-piece suit made of canvas and rubber that entirely covers the wearer except for the head and hands. Heavy rubber bands seal the suit at the wrists, leaving the hands free. On the feet the diver wears leaded boots weighing about 40 lb (18 kg), and lead weights are fastened to the chest to maintain equilibrium. A metal helmet with side and front windows covers the head. A noncollapsible pipe connects the helmet to an air supply. An attached lifeline hauls the diver to the surface. Too rapid an ascent from great depths causes the diver to suffer decompression sickness. To prevent this, deep-sea divers either use an all-steel, armored diving suit or breathe a special mixture of nine gases developed by the Swiss mathematician Hannes Keller.

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