Blue Abyss

by john.vickers in Colchester

We did it
On 22nd July 2015 we successfully raised £13,578 with 92 supporters in 42 days

World's largest, and deepest, research, training and development pool. For use by divers, marine researchers and aerospace communities

by john.vickers in Colchester

Project aim

To create the world's largest and deepest aquatic, human physiology and Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) research, diver training,  and neutral buoyancy development pool.  This is about Pushing the Boundaries for humans, in water and in space.

 

About the project

Imagine having the opportunity to help create the world’s first commercial astronaut training facility.  A development large enough to cater for divers, human physiology researchers and the aerospace industry as well, often at the same time!  Just wonder at being able to say you were part of making the world’s biggest indoor aquatic research, training and development facility a reality.  Everyone behind this project wants to push the boundaries of what human beings can achieve; here on earth in our marine environment and beyond our own planet, in space.  Join us in that endeavour and leave a legacy our children will continue to benefit from!

The aim is to build the world’s largest and deepest multi-level, indoor research, training and development pool.  This will be the premier marine and space research facility in Europe.  Leading recreational dive agencies, global commercial diving organisations and researchers from human physiology, human spaceflight and general aerospace have all expressed interest in this exciting project.

We plan to create a state-of-the-art space; with hyperbaric chambers, a wide range of commercial diving and even micro-gravity facilities.  The pool alone will be 50 m long, 40 m wide and have a maximum depth of 50 m.  Details of the various depths within the complex are shown on the plan available on the website.  The provision of a large ‘table-like’ area within the main pool allows for a variety of uses, with tie-down points enabling the inclusion of mock wrecks, a simulated cave system, etc.  Thanks to full lighting control throughout the pool, simulated darkness can be achieved during the daytime or daylight created during the hours of darkness.  The pool is even big enough to allow the use of a full-size rigid inflatable boat (RIB) with an electric outboard to provide additional training opportunities.

Recreational divers can choose from a wide range of development and skills courses and the facility will cater for complete beginners to advanced divers and is designed to be used by those with physical disabilities which may make other sports more difficult to pursue.  There will be at least two hyperbaric chambers on site to provide onsite safety and to be used for research purposes.

From the outset it is intended that the venue will also help educate our children as to the richness of our marine planet and equip them with the skills to explore it and even see a future career as a diver, marine explorer or perhaps, one day as an astronaut?  We are working on creating a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), project from the plans that have helped create Blue Abyss.

Creation of this facility will see the emergence of the world’s first commercial ‘Space Environment’ simulation facility for aerospace research and development including potential to train humans for spaceflight.  Blue Abyss is destined to be a world-class research centre for a multitude of space disciplines.  Currently, for example, most neutral buoyancy facilities are operated by national space agencies, such as NASA, Roscosmos and the European Space Agency (ESA).  A research and development facility that complements existing astronaut training centres offers huge opportunities, given the anticipated development of space tourism for example.  Ancillary courses that provide an insight into what astronauts go through would be a logical extension of the facility’s wider commercial offerings.

The overall complex will also feature six exceptionally well-equipped training rooms. High definition video is available, with feeds from the pool allowing all training and exercises to be recorded for subsequent evaluation by trainees and staff.  A 120-bed hotel, 150-seat amphitheatre-style lecture theatre and free on-site parking or free pick-up from local railway stations completes the planned development.  Access to a European ferry port is approximately 25 minutes away, and there are five airports within 2.5 hours’ driving time.

Booking a session in the pool, training rooms and lecture theatre will only be available by booking via the website in advance.  Commercial clients will similarly reserve usage slots in advance and we have already been contacted by various agencies.

Land and construction: We are in final discussions to secure a key plot of land in Essex at an appropriate location.  Indicative planning permission has already been granted for the site, but a final deep ground survey is needed to determine the exact siting of the pool complex.

Additional finance:  Plans for this facility have already generated huge interest among an array of commercial and research organisations, as well as the diving community at large – from free divers, scuba and technical to a number of international commercial diving and even aerospace companies.  To take advantage of this interest the management team is looking to raise £150,000 to cover ongoing negotiations to finalise the architectural and constructions plans, plus the ground survey of the final proposed site and drafting of relevant legal agreements.  Additional UK and European grants will also be sought, but we need your support to keep this process moving.

Major investment: Talks are already under way with a number of interested backers regarding funding the facility.  The management team is aiming to conclude these discussions within 16 weeks.

What do you get for your contribution?  That depends; rewards vary from a limited diving/space ‘patch’, cartoon print or T-shirt through to corporate days, training courses or experiences and membership packages.  Gaining wider public support will help tremendously.  By sharing our vision, you can help make it a reality more quickly.

The team: The key senior management team is already in place, backed by committed architects, lawyers, accountants, construction engineers and project managers. For further information, please contact the Managing Director, John Vickers, on john.vickers@blueabyss.uk.

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£5 or more

£5 Reward

Sponsor a gallon of water in the pool and receive a shout out on Facebook and your name in our pledge book for posterity.

£12 or more

5 of 500 claimed

£12 Reward

Everyone carries a travel-card, credit or debit card these days. What better way to cheer yourself up every time you look for yours than with this - and it highlights the fact that you are probably in a queue too...

£15 or more

24 of 500 claimed

£15 Reward

A limited edition Blue Abyss Founder's patch. Something to sew on a dive bag, jacket, or maybe even your own spacesuit!

£25 or more

0 of 250 claimed

£25 Reward

A Blue Abyss children's t-shirt - with a limited edition cartoon by Pickled Jo on the reverse. Please state age range for the child in question:

£30 or more

0 of 100 claimed

£30 Reward

Join us for our 1st summer BBQ! Get to meet the team and some well known TV celebrities who are supporting our endeavours.

£30 or more

13 of 200 claimed

£30 Reward

Fancy a Jeremy Banx, of FT and Private Eye fame, limited edition, Blue Abyss cartoon? Signed and number - strictly limited edition!

£40 or more

0 of 200 claimed

£40 Reward

A limited edition t-shirt. Choose from one of five prints from renowned underwater photographer, Steve Jones, and that signed design is printed on the reverse of a Blue abyss founders t-shirt. Only 200 of each design are available. Never to be repeated - underneath the Blue Abyss logo are the words Founder.

£40 or more

1 of 200 claimed

£40 Reward

A limited edition t-shirt. Choose from one of five prints from renowned underwater photographer, Steve Jones, and that signed design is printed on the reverse of a Blue abyss founders t-shirt. Only 200 of each design are available. Never to be repeated - underneath the Blue Abyss logo are the words Founder.

£40 or more

0 of 200 claimed

£40 Reward

A limited edition t-shirt. Choose from one of five prints from renowned underwater photographer, Steve Jones, and that signed design is printed on the reverse of a Blue abyss founders t-shirt. Only 200 of each design are available. Never to be repeated - underneath the Blue Abyss logo are the words Founder.

£40 or more

10 of 200 claimed

£40 Reward

A limited edition t-shirt. Choose from one of five prints from renowned underwater photographer, Steve Jones, and that signed design is printed on the reverse of a Blue abyss founders t-shirt. Only 200 of each design are available. Never to be repeated - underneath the Blue Abyss logo are the words Founder.

£40 or more

1 of 200 claimed

£40 Reward

A limited edition t-shirt. Choose from one of five prints from renowned underwater photographer, Steve Jones, and that signed design is printed on the reverse of a Blue abyss founders t-shirt. Only 200 of each design are available. Never to be repeated - underneath the Blue Abyss logo are the words Founder.

£50 or more

20 of 500 claimed

£50 Reward

Your name on our glass Wall of Fame. as a founding contributor, your name will be there for all visitors to see as they come through the reception area - indefinitely!

£75 or more

1 of 200 claimed

£75 Reward

Under 16: 2 hr intro to diving, 1 hr lesson and 1hr of pool-based training including diving and photos. An ideal intro to the delights and possibilities of SCUBA diving, Plus a behind the scenes tour of Europe's premier aquatic training facility. Recipients must be over 12 years of age at the time they undertake the offer.

£75 or more

25 of 240 claimed

£75 Reward

Diving session - before opening to the general public, come and spend a day diving! You'll meet the team, get lunch and be able to dive a number of times during the day. You must hold a recognised and current diving membership to take advantage of this offer. There are four such days planned, prior to actual opening.

£300 or more

0 of 5 claimed

£300 Reward

The ARCTIC EXPEDITION brings fourth element’s knowledge of performance fabrics and biomapped design, accumulated over 15 years of designing thermal protection for drysuit diving, together to create a new undersuit in our EXPEDITION SERIES. Using strategically placed additional layers of high density fleece and wind and waterproof fabrics to protect critical areas of the body that experience greater exposure during the dive, the biomapping technology maximises thermal protection whilst minimising bulk, allowing greater freedom of movement and comfort throughout the dive. Each under suit comes with a free pair of Arctic socks and three free entry's to Blue Abyss!

£450 or more

1 of 20 claimed

£450 Reward

10 days SCUBA diving at 10% off the normal daily rate. Includes free air and three dives per visit.

£500 or more

2 of 8 claimed

£500 Reward

A Master Class free diving day with Emma Farrell, dinner and accommodation the night before and a two photographs - one underwater from a top underwater photographer. This is for four people.

£500 or more

2 of 25 claimed

£500 Reward

Star plaque - a truly amazing reward - be one of only 25 people whose name appears on a star shaped plaque around the bottom of the 50m shaft! A truly unique memorial to your support in the world's deepest pool. Featuring either your signature, or name in block font (your choice). Why have you name on a pavement, when you can really stand out from the crowd!

£1,200 or more

2 of 5 claimed

£1,200 Reward

Free diving Life Membership. A strictly limited opportunity to become a lifetime free diving member of Blue Abyss. You book in as many times in a year as you choose for as many years as you choose. Stunning value for money and the membership card that goes with will mark you out as one of a select few! Until the pool is open we will also include you in special events and you will receive a Blue Abyss - Pushing Boundaries t-shirt.

£2,100 or more

0 of 1 claimed

£2,100 Reward

Argonaut - The Adventurer's Drysuit Ergonomic design along with a telescopic torso allows maximum comfort and range of movement whether diving in conditions of extreme cold, using multiple thermal layers, or with lighter undersuits in warmer waters. Lightweight and Breathable Kevlar reinforced breathable fabric ensures a level of comfort unknown with traditional membrane drysuits. The breathable fabric allows water vapour to pass out of the suit before the dive meaning less condenses on the inside of the drysuit. The suit also extremely lightweight, making it ideally suited for travelling. Optional Extras • SiTech Antares ring system with silicone seals and dryglove system • SiTech neck seal system with silicone neck seals • SiTech or Light Monkey p-valve • Neoprene neck and wrist seals Plus five entry passes to dive at Blue Abyss!

£2,500 or more

0 of 4 claimed

£2,500 Reward

Attend the opening ceremony with four friends and get to spend the day on-site with us and the VIPs. Including lunch and a hosted table. If you hold a valid SCUBA diving or free diving certificate you can also have a dive during the day. Plus a photo on the day and a polo shirt for you and your three guests.

£5,000 or more

0 of 4 claimed

£5,000 Reward

SCUBA diving Life Membership. A strictly limited opportunity to become a lifetime SCUBA diving member of Blue Abyss. You book in as many times in a year as you choose for as many years as you choose. Stunning value for money and the membership card that goes with will mark you out as one of a select few! Until the pool is open we will also include you in special events and you will receive a Blue Abyss - Pushing Boundaries t-shirt.

£8,000 or more

0 of 3 claimed

£8,000 Reward

Technical diving Life Membership. A strictly limited opportunity to become a lifetime technical diving member of Blue Abyss. You book in as many times in a year as you choose for as many years as you choose. Includes certain gas refills - to be finalized through discussion. Stunning value for money and the membership card that goes with will mark you out as one of a select few! Until the pool is open we will also include you in special events and you will receive a Blue Abyss - Pushing Boundaries t-shirt.

£20,000 or more

£20,000 Reward

The ultimate Blue Abyss experience - Your own key to the front door for one day! Please contact us to discuss. Also includes, first access to the pool, conference facility, and your name/company name engraved on a special plaque for posterity. In addition, VIP Invitations to every event prior to opening and two places on the opening day! One limited edition T-shirt.

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