International Submarine Services

Marseille, France

Un bourlingueur de l’offshore : Mémoires et réflexions

A backpacker offshore : memories and reflections....

A book by InterSub's Emile Levesque - seen here as Supervisor aboard InterSub Five

"This is a proper book with humour, elegance and a lot of very interesting anecdotes and must be read. The book is full of facts, correct references and local stories, I have never seen or read before."

Ingemar Curtsell (ex Royal Swedish Navy, sub commander, Comex diver, offshore engineer)

N’oubliez pas d’acheter l’Ebook sur Amazon :

Don't forget to buy the E-book from amazon!

Posted by NickM on 9th September 2016

A New Page!

With photos by Jim Kelly, PC1202/PC1802 Lockout Diver

Dick Winchster & Vance Bradley - two Old Comrades

Be sure to visit the new 'InterSub Old Comrades Page' !     and

and be sure to sign the Guestbook too - via the link below!


And be sure to take a look at this amazing privately built minisub urgently needing your help!

This website is dedicated to the memory of Jean-Francois Durand, Marc Henry & Jean-Jacques Moalic

Founded in 1973, InterSub managed and operated a fleet of manned submersibles, worldwide.

InterSub was a joint-venture between Northern Offshore Limited and Monsieur Jean-Francois Durand.

The company was was set up to operate submersibles in the North Sea and the original idea was to combine the shipowning capability of Northern Offshore Ltd, with the many years experience in the submarine business of M.Durand. New operations pioneered by InterSub in the North Sea included: topographical investigations of gravity platform sites, bathymetric surveys, well head  and pipeline inspection, non-destructive testing and underwater photography. 

M. Jean-Francois and Mme. Claudine Durand, Houston OTC 1974

InterSub's operational teams included pilots, engineers and technicians of many nationalities.

Jimmy Pye, Chris Stilton and Paul Orchard, with Dick Winchester and Diego the Diver - Messina Straits, TMPC contract.The orange can with 200m written on it is a shaped explosive charge used to destroy a pile of Kriegsmarine HE shells close to the pipeline route.


The Gallic charm of the French, mixed well with Englishmen - like the legendary Harry Bates, who was captured by the Japanese after the fall of Singapore, made to work on the Burma Railway, was torpedoed twice on the way to a POW camp in Japan, and saw the flash in the sky of the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

The late Harry Bates - Zodiac driver, scuba-diver and renowned fisherman

Capabilities of the teams ranged from the operation of the submersibles in all their aspects, to the design and operation of sophisticated electronic equipment.

The US built Perry PC8B was the company's first operational

manned submersible.

Operating from her Support Ship, Nadir

InterSub was equipped exclusively with Perry submersibles.  Built at Riviera Beach, Miami, Florida,

their simple and rugged nature made them ideal for the tough conditions of the North Sea.

The mighty diver lockout submersible PC1202

And the advanced dry-transfer submersible PC1601

As the company developed and expanded, so did its underwater capabilities.

Seen above is Pilot George Bezak, about to dive with shaped charges designed to destroy glacier boulders,

as part of a production platform site clearance project..

The nerve centre! Nick, JFD and Marc Henry, InterSub HQ 1975

The late, great, JFD, who left us tragically, with Marc Henry and Jean-Jacques Moalic, the company's new Finance Director, at Milan on 5th May 1978.

It was one of those points in life, which we all experience at some time or other, when we know that nothing will quite be the same again. I still think about it today, wondering about the thirty years I have enjoyed, since the moment I received the call from Marseille, with the awful news that they had gone. I wonder what JFD, Marc and Jean-Jacques might have gone on to achieve. But their abiding legacy is their beautiful children, and for us, the privilege of having known them. 

Always remembered....Never forgotten....

It would be great to grow an InterSub web page, where we can keep in touch and exchange reminiscences of our time with this truly remarkable company.




InterSub's Major Projects


NEW!: InterSub Brochure & NOL Annnual Report Archive


Please send digital photos and text by using the button link below.

Download a PDF copy of this gripping article, published in March 1980 and featuring

Tony Miller, Mission Commander and Ted Jaynes, Observer.

I hold copies of English versions of the two InterSub videos, "Des Sous-Marins et des Hommes" and "Sous-Marins,Hommes et Tecniques", which are free to all ex-InterSub people. Just e-mail me with your address and I'll send you a copy!

Keep in touch - sign the guestbook!


Website owned and maintained by Nick Messinger

Updated: 19-04-2013