The SETT tank is perched on the edge of the Solent in a 35 meter steel tower and faces all that the elements can throw at it.
The tank is 30 metes deep and about five in diameter and as such only groups of two or three can be on the bottom at once, as this group makes its ascent the next pair begin their descent. With fifteen minutes max bottom time there is plenty to keep ones self amused.
The tank top is about 1.5m off the floor, with several access steps. Fascinating looking in - just a standing column of water - brightly lit & very warm - 32 degrees centigrade!.
The serious purpose behind the SETT is to train and recertify our fleet of Submariners in their escape training. They perform three escapes, one from 10m, one from 18m and a final one from 30 meters. This ascent usually takes about 7 seconds !! Divers please note that this is not an acceptable ascent rate !!!
The tank itself forms part of a large water circulatory system whereby the main SETT is fed by two reservoirs holding fresh water and between them hold over 250,000 gallons of water. It takes six days to fill from empty and is drained by five meters every so often to recirculate. When filled from empty apparently Gosport struggles for water! Due to this recirculation the tank is crystal clear and the bottom hatches can easily be spotted from the surface.
Divers: Callum Beveridge, Helen Beveridge, Hamish Morrison, Richard Clarke, Malcolm Clarke, Ian Donaldson, David Farquhar, Julian Moore, Jase Walker, Philip Payne, Howard Rose (CPA), Steve Dew, Charlie Crapper
The procedure at the SETT was to gear up then climb in - you couldn't jump as the tank overflows and floods the rest of the building! We maximised the experience by a rapid descent and took something to play with at the bottom - we only had around 15 mins but peering around the escape hatches and looking at the mermaid soon got boring. This was the best environment ever for practicing buoyancy control!
Diving groups were limited to pairs/trios so it didn't get too crowded.
Entry, exit, air and diver tally was rigorously recorded. We drain off all gear in top gutter as we got out.
The SETT was worth doing just to say you have dived in the world's deepest swimming pool!