The COMEX Story

DELAUZE , COMEX and Rolex: The story.    by Guill@ume


Delauze was born in the South of France in 1929 . He was an engineer and at 20 years old leaves for his military service, where he begins to dive.


Later in France, he used his skill learned at the military and worked for French companies specialized in diving equipment and undersea works. He met the Commandant Cousteau and worked for him in several undersea excavations in the 1950’s.


Delauze continued to work construction of the “Tunnel of La Havana “ and worked in secret mission for the US Army.


At a later time, he graduated at Berkeley and crossed the world for his job : Guinea, Algeria, San Diego.


This gave him a deep understanding of the futures needs in term of undersea work. This lead him to create in 1961 the Compagnie Maritime d’Expertise in Marseille (COMEX). At that time, Yuri Gagarine was travelling around the earth at 300 km of altitude but none dared to travel over 70 m under the sea.


Delauze and COMEX ran an incredible industrial and human challenge: the conquest of the depths.


Their hyperbaric boxes simulated the condition of life under sea .COMEX improved them , as well as the gas mixtures and the equipments .


As they got more and more experience and technologies the records were all broken:

 

Ludion 1966-68 : 120 m in hyperbaric box

Physalie 1968-72 : 610 m in box (doesn’t that remind you something ?)

There will also be Coraz , Belouga and the famous industrial operations Janus :

Janus I in 1968 : 4 divers at 150m for 14 hours of work.

Janus II en 1970 : 3 divers , 34 h of work ;, 250 m

Janus IV in 1977 : 6 divers for a simulation of work at 460 m . 2 of them will go to 501 : world record !!!!

 

In the 1970’s, after the “oil crisis “ thousands of off-shore platforms grew all over the world and COMEX was almost the only one able to repair or work on them . COMEX purchased boats, barges, bathyscaphes,.

It also has an R&D centre, a simulation centre , 2000 employees  (800 divers ) all over the world .


COMEX in pictures :

Pic 1 : Delauze in 1950 , the beginning of the diving story. 

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Pic 2 : Delauze in 1963 

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Pic 3 : the CNRS (National centre for scientific research ) will entrust him the Archimede during the next 5 years .

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Pic 4 : physalie in 1969 with the Dr Brauer , 335 m

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Pic 5 : hyperbaric experimental center .

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Pic 7 : comex invents and buits almost everything .

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Pic 6 : EMS 600 , built by Creusot Loire , 3 hyperbaric box  air and water .

            The most sophisticated in the world;

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Pic 8 : The Seabex one , autonomous boat for 16 divers .

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Pic 9 : barge “Uncle joe”

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Pic 10 : the DSV Talisman at 275 m

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Pic 11-15 : working in deep water .

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Pic 16 : the Janus IV team in October 1977  : 501 meters!!

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