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BAUER Pressrelease ang. dykolyckan på Maldiverna

Publicerad den 5 september 2008  (Läst 3 632 gånger.)

Pure Air – Safe Diving !
Highly pure breathing air is the elementary component in any
diving equipment.

Since breathing air is concealed invisibly in diving cylinders and is
therefore intangible, many divers and fi lling stations are often not
aware that health and, as has now been shown on the Maldives,
ultimately also life, depend on the quality of the inhaled air.

BAUER KOMPRESSOREN, as a market and technology leader in the
area of breathing air generation, is aware of the enormous responsibility
borne by the company in the manufacture of breathing air compressors
and takes all conceivable measures to guarantee the highest
degree of safety and quality in the breathing air produced:

All breathing air compressors from BAUER KOMPRESSOREN have been
equipped for decades with tried and tested fi lter systems (TRIPLEX , P-
fi lter systems), which satisfy the very strict limit values in DIN EN
12021 and exceed these substantially in some cases.
The SECURUS fi lter monitor from BAUER KOMPRESSOREN is the only
device throughout the world that permanently monitors the stand
time of fi lter cartridges by measurement using a sensor inside the fi lter
cartridge, thereby warning in good time of fi lter cartridge saturation
and shutting down the system. And this is 100% reliable; a new
sensor is contained in every cartridge that is always innovative compared
to the competition and that shuts down the compressor in the
case of any sensor defect. By contrast, rival companies use questionable
sensors which need to be recalibrated at great expense at short
intervals and whose measurement reliability cannot be checked to say
nothing of shutting down the compressor in the case of danger.
The active carbon bed in the cartridge that fi lters out substances such
as oil and other pollutants provides a safety reserve that extends far
beyond the saturation limits of the cartridge.

In the case of compressors operated with combustion engines or in
environments that could contain exhaust gases from combustion
engines, an intake of contaminated air is to be avoided where at all
possible (see information on erection / laying of intake system below).
If this cannot be completely avoided, BAUER KOMPRESSOREN has
developed fi lter cartridges with a special catalyst that converts the
toxic carbon monoxide (CO) into safe CO2.
BAUER KOMPRESSOREN is the only manufacturer in the world to
award compressor operators a PURE AIR certifi cate who operate their
systems with permanent SECURUS fi lter monitoring and who subject
themselves to an annual air test of the system. Here, the compressed
air is checked with a highly sensitive air measuring device and a protocol
with the measured values sent to the Quality Assurance Department
at BAUER KOMPRESSOREN who check the compliance with the
limit values and issue an annual seal.
The extensive documentation enclosed with every system addresses all
safety aspects such as correct erection and the safe operation of the
system. BAUER KOMPRESSOREN also offers a broad base training
program in its own plant and through its partners which prepares
interested course participants for the safe and responsible operation
and maintenance of the system.

Conclusion: if systems are operated correctly a danger to life
and limb as a result of poor breathing air quality can be ruled

The tragic diving accident on the Maldives demonstrates by way of
example and in all clarity how the worst case, namely the death of a
diver and severe injure to a further nine divers can arise due to sloppy
and profi t-oriented operation of systems together with the poor
training of base personnel and complete failure to take any conceivable
safety precautions:
The investigations of the Maldives police have not yet been completed.
However, according to all information gathered so far, the following
sequence of events can be viewed to be verifi ed:
In the days before the accident several trips were made with a diving
boat ‘baani adventurer’ from the operator ‘Touring Maledives’ on
which the accident took place on 28 May 2008. Some of the participants
complained about headaches after the diving trips.
Several systems were located on board from different manufacturers
which were all operated by combustion engines.
A few days before the accident the drive motor of the make HONDA
failed in one of the compressors. A motor mechanic trained to service
the HONDA motor examined the motor and determined that due to
lack of servicing and oil the machine was a total write-off. In this
connection he also inspected the air intake fi lter of the compressor
and determined that this was totally coked. Normally, the paper
lamella of the fi lter turn grey during normal use as a result of the
airborne particles until the fi lter is clogged and must be replaced.

However, the massive coking of the system could not have arisen by
normal air pollution. Rather, it was attributable to the intake of soot
particles from exhaust gases (to a substantial extent judging by the
degree of carbonisation of the air fi lter) which came from the ship’s
diesel and / or combustion exhaust gases from other compressors.
If compressors are operated with compressor motor, the air must be
taken in such that it is not burdened by combustion exhaust gases.
This is either achieved by an intake telescope or an intake hose in
which the opening must be positioned accordingly.
Photos taken after the accident also show that the intake hoses were
defective and had been patched up at numerous places using adhesive
tape. The ends of the hoses and the faulty hose sections were also
located in the exhaust gas fl ow of the combustion engines of other
compressors and of the ship’s engine. Unconfi rmed reports of participants
also state that the intake hoses were not even connected to the

Operator failure 1:
the intake air was burdened to a high degree with a potentially toxic
carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide due to poorly serviced systems
and incorrectly positioned, defective hoses.
Investigations of the Maldives Police showed that, contrary to the
clear instructions in the operating manual of the system, the wrong
fi lter cartridge type was used. Instead of the fi lter cartridge for compressors
with combustion engine whose additional catalytic converter
neutralises carbon monoxide, a fi lter cartridge was used that is only
approved for systems with emission-free electrical drive.
It is pure speculation whether this was negligence or a saving measure.
According to the information of local experts on the scene, approx.
90 % of all cartridges purchased, assuming that the cartridges have
not been incorrectly fi lled by the operators themselves, are cartridges
that have only been approved for the operation with electrical motors,
although a high percentage of the systems on the Maldives are operated
with combustion engines. The high price of fi lter cartridges is
supposed as reason (due to the expensive CO catalyst material). The
fact that no such accidents have happened before on the Maldives is a
pure stroke of luck under consideration of the framework conditions
outlined above.

The air measurements made after the accident with respect to the
confi scated breathing air cylinders of the divers in the accident also
show high levels of CO such that the test tubes used completely
shattered. The maximum measurement range is 150 ppm CO. The
admissible upper limit of 15 ppm CO is below the maximum range of
150 ppm that can be measured and shown by the test tube by a
factor of 10. This means that the CO burden in the air of the dead
diver must have been at least 10 times the admissible limit value.

In all other divers the burden was an average of 80 ppm, i.e. 5 to 6
times the admissible upper limit value.

Operator failure 2:
as a result of using the wrong fi lter cartridge the CO polluted intake
air was able to fl ow unimpeded into the diving cylinder and lead to
the death of or injury to the divers concerned due to the breathing in
of air highly polluted with CO / CO2.
How can such accidents be avoided in future?
In the design, production and more (specialised servicing, original
spare parts available quickly throughout the world, training, certifi cation
of compressor operators with the PURE AIR certifi cate) BAUER
KOMPRESSOREN takes all conceivable measures to secure the generation
of highly pure breathing air that is better than required by the DIN
EN 12021 standard.

The possibilities of exerting infl uence stop when, as happened on the
Maldives, the black sheep amongst the operators fl aunt elementary
safety requirements due to a lack of technical skill, for reasons of
sloppiness and/or economy.
This problem can only be solved by the diligence of travel operators,
technical publications and not least the sensitised and informed end
customers, the divers, exercising pressure on shady operators to stop
the dangerous handling of breathing air. For travel operators this is a
duty under the new leading judgement of the Federal Court of Justice
from 2007 on travel law (which placed strict supervisory duties on the
operators to inspect partners at the destinations) in order to avoid
own liability.

The end consumer, the visitor to the diving base, has only limited
possibilities to assess the air quality in the absence of an air meter. But
he has the right to perfect equipment, the most important component
of which is pure breathing air. And through attentiveness and targeted
questions to the travel operator and/or to the dive base operator at
the destination he can, as customer, exercise the requisite pressure to
compel shady operators to change their behaviour for fear of losing

The following aspects may be used to assess air quality:
-Questions concerning the original fi lter cartridges in stock and the
intervals of change. (Self fi llers!). Respectable operators conduct a log

book on the change of cartridges and have a permanent fi lter monitoring
system such as SECURUS. Be stubborn and do not be fobbed off
by generalised statements!
-Is the compressor in a airless corner somewhere on the bottom of the
ship? If this is the case, is the compressor taking in fresh air and where
do the intake hoses end?
–Does the fi lling system and the fi lling area make a clean, well serviced
impression (does not say everything but is an indication)?
-If headaches occur after diving which cannot be otherwise explained
or if the air tastes poor or of oil - alarm bells!!
–Does the operator offer diving at unusually low prices. The competition
amongst diving schools is extremely tough in some places. Savings
are then not seldom made where they cannot be seen, for example, in
servicing and consumables for compressors. Quality is seldom to be
had at a discount.
In view of this tragic and unavoidable diving accident BAUER KOMPRESSOREN
will step us its efforts to inform operators and end consumers
and push ahead with the certifi cation of diving bases in accordance
with the BAUER PURE AIR standard.

Ralf Deichelmann, Sales Promotion
Phone. ++49 89 780 49 -125 / Fax -167
Drygalski-Allee 37 81477 München

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Taggar:  Kompressor Dykolycka Andningsgas
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