Around 1965 Siebe Gorman and Draeger stopped the production of their copper and brass helmets. Around that time the first fiber helmets appear on the market and many of them later disappear again. One of them is the LAMA helmet, designed by a French inventor named Yves Le Masson in the 1970-s. 

The dome is made of acrylic plastic and is extremely shock resistant (like the front glass of any modern diving helmet). The story goes that an instructor in a commercial diving school tested the dome by hitting it with a sledge hammer that simply bounced away.

The Lama was used in commercial diving in Europe in the 70's. It was sometimes combined with a unique backpack for mixed gas diving. The system featured a computer in the backpack that calculated the gas mixture depending on the depth !

In the spring of 1999 the BBC broadcasted the series SEA TREK. In this series (about coral reefs all over the world) presenters Martha Holmes and Mike Degruy both wear a Lama helmet. In this way they could speak with each other and viewers could hear (and see) them speak. Especially for the series 4 Lama helmets were made.

The large dome holds a lot of carbon dioxide so the diver has to vent the hat constantly.

The Lama was also used in the science-fiction film industry. It is a nice hat to dive. However, the eyes really have to get used to the distortion of the glass dome. 

The LAMA helmet is still in production. You can contact Dr. Phill Nuytten of Nuytco Research in Canada directly to order your helmet. See more information on the Nuytco website!

Above: The Lama used in combination with a rebreather set. Below: the Lama used as a fishtank!.
Please note: this was a photographers joke and nobody got hurt in the process!! Pictures contributed by Horst Metzig