Release date: 02/10/2023

JFD showcases 42 years of subsea innovation to His Majesty, King Charles III at Aberdeen’s Global Underwater Hub

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JFD demonstrated the importance of equipment safety within manned diving operations to King Charles III as part of a Royal Visit to Aberdeen’s Global Underwater Hub.

The Global Underwater Hub (GUH) champions the UK’s underwater industry by providing opportunities for networking and collaboration, helping to bolster the market’s influence on a global scale. Having begun his career in the Royal Navy in 1971, the King has a special interest within subsea and a passion for the conservation of the ocean ecosystem.

On the 29th September 2023, the GUH hosted the King at their Westhill facility in Aberdeen to present a selection of local underwater companies who exemplify pioneering subsea technology and demonstrable success.

JFD’s heritage in the maritime environment started more than 175 years ago by James Fisher. The company maintains a rich heritage of maritime capability as a proud UK listed company.  JFD has played a long-standing role in the development of subsea equipment with the founding of Gas Services Offshore in 1980. In 1981 the company 'struck gold' as their invention of the Diver Gas Recovery System successfully enabled the recovery of HMS Edinburgh’s cargo of gold bullion. Without this innovation, saturation diving today would not be commercially practical.

Also forming part of JFD is the National Hyperbaric Centre in Aberdeen, built in 1987 by the UK government for subsea testing, research and training purposes.

The Aberdeen based companies which now form part of JFD each played a unique role in the development of pioneering solutions to complex subsea challenges as the UK and its partners developed the subsea industry in the North Sea.

JFD now operates across the commercial and defence industries on a global scale and continues to pioneer, innovate, and break boundaries designing, manufacturing, and supporting subsea technologies which significantly improve diver safety.

Rob Hales, JFD Managing Director commented:

“It was an honour to meet the King and discuss JFD’s role providing life-saving and safety-critical services to our customers in the energy and defence sectors. We are immensely proud of our 40-year track record at the forefront of our industry, with our expertise in demand by partners around the world.

The visit was also a fantastic opportunity to reflect on the incredible innovation which started and continues in our Aberdeen facility and engage with the local community and school children who also attended the visit. We are passionate about inspiring the next generation and always keen to give them an insight into the diverse and interesting subsea industry.”

On display was JFD’s COBRA (Compact Bailout Rebreather System) the world’s most widely adopted emergency bailout system for commercial divers offering 45 mins of breathing gas in the event of a primary failure.  JFD also showcased our Stealth fully non-magnetic closed circuit rebreather system for Mine Clearance divers. Both systems are designed, manufactured, and maintained within JFD’s Aberdeen facility, and exported to customers around the world.

JFD continues to grow with over 500 employees worldwide and has operating bases in the UK, Australia, Singapore, Sweden, Netherlands, South Africa, India and the US.   


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