Invented in 1969 by Mike Humphrey and Mike Borrow of UMEL (Underwater Marine Equipment Ltd), the JIM suit is an atmospheric diving suit (ADS) which can be simply described as a ‘man-shaped submarine’. It has a metal body, a large perspex viewing dome and articulated arms and legs. It was inspired by Joseph Salim Peress’s ‘Tritonia’ diving suit and is named after Peress’s chief diver, Jim Jarrett.
By 1981 nineteen versions of JIM had been built; the one in our museum is JIM 18.
JIM suits were commercially operational between 1974 and 1990 in depths of 90 to 344m. In 1979 Sylvia Earle set a human depth record of 381m in a JIM suit, but the suits are probably best remembered for their appearances in two movies: For Your Eyes Only (1981) and DeepStar Six (1989).