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The Abyss Dive Helmets and Gear


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For those who know James Cameron, he's directed some very good Sci-Fi films in his career. Such works as The Terminator, Aliens, The Abyss, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, and many other films. But what I'm interested in is some of the props used during the making of the 1989 film The Abyss. Many of the actors are trained divers and were seen wearing futuristic looking Dive helmets and backpacks. The Helmets and Backpacks were designed and built by some of top producers of professional dive gear. Such as Western Space Marine and Kirby Morgan. The equipment they used was specially built for the cast since Cameron wanted the audience to very easily recognize the actors while wearing the helmets. For that, the helmets had a very large visor or face port with allowed for very easy recognition and seeing of the actors' faces. The helmets also came with other advances such as a servo-controlled demand regulator, a headset microphone and speaker that was similar to ones used in military helicopters and fighter jets (which allowed the actors to speak and have their dialogue recorder and speak back or converse with fellow actors. But not to Cameron since his helmet was able to communicate to the actors, various stations topside, or to the safety divers and crewman by an underwater loudspeaker), and a bright helmet light that had a special mirror inside the housing to shine light on the actors' face. The backpacks were also somewhat futuristic looking and had batteries to power the light on the helmet (which was plugged in by a cord that connected to the helmet and backpack), was capable of being refilled while underwater so the cast can stay longer without having to resurface, and a compressor inside to provide air for the helmet. Getting to the point, does anyone know what happened to these helmets and backpacks. Were they preserved and are now in a museum or warehouse, or were they just trashed once filming had ending (which I hope not). I will also include some screenshots of the helmets and backpacks. If you guys have any information regarding this don't be afraid to post. Thank you and I apologize for my very long introduction.

The Abyss dive helmet (photoshop).png

The Abyss dive helmet 2 (photoshop).png

The Abyss dive helmet 3 (photoshop).png

The Abyss dive helmet underside (photoshop).png

The Abyss backpack (photoshop).png

The Abyss backpack 2 (photoshop).png

The Abyss backpack 3 (photoshop).png

The Abyss backpack 4 (photoshop).png
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That's entirely possible, maybe on of the actors has one too, but who knows. There needs to be modern day pictures of like Cameron with it after 25 years.
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Hi Matdan97,

My father, Scott, founded Western Space & Marine and did the dive equipment for the Abyss with Bob Kirby leading the way on the dive helmets. Dad passed in August of 2014 and we are still sorting thru so many remnants from his incredible life's work. I worked at WSM from 1994 to 1998 and got to share in some great projects including Titanic with hands-on building of 'Snoop', the ROV that swam off the MIR submersible all the way down to E deck on the wreck! To answer your question, the backpacks and helmets from Abyss came back to WSM in Santa Barbara after the film. We stored them until around 1997 (I think) when we sold the lot to Planet Hollywood where I think they still are. I have the remaining working spare helmet now that sat in the conference room at WSM ever since the movie until August of 2014.

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