Spring 2020

A starring role for JFD centre in the Last Breath movie

Watching the documentary, Last Breath, which tells the near miraculous recovery of a saturation diver who survives for over 30 minutes at 100m without gas, the eagle-eyed observer might recognise shots of JFD’s National Hyperbaric Centre (NHC) in Aberdeen.

Saturation diver Chris Lemons was working at the bottom of the North Sea in 2012 when his umbilical cable severed, and he was left stranded with just five minutes of gas in a back-up tank. The movie tells the story of the horrific accident and the agonising time it took for a rescue ROV to reach him.  

Footage and audio recorded on the diver and ROV video and communication systems were later woven together to create a mini documentary used as part of training and safety demonstrations across the industry. However, film teams were keen to expand this documentary into a feature length movie, combing the clips together with interviews and reconstructed scenes.

Producers approached JFD about using the NHC in order to reconstruct scenes within the diving bell. At its NHC, JFD houses an 18-man land-based saturation diving system. This unique facility replicates a system on board a Dive Support Vessel and provides a controlled environment for training, testing, hyperbaric rescue and hyperbaric welding projects - but it also offers an ideal environment for filming projects.

In May 2018 Chris and his co-diver were brought to the NHC to re-enact parts of the incident.

‘We became familiar with the filming process after the NHC was used for shots in the 2015 movie Pressure, but this was a bit different,’ says Martin Robb, head of delivery for commercial services at JFD. ‘It was challenging to watch the divers having to re-enact their horrific ordeal.’

‘It is reassuring that divers now have access to 45 minutes emergency breathing gas with JFD’s COBRA rebreather system.'

Watch the movie on Netflix here

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