Bio of diving physician Albert A. Bühlmann
Record dives in Swiss lakes, GERS Toulon, Washington US Navy Lab, Catalina Island
In 1961, a world record in deep diving was set in Lake Maggiore.
Hannes Keller presents his vision of a dive to a depth of 300 meters to Albert Bühlmann and Prof. Dr. P.H. Rossier, Director of the Medical Clinic of the University Hospital Zurich. Prof. Dr. P.H. Rossier gives Albert Bühlmann permission to participate in the project as a medical expert.
Hannes Keller dives to 120 meters in Lake Zurich on November 21, based on the decompression calculations, the diving profile and the gas compositions of Albert Bühlmann.
Albert Bühlmann gives his inaugural lecture on «Extreme states of respiration» at the University of Zurich on June 25. The French naval centre «GERS» in Toulon invites Albert Bühlmann and Hannes Keller for demonstration diving tests in the pressure chamber there. Hannes Keller dives on the basis of decompression calculations, the dive profile and gas compositions of Albert Bühlmann on November 4 to 250 meters with a duration of stay of 10 seconds.
Albert Bühlmann publishes the dive profile and gas composition in the series «Der Weg in die Tiefe» published by Ciba-Geigy. He explains the reasons for diving depth rush and how to overcome the boundary with mixed gases. He makes remarks to decompression in case of using mixed gases. According to his estimate diving depths of 500 can be reached.
Hannes Keller dives on the basis of Albert Bühlmann’s calculations on April 25 in Toulon in the pressure chamber of the «GERS» to 300 meters with a duration of stay of 10 seconds and on April 26 to 210 meters with 10 minutes bottom time. In Zurich, various dives are simulated in a one-man pressure chamber with a combination of overpressure 4.5 bar and underpressure 0.2 bar on the basis of calculations by Albert Bühlmann in preparation for the test in Washington/DC.
Hannes Keller dives on May 10 in the pressure chamber of the Washington University Department Experimental Diving Unit on the basis of calculations by Albert Bühlmann to 210 meters with a duration of stay of 10 minutes.
Hannes Keller and Damian McLeish dive on June 28 in Lago Maggiore off Brissago based on calculations by Albert Bühlmann to 220 meters with a duration of stay of 10 seconds.
«Manufacture des Montres Vulcain» launches the diver’s wristwatch «Cricket Nautical».
On December 20, the Federal Council of the Swiss Confederation and the Government Council of the Canton of Zurich approve the application of Albert Bühlmann to accept a research credit from the US Navy via the University of Pennsylvania in the amount of US$ 10,000.
On 21 March, the cantonal government of Zurich grants Albert Bühlmann a research permit for deep diving.
On 3 December the world record attempt to 300 meters takes place off Catalina Island in California; Hannes Keller and Peter Small reach a depth of 305 meters with the pressure chamber «Atlantis» built by Sulzer in Winterthur; Hannes Keller leaves the chamber at 305 meters and places a Swiss and a US flag in the continental shelf.
During decompression technical difficulties occur with the breathing gas supply; the gas changes are not carried out according to plan; Albert Bühlmann calculates the adjusted decompression in real time, which takes 140 minutes longer than planned; Peter Small dies as a result of hypoxia.
Rescue diver Christopher Whittaker drowns during rescue operation.
The cause of Peter Small’s death is determined by the local coroner’s office, the local prosecutor’s office investigates the incident; the Special Technical Fact-Finding Committee headed by Colonel John Craig and diving experts, doctors, physicists and the vice consuls of UK and Switzerland produced the final report on 2 January 1963. After various witnesses had been questioned and pictures, films and tapes had been analysed; various breaches of care in the technical and organisational preparation and execution were found; the original and adjusted decompression calculation, the dive profile and the gas changes were not considered to be the cause of the fatality.
The pressure chamber «Atlantis» returns to Zurich and forms the core of the first pressure chamber laboratory at the University of Zurich.
In November, the research and consultancy contract is signed between Shell International, Micoperi, Albert Bühlmann and Hannes Keller.
The contract has been extended several times until 30 June 1974 with the same contracting parties; Hannes Keller then leaves as a consultant; the contract with the contracting parties Shell International, Micoperi and Albert Bühlmann have been extended several times until 30 June 1981.