Hello and welcome to our community! Is this your first visit?
Register
Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    New TDF Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Kettering
    Posts
    5
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0

    Diving in Thames

    Hi all,

    Got an interesting enquiry that I would like to run by the hive mind.

    A client of ours has asked for us to build a WHALE costume, for a publicity stunt, that they want to have appear in the Thames river in London.


    I am personally qualified to PADI advance open water level and have a lot of experience in operating costumes (though never underwater!) I have volunteered to get involved in operating this whale but feel we need a proper expert on board as my knowledge only goes so far.

    Firstly, I would be interested in knowing what insights you might have into diving in the Thames. How doable is this project? Of course we are still at very early stages and donít know what the specs of this costume will be exactly yet Ė have assumed we will need to use DPVs and dry suits.

    Secondly, do you have anyone who would be mad enough to get involved in such a project? If so, we could do with getting an estimated cost on this. Ideally just a rough idea on a daily fee for performance days, and another one for rehearsal/training days (which can take place in a pool environment or other body of water)


    Looking forward to hearing any advice you may have. Anyone wishing to apply for the potential 'job' can contact me directly on jack@area51.co (yes, just .co)

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Established TDF Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Broadway Cotswolds
    Posts
    1,422
    Likes (Given)
    137
    Likes (Received)
    655
    Quote Originally Posted by JackDanielPage View Post
    Hi all,
    A client of ours has asked for us to build a WHALE costume, for a publicity stunt, that they want to have appear in the Thames river in London.
    An easier option would be to use a real whale, I was a commercial diver for Rendel Palmer & Tritton way back when on the Thames Barrier project You could tell you were approaching the surface when the water went from pitch black to dark brown well in the last six inches that is.Maximum depth was around 30 metres, a tidal current you could water ski in and more dead stuff than would be polite to discuss on an open forum. Permission to dive was less complicated as for the health risks lets say I wouldn't recommend using a scuba bite mouthpiece and a half mask.

  3. #3
    TDF Member Alex Denny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Tonbridge
    Posts
    373
    Likes (Given)
    59
    Likes (Received)
    99
    Yeah... the project sounds "fun" but recreationally dangerous. Conditions in the Thames (at least before you reach the estuary past about southend where it is still pretty tough) are dreadful. Dark, horribly cold, filled with boat traffic with both downstream and tidal currents that would terrify you if you could see how fast you were moving. The RNLI notes that mortality rates for accidents in the thames are unusually high, and noteably higher than coastal waters.

    I'm sure some commercial operators could do it, but as soon as anyone pays it must be done to full HSE standards, expensive and probably too restricted in terms of practical movement.

    With all that said, if you actually manage it, please share a youtube link!

  4. #4
    I used to be Cheeky UnCheeky Monkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Bristol
    Posts
    791
    Likes (Given)
    374
    Likes (Received)
    530
    Quote Originally Posted by iain/hsm View Post
    an easier option would be to use a real whale


  5. #5
    New TDF Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Kettering
    Posts
    5
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0
    Thanks for the feedback guys. After a bit more research I can see that you are absolutely correct - there's no chance of us putting a diver in the Thames using a costume like this. Speaking with the PLA revealed it's actually illegal to swim in the Thames within the city limits now.

    Going to have to go back to the drawing board. I think the most likely outcome will be an unmanned remote controlled contraption. Early days yet though!

    Cheers

  6. #6
    Established TDF Member Nickpicks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Dacorum
    Posts
    3,539
    Likes (Given)
    2462
    Likes (Received)
    1852
    Does the whale need to submerge? If not, you could just put the whale costume over the top of a boat and drive it around. If you do need it to submerge, then you'd need a submarine, but with zero viz, navigation would be potentially problematic.
    The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair.

  7. #7
    Established TDF Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    3rd rock from the sun
    Posts
    1,428
    Likes (Given)
    201
    Likes (Received)
    350
    The Thames is a nasty place for diving. Literally no visibility and huge currents. The London Tower lifeboat is supposed to be the busiest in the country, one of the few permanently manned stations.

    Thoughts... If you were going to do something with a model, maybe it could be floated downstream on a (very) long tow line from another boat so that its motion can be controlled by towing it up and downstream. Some fins (goodness knows how they'd be controlled - radio?) could then be used to submerge/surface and left/right movement. Literally only needs to sink a metre below the surface to disappear.

    Sounds a fun project :-)

  8. #8
    Established TDF Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Hiding from Divemouse
    Posts
    1,095
    Likes (Given)
    55
    Likes (Received)
    455

  9. #9
    Established TDF Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Broadway Cotswolds
    Posts
    1,422
    Likes (Given)
    137
    Likes (Received)
    655
    Quote Originally Posted by John63 View Post
    Yeah now you need that on the Clyde when that big electric boat moves out. LOL

    Now if you really want to go diving on the Thames can I suggest the London Aquarium
    It's clean clear and safe, well reasonably safe or at least it was before the manager rang me up and told me he had just lost the end on his finger having it bitten off feeding the eels. Still as I replied could have bitten off worse I guess.

  10. #10
    New TDF Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Kettering
    Posts
    5
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0
    This was my thought also! Been wanting an excuse to get one for too long... Looking over the cost to make this costume - the difference in price is actually not horrific!


 

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •