In 1966 Ed Shippen built this fibreglass helmet. It was constructed whilst Ed was tending
for George Swindell, the developer of the Swindell Air helmet and Mixed Gas Helmet.

The regulator was added 2 years after the original built helmet. There were a further
3 helmets build by other divers using the original mould under the guidance of Ed.

The design was unique as it incorporated a lead filler piece sandwiched
between the layers of fibreglass to give it neutral buoyancy.


The neck seal using a sewer pipe O ring was stretched over the lip of the helmet.

Here is Ed Shippen taken on the Mc Dermott Jet Barge 11.
Ed retired from diving in 1975 and was in the offshore boat business for the next 20 years

Photos courtesy of Ed Shippen


Photo of diver Ray Champayne with his Shippen Helmet also taken on the McDermott Jet Barge No 2.
Ed recounts an interesting incident with his helmet no 3.
The owner put the Victor valve in backwards and decided to chrome plate the whole assembly.
The chrome plating came off the ball on the Victor valve and blocked the flow of air causing a swift ascent!

Photos courtesy of Ed Shippen


Buck Strieber wearing a white Shippen helmet. Buck has just climbed up the dive ladder.
This photo was taken by Ed in the Gulf of Mexico’s oil patch in around 1966-1969.

Photo courtesy of Gary Harris