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Saturation Divers
Published 5 months ago
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Parts: 2649
Minifigs: 23

++I highly recommend viewing this model in the "Editor" mode—to pull everything apart and investigate internal structures and detailed interiors of the Diving Bell, Living Chambers, Captain Cabin, etc.++


"Saturation diving" is the most sophisticated, technologically advanced, and risky type of diving. Most often, it's used in commercial offshore gas/oil operations, assembling or servicing pipelines on the seafloor, plus scientific research.

Submerging to extreme depths requires very lengthy decompression, so saturation divers work in 2-weeks shifts where they remain 24/7 under the increased pressure and breathing Heliox (oxygen and helium mixture). This way, they only have to go through a complete decompression once the shift is over, and they can dive every day.

To maintain this pressure, divers live in a completely enclosed space, Saturation Complex, transferring from the Diving Bell to the Living Chamber on the surface through airlocks and hermetically sealed hatches.

(In cases you were wondering—yes, they are talking in ridiculous high-pitched voices the entire time because of the helium in the breathing gas).

Here's a brief description of my build:

✥✥✥✥✥ A. OCEAN PLATFORM ✥✥✥✥✥

The "mothership" is a giant floating platform with a raised deck above, two built-in motorboats (for repositioning and short-distance movement), and a diving "well" in front—a tunnel with ladders for divers to climb down to the Diving Bell.

Key features:

◎ Captain Cabin
With a detachable roof, a Lookout spot on the top, the captain's console, and a "radio room" inside. There are a few amenities, such as a coffee machine.

There's also a Helipad and the Emergency Shutdown switch on the same raised deck.

◎ Command Center
Three operators control all life support systems and the Saturation Complex. Check various computers and consoles spread across the workbench.

This level includes the Rescue Raft, mounted on the side and released with a lever. A tiny rescue kit consists of a flare gun and shark repellent.

◎ Floating Dock
It can be raised above the surface when not in use and includes an additional smaller dock for extra boats.

◎ Radio Mast
At the stern, the "antenna tree" carries multiple satellite and radio antennas to communicate with the land, as well as the primary CCTV camera. There's even a dedicated NASA receiver!

◎ Life Support Systems
Provides backup electricity for the entire complex and feeds the Living Chamber.

◎ Diving Bell Systems
These are the Lift Wires that raise and lower the Diving Bell, as well as the complex Umbilical rig (the massive cable that feeds breathing gas, hot water, electricity, and communication with the surface). I included a Boiler to supply the heating for the Diving Bell and divers at the seafloor.

This is the main element located on the Floating Platform's deck. Two main parts are connected with an Airlock, and there are hermetically sealed hatches and lids between all sections, keeping the pressure and Heliox atmosphere inside the entire system.

◎ Transfer Chamber
This is just a "communication hub" between the Diving Bell and the Living Chamber where divers can put on all the diving rig, prepare the tools and instruments. A tiny Supply Lock is to pass provision and smaller objects inside the pressurized space. The Airlock Hatch is for entering and exiting the Living Chamber.

◎ Living Chamber
This is where divers stay throughout their shift, all under the superhigh pressure and breathing Heliox 24/7. It's very similar to underwater habitats (and even submarines) in design, except on the surface.

The construction is 100% modular, with two separate sections connected on Technic pegs, and each has a detachable roof piece for easier access to the interior. Divers climb through the Rear Hatch when they need to leave.

There are various breathing/pressure rigs and a console (with a workspace for one of the techs) mounted on the roof.

Inside, there are "living quarters" in one half, with bunks, sink, and toilet bowl, as well as a food processor for resting divers. Another section, a "workzone," has two workstations, a coffeemaker, and various other details.

✥✥✥✥✥ B. UNDERWATER ✥✥✥✥✥
Three saturation divers are currently submerged, with two of them busy working on the seafloor and a backup diver inside the Bell.

Two divers are connected to the Diving Bell with umbilicals through a triple adaptor. Presented are two generations of the rig, with a newer helmet and the older, bulkier breathing apparatus.

Additionally, a remote-controlled Submarine observes the operation, monitored from the Command Center on the surface.



Lego "Hall of Fame"

Music Room


1. https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/what-is-a-saturation-diver
2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturation_diving
3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commercial_offshore_diving
4. "Last Breath" documentary (2019) on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/80215139
5. James Cameron's "The Abyss" (1989)—to this day, hands down, the best Hollywood depiction of deep diving: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096754/
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