Subsea Expo

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Subsea Aquatheatre - A Spectacular Showcase for Subsea Technology

3 July 2008

03 July 2008

Subsea UK commissioned the build of a large-scale, portable aquarium for highlighting subsea technologies and brought it to the city of Aberdeen for its debut.


With support funding from its members, Subsea UK showcased the aptly named "Subsea Aquatheatre” at the ‘Energise your Future’ eventin Aberdeen’s Exhibition and Conference Centre on the 26th June.


Funding came from several Subsea UK member companies: Wellstream, Oceaneering, Subsea 7, Triton and the Engineering Business.


Thanks to support from industry, over 600 pupils and members of the public from Aberdeen and the surrounding areas were able to experience and interact with the Subsea Aquatheatre.


It’s taken several weeks to build and deliver the attraction which is hoped to encourage young people to pursue careers in science and engineering.


Transported by an 18tonne lorry, it took more than 22,000 litres of water to fill the 4.5 metric tonne aquarium which demonstrated the technology used underwater, such as cameras, remotely operated vehicles and diving equipment.


The June event, organised through a multi stakeholder alliance partnership with Marathon, OPITO, Careers Scotland, Energy Institute, Shell and WSCA, was able to have the world’s best marine technology at their fingertips.


Despite some initial technical and timing concerns, Subsea UK chief executive David Pridden was determined to make his vision for a hands on attraction succeed: "There was some hesitation when it came to the idea of building a tank in less than 2 months and ensuring that it could be transported, installed and set up within the 24 hours before the event but we believe this exhibit is a fantastic way foryoung peopleand adults to play with technology that is used in the real world.”


One of the main aims of this event was to tackle the skills shortage in the subsea sector by allowing visitors to gain first hand experience of what it is like to drive an ROV in an aquatic environment.


Pridden added: "The event was a prime opportunity for us to showcase the Subsea Aquatheatre and the great technology developed by our member companies. Through this attraction we have shown youngsters that there is an element of fun in what we do and this was a chance for them to put their playstation skills to use. We now intend to take the tank around the UK to reach thousands of school children.”




"The UK subsea industry is one of the most exciting and fastest growing technology sectors in the world that is pioneering Earth’s last frontier. It is a career that can take you to all four corners of the globe – working in locations as diverse as the North Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, Indian Ocean or even the Artic and the industry needs to highlight this in more creative, realistic ways. We hope the Subsea Aquatheatre can take us one step closer to achieving this”


Subsea Aquatheatre "Project Engineer”, Liam Macintyre from MCS added: "Our aim has always been to demonstrate the fun element of subsea engineering whilst providing a direct link to the real technology used subsea. The industry support has meant that all the donated technology for the tank such as flexible pipe from Wellstream, Balmoral’s bouys and Ac-cess’ ROVs are actual items of equipment used in the real subsea environment.

"From bubble currents and pipes to dive mannequins, the Subsea Aquatheatre is not just a stunning experience but also an educational tool that gives the public a window into our sector and the varying career paths it can provide.”


The Subsea Aquatheatre is set to exhibit at a number of future events and open days and the idea was based on the National Marine Aquarium’s permanent Aquatheatre attraction in Plymouth.


To find out further details about the Subsea Aquatheatre and other skills initiatives in this area, please contact Subsea UK.


Tel: +44 (0)1224 355 355





Issued by Subsea UK. For further information please contact Katherine Dawson on 01224 355 355 or via


Notes to editors:


Subsea Aquatheatre Facts:

Aquatic Impact ( built the aquarium which is designed with stainless steel and acrylic panel construction. The tank dimensions are: (L) 5744mm x (W) 2250 mm x (H) 1836 mm and weighs c4.5 metric tonnes empty.


Subsea UK:

Subsea UK is the industry body and focal point for the entire British subsea industry and aims to increase business opportunities at home and abroad for the sector. We act for the whole supply chain bringing together operators, contractors, suppliers and people in the industry. Subsea UK was established by the industry and acts on behalf of the industry.

We champion Britain’s subsea sector, which leads the way globally in terms of market size, experience and technology development.

Subsea UK now has over 170 member companies representing the whole subsea supply chain from operators to major contractors and manufacturers to small technology innovators.