History of the Invention – 1998 to Present Day
The generic HyPod Chamber – originally named the “DiveAlive Decompression Chamber”
Following the invention of the HyPod material high pressure chamber, its uses and flexibility have now been very significantly expanded into many fields of both medical science and rescue. But it has a very sad aspect to its history – the untimely deaths of its two brilliant inventors, the father and son team of Keith and Alex Burnup.
First conceptualized in 1998 by Keith Burnup, a brilliant British marine engineer and professional diver, who’s career bests included being responsible of all aspects of the construction of the Khor Fakkan Deep Water Harbour, in the United Arab Emirates.
Keith recruited his son Alex Burnup to help bring the concept to life. Alex was also a highly respected design engineer and a nationally recognised leading design engineer for ballistics & targeting technology, but unfortunately suffered a lifetime of ill health.
Sadly, Keith died in August 2011 at the age of 77, following a long debilitating illness. And tragically, Alex’s health deteriorated further in early 2017 and he passed away in March 2017 at the age of only 51, leaving his mother with no other close family.
Alex had joined his father in the endeavour despite his ill health, having some decades earlier under gone very serious surgery. Together, father and son produced their first working chambers by 2000. They successfully designed and manufactured the world’s very first operational, fully portable, demountable hyperbaric chambers, capable of being assembled whenever and wherever needed and disassembled for transport and storage. A truly unique invention. They patented their designs and began operations though their own company and branded/trademarked their products as the “DIVEALIVE” Decompression Chamber
They soon gained recognition and their unique hyperbaric chambers were successfully tested by the then called ‘Defence Evaluation & Research Agency’ (aka ‘DERA’ owned by the British Ministry of Defence). The tests proved conclusively that their lightweight portable chambers performed as well as large heavy metal ‘Decompression Chambers’ and was very significantly cheaper to manufacture, transport, store and operate.
DERA were so impressed, they borrowed 2 chambers and provided them to the Royal Navy, in readiness for a potential rescue attempt on the trapped submariners aboard the Russian submarine, the ‘Kursk’. Interest was also shown by the European Space Agency and eventually the International Space Station did have aboard a similar type chamber, thought to be inferior to the ‘DIVEALIVE’ product.
Unfortunately soon after this great start to the project and before any real traction could be achieved, Keith’s health deteriorated significantly and the project faltered. Subsequently following the death of his father and despite Alex’s own continuing health problems and the fact that he had his own business to run, Alex worked at keeping the concept alive but was unable to make any significant progress with the DIVEALIVE decompression chamber. So Alex was forced to virtually ‘mothball’ the project for several years.
However, Alex had some powerful and loyal friends, both in the UK and Europe, and in late 2016 the whole project was resurrected and reconsidered. With this ‘new blood’ aboard, Alex was able to give the concept new impetus and he provided a fountain of knowledge and experience. The project was progressing at a good pace into 2017, when Alex’s health declined significantly and he sadly passed away in March 2017.
Happily Keith and Alex’s vision lives on. They have left a wonderful legacy in the form of their patent protected, unique working hyperbaric chambers and ancillary equipment. Plus a plethora of documented theoretical knowledge and immense practical knowhow. HyPod and its staff hope to greatly expand the scope and success of this British invention and get it the worldwide recognition it deserves.