Many of you will have heard of the ConShelf underwater habitat experiments of the 1960’s and 70’s, during which pioneers of underwater exploration, including Jaques Cousteau himself, constructed facilities to enable people to remain underwater for extended periods of time. In fact a few of these habitats are still in use today as hotels, notably the Jules Underwater Motel in Key Largo, Florida, and there are plans for many more, the ultimate of which is Dubai’s Hydropolis resort.
Using the latest technology, and after years of planning, the Red Sea Diving College is proud to announce that we will soon be relocating to a brand new, purpose-built underwater habitat located in Naama Bay, Sharm-el-Sheikh.
Whilst retaining a small annexe on the Viva Beach, in front of our current premises, to handle reception, logistics, and Open Water courses, the rest of our operations will be conducted from a depth of twelve metres on the flat sandy bottom, with direct views of the reefs we love.
The new Red Sea Underwater College will have offices, classrooms, showers, briefing areas and storage, just as you would expect to find in any Five Star diving centre, along with the added attraction of bedrooms for those guests who wish to have the ultimate experience, and remain living underwater for the duration of their course.
Entry and exit will be by way of a ”moon pool”, as if surfacing from or diving into a swimming pool, and the habitat will built largely from carbon fibre-bonded aluminium, with a steel frame, and will be maintained at ambient pressure by compressed air supplied from the surface. This air and all communications with the surface world will run through a reinforced conduit, monitored constantly by technical staff.
Decompression issues will be handled by a chamber located in the habitat itself, so that divers coming back from a deep dive will decompress to ambient pressure immediately after entering the habitat, while those returning to the surface will simply perform an ordinary safety stop after exit.
Discussions with the world renowned Dr. Adel Taher and Dr. Ahmed Sakr, of the Hyperbaric chamber in Sharm el Sheikh, confirm that there are no known medical issues arising from living for extended periods at a pressure of two atmospheres, provided that normal decompression procedures are followed.
All the required permissions from the Egyptian authorities have now been granted, the construction work is complete, and with the backing of the Governor of South Sinai, himself a keen diver, we are very soon to take delivery of the structure in prefabricated form. After a few weeks of positioning, installation and proving, we will be ready to welcome our guests to the world’s first ever Underwater Dive Centre. It is such a good idea, we are only surprised that no one else has done it before!