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May 15, 2009

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Abu Dhabi First Police Force to Choose Microdive Scuba Gear

London – The Abu Dhabi Police Force has become the first to buy Microdive scuba systems from Mini B Ltd, for use during operational policing. The organisation has bought 20 Micro-B systems with 1.5 litre tanks which are the smallest scuba systems in the world and weigh just 7.5 kg. They are ideal for short duration dives in shallow water for tasks such as evidence retrieval or the preliminary inspection of a boat’s hull. They can also be used to enable emergency crew escapes following, for example, helicopter immersion.

The Micro-B system is the smallest model in the Microdive range from Mini B Ltd, Essex, England (www.mini-b.com) which has designed them specifically for use in shallow water. Microdive systems are unique as they are all contained within a special back pack that enables them to be stored fully assembled and ready for immediate use. This design feature means that Microdive systems can be carried routinely, making them ideal for use in a wide range of police and security-related activities. They are now claimed to enable officers to respond very quickly to circumstances requiring them to enter water whether for rescue or for security-related activities such as inspection or evidence recovery.

The Microdive systems may now be particulary useful for personnel in the Abu Dhabi General Directorate For Security Affairs & Ports. This is in keeping with the technically progressive policy of the force which is also the first in the world to use advanced face recognition technology for airport security screening.

The Abu Dhabi Police Force also considered the option of purchasing Microdive systems fitted with 10 litre air tanks which can enable at least an hour of diving when used in shallow water. These would provide the Emirate’s police divers with the ability to inspect the underside of marine craft and port installations in detail without the time consuming preparation needed for conventional scuba systems. A complete Microdive system including fins, mask, wetsuit and snorkel can all be contained within the backpack of the larger models and all may be routinely carried in any police vehicle. This would ensure that Abu Dhabi police officers trained in Microdiving or traditional open water diving are able to respond immediately to any situation where it is necessary to go under water.

Microdivers using Microdive equipment typically go no deeper than 9 metres which is generally adequate for a wide range of police and security-related tasks. Shallow water scuba diving also has the benefit of eliminating complications arising from decompression and significantly reduces the overall training requirement. This makes it possible for a large number of police and security personnel to become qualified Microdivers quickly and inexpensively. If circumstances make it necessary to go deeper or to swim in difficult conditions, the task can be assigned to more highly qualified police divers.

Microdive scuba systems are manufactured in Great Britain and are certified to the highest EN1809 standards. They use conventional components in a more advanced configuration than is usual in scuba gear and, although Microdiving is restricted to 9 metres, the equipment is depth rated to 50 metres. This means that when Microdive systems are fitted with a larger tanks they may also be used for traditional diving in deep water if the need arises.