A new diving and underwater research company in Oban, Scotland is now managing the hyperbaric therapeutic facility at Dunstaffnage, after it was threatened with closure.
Tritonia Scientific has taken over the operational management of the chamber after the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) indicated it could no longer support the facility.
This unit provides emergency treatment for divers who are suffering from decompression illness.
Tritonia Scientific has retained most of the specialist technical and nursing staff from the unit, and will continue to operate in association with doctors from the Lorn Medical Centre who have supplementary training in diving medicine.
It is obviously important for everyone diving on the west coast to continue to have access to this treatment facility. Dr Martin Sayer
Taking on this role will ensure that the facility retains its status as one of only three NHS-registered emergency treatment centres for decompression illness in Scotland, the others being in Orkney and Aberdeen.
The Dunstaffnage Unit is responsible for providing NHS treatment for divers from the whole of the west coast of Scotland, including the Islands, and its operation supports various diving sectors such as recreational diving, fish farm diving, shellfish harvesters and civil engineering diving.
Dr Martin Sayer, Managing Director of Tritonia Scientific stated "If this treatment facility had closed then anyone suffering from decompression illness would have faced the probability of being transferred to Aberdeen for their treatment.
Some of the divers we have seen over the years have presented with very severe symptoms and obtaining appropriate care without the need for further transfers may well improve the chances of a good outcome."
If you are involved in or with a diving incident you can call the Scottish helpline on 0345 408 6008 and ask for the hyperbaric doctor on call. Alternatively, you can alert the unit through the Coastguard on Channel 16.