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CANADIAN ARCTIC OPERATIONS EMPLOYING MANNED SUBMERSIBLES

Up to the present only one firm in Canada has been engaged in the development and manufacture of the manned submersible, International Hydrodynamics Co., Ltd. (HYCO). To date this firm has completed the manufacture of four submersibles. The company had as its original objective the manufacture of a submersible as a salvage tool. Pisces I represents the realization of this objective and was completed in 1966. It was quickly appreciated that the manned submersible had a tremendous potential as the platform for undersea research, exploration, resource investigation, pollution monitoring, etc. Pisces II was manufactured under contract for Vickers Engineering Ltd., Barrow, England and represents design advances learned from the employment of Pisces I. Concurrent with the manufacture of Pisces II, the company built Pisces III to the same design for their own use. These craft were completed in 1969. The submersible, diver lockout (SDL-1) was designed and manufactured during 1970 under contract to the Canadian Department of National Defense. Up to three of the crew of this submersible may be divers. The design will permit lockout operations at depths to 1000 feet. Delivery of SDL-1 was made in December, 1970. The Pisces submersibles have been employed on a wide range of work activities. These include operations in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, Hudson Bay, and Lakes Huron and Erie. It is these operations which may be of interest to this conference and will be discussed in detail. During a six week period in August and September of 1968, Pisces I made a series of dives in the waters of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago to assess the feasibility of the manned submersible to undertake geological research, exploration and mapping of the sea floor. The support vessel during this operation was the Canadian Coast Guard Ship LABRADOR. The operation involved activities on behalf of the John Hopkins University, Maryland, U.S.A., the Defense Research Establishment Pacific, the Pacific Oceanographic Group of the Fisheries Research Board, and the Oceanographic Laboratory of the Beford Institute. This operation has been comprehensively reported upon in subsequent papers. During a seventeen day period during May, 1970, Pisces III made a total of sixteen dives, eleven in Lake Huron and five in Lake Erie, in support of a research program involving two industrial companies, one Province of Ontario government agency, three Federal government agencies, three Canadian universities and one university situated in the U.S.A. The total program was co-ordinated by Dr. Peter G. Sly, Head, Limnogeology Section, Canada Centre for Inland Waters, Department of Mines, Energy and Resources. The consolidated report of this endeavour is presently in manuscript form awaiting publication. During a four week period in August and September, 1970, Pisces III undertook a series of exploration and working dives in Hudson Bay under contract to the oil exploration group Aquitaine Ltd. It is to be appreciated that a submersible is not capable of operating without the assistance of a support vessel embodying launch/recovery capability in addition to the normal logistics. The operation in Hudson Bay was as much characterized by the rapidity with which a new concept in support vessel (the Hudson Handler) was designed, built, and proven as by the demonstrated capability of the submersible to support oil exploration activities on the sea floor. It is probable that the ways and means of employing manned submersibles in all aspects of Ocean Engineering activities present at least as much of a challenge to imagination as to engineering ingenuity, with Arctic conditions perhaps defining only the most difficult circumstances. It is therefore suggested that a wide latitude on imagination may be allowed in looking ahead.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Abstract of paper delivered at the First International Conference on "Port and Ocean Engineering under Arctic Conditions" held at Trondheim, Norway, August 23-30, 1971
  • Corporate Authors:

    POAC Conference

    ,    
  • Authors:
    • Kastner, G A
  • Publication Date: 1971-8-23

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00025675
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Arctic Institute of North America
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 28 1973 12:00AM