All Aboard! Exploring the Newfoundland Railway

Railway / Coastal History

Railway/Coastal Boat Service

Keith Collier - Hard Hat Diving Suit

Keith Collier speaks of the hard hat diving suit

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Length: 1:17 Min
File Size: 3.4 MB
This is a hard hat diving suit this was donated to the museum by Mr. Fred Chancey. Mr. Chancey was a diver here at the dockyard and around Newfoundland for decades. And when he finally retired he had almost 50 years service with the dockyard. And this exhibit is largely thanks to him. Now this diving suit was a very important piece of equipment for the diver, of course. This is what would allow him to go underwater and work for sometimes hours on end inspecting and repairing especially steel-holed vessels. The diving suit you can tell was very cumbersome and very bulky. The suit altogether weighs about 200 pounds, so it's very difficult to move on land. And because of that, the divers had a crew of 6 - the diver, an assistant, 2 men to work the air pump, which is this contraption right here, and 2 men to handle things like tools and a ladder that would be hung over the side of the ship to allow the a diver to work. These divers were really good and very important people in the dockyard. Because they were people who inspected ships and really decided how much work really had to be done and what the problem was and carried out many repairs. And without them, it would involve very lengthy and very expensive dry land visits.