A NORTH-EAST firm, known for its specialist equipment that helps Royal Navy divers search for unexploded mines, has created a service and repair team.

Haskel, based in Sunderland, has set up a nine-strong workforce to maintain customers' products across the UK and Europe.

It features service manager Graham Fox, service co-ordinator Victoria Douglas, engineers David Ross, Gareth Powell, David Coulton and David Kipling, apprentice engineer David Mills, and service technicians Dave Mackay and Phil Howell.

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Mr Fox said: “The new team has the skills, strength and depth to carry out fast repairs and maintenance.

“We know our products inside out, from standard pumps and boosters, to the most complex systems, so we’re best placed to do any servicing or repair work effectively and efficiently.”

The firm is renowned for making high pressure pumps and valves and supplies oxygen systems that charge cylinders in divers' breathing apparatus, prolonging their time underwater.

Employing more than 60 North-East workers, it has worked with the Royal Navy for more than 20 years, with ships and naval bases carrying its diving apparatus.

Last year, bosses said they wanted to extend the company's relationship with the Ministry of Defence and build on an annual £200,000 deal to clean, service and maintain oxygen boosters.