Phil Nuytten Obituary, Death – Dr. Phil Nuytten, a true legend in deep sea research and exploration, has passed away. It is not an exaggeration to say that very little in that arena will not have his participation at some point. Dr. Nuytten died on May 13th, aged 81. His family has written an obituary in which they recount his life and the tremendous contributions he made throughout it.
Phil Nuytten has spent his entire life exploring the oceans. He worked many thousands of hours underwater around the world as a working commercial diver and inventor of underwater equipment and methods. He was widely regarded as a forefather of the modern commercial diving industry and a driving force in the advancement of new technologies. In the 1960s and 1970s, Phil was heavily involved in experimental deep diving and the development of mixed gas decompression tables. He was a member of the team that completed the first 180m ocean ‘bounce’ dives on ‘Project Nesco’ in 1968, and he created the protocol for ‘Deep Work 1000′, the first North American 304m saturation dive, in 1972. These early initiatives helped to develop global standards that are still in use today.
In 1965, Phil founded Can-Dive Services Ltd, then in 1969, Oceaneering International Inc. Both companies were early pioneers in subsea development, and Oceaneering has evolved to become the world’s largest publicly traded undersea skills company. In the 1970s, Phil co-led the equipment research component of a series of high-Arctic trips with long-time colleague Dr Joe MacInnis. One of the missions’ goals was to assess Phil’s ideas for life-support equipment for usage in polar and sub-polar regions. In 1984, Phil was featured on the cover of National Geographic Magazine for his record-breaking dives over ice-covered Arctic waters onto the Breadalbane, the world’s northernmost known shipwreck.
His engagement in underwater activities in nearly every ocean on the planet has resulted in articles on his work appearing in Reader’s Digest, Business Week, Newsweek, Time, Popular Science, Discovery, Fortune, and Scientific American, as well as dozens of diving and aerospace technical magazines. Phil was a prominent speaker at subsea conferences all around the world, and he produced a number of technical articles on his cutting-edge subsea technological work. Phil was instrumental in the development and broad acceptance of Atmospheric Diving System technology.
He began work on a revolutionary new one-atmosphere diving suit in 1977, which resulted in a patented breakthrough in rotary joint design and served as the foundation for the world-famous ADS ‘Newtsuit,’ a 300m-rated hard suit that completely protects the wearer from outside pressure and eliminates the need for decompression while retaining mobility and dexterity. Phil later developed a new concept for an ultra-lightweight hard suit called the ‘Exosuit ADS,’ always looking for new ways to improve technology. The first production Exosuit ADS, a natural sequel to his original Newtsuit, was unveiled in April 2012, and the Exosuit ADS, like its predecessor, is a key tool for research scientists worldwide, as well as commercial dive organizations, military groups, and explorers.