Australia’s TDI Rebreather Training Continues to Expand

Any Diver Would Ask, “What better place than this?”

Rebreather Training
Left to right Dolphin Scuba Diving’s Sarah Stoneham Rodney Gibbs and Callum Girvan with CCR IT Fil Gray aboard Image Dive Perth

The Poseidon Discovery MkVI Rebreather is one of the most exciting new developments in sport diving in the last few years; nowhere is this being felt more so than in Australia.  With one of the largest diver uptake in Rebreathers for Technical Diving outside of the UK – and with two of the most spectacular coral reefs on either coast (the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland and Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia) – Australia is poised to be the Sport Rebreather capital of the world.  It is not surprising then that Western Australia’s leading dive Centre, Dolphin Scuba Diving, recently became the first store in the country to host the region’s first TDI Poseidon Discovery MkVI Air Diluent Instructor Course.

Rebreathers are not new to diving and, since the initial release of the Dolphin in 1994; TDI has been at the forefront of developing training programs for the constantly evolving list of units in the market place. The Poseidon rebreather has been available in Australia since April 2010, but until now the only way to become an instructor was via a crossover as an existing CCR Instructor on another unit.  That has now changed with TDI Instructor Trainer Fil Gray of Stingray Divers in Sydney recently qualifying as the region’s first CCR Poseidon Discovery MkVI Air Diluent IT. 

The four day Instructor course took place in April 2011 at Dolphin Scuba Diving’s TDI/SDI Dive Centre in Welshpool, Perth, with academic presentations in the facility’s purposely built classrooms. This gave the candidates an opportunity to teach and be evaluated on the many elements of the newly formatted TDI generic rebreather curriculum, and in particular, the Poseidon Discovery MkVI.  Facility owners Callum Girvan (TDI Adv Trimix Instructor) and Sarah Stoneham (SDI Staff Instructor) were joined by their “test student” and TDI Instructor Rodney Gibbs who was qualified during the course as a Poseidon Discovery MkVI Air Diluent Diver.

The practical sessions of the course gave the two candidates an opportunity to build a future model of how they would run the training, with a strong focus on how to apply the skills to recreational divers rather than technical ones.  The dives were hosted by TDI Charter Boat Image Dive, which runs out of Hillary’s Boat Harbour, a short distance north of Perth’s city centre.

So why has the Poseidon generated such interest when so many other units are available?

Rebreather Training
Instructor candidate Callum Girvan explaining the features benefits of the Poseidon MkVI CCR to student Rodney Gibbs

The answer lies in the electronics, which are designed to remove much of the element of “user error” from the preparation & diving of the unit.  A simple system controlled startup procedure means that the unit is configured against the manufacturer’s set criteria and the onboard computer will only clear the unit to dive if all checks are passed with no errors.  In water, the controls are also easy to follow with a large display with both visual and audible warnings in the unlikely event the unit malfunctions.  The diver still must be aware of how the unit runs, however, this is simplified as much as possible resulting in a Rebreather designed specifically to meet both the basic needs of the sport diver as well as having the functionality for future upgrades suited to the technical diver.  Working closely with Poseidon in Sweden, TDI has developed training to meet both these demands and is well placed to offer additional programs for the Discovery in line with the manufacturer’s release of upgrades.

Dolphin Scuba Diving is now a full service Poseidon rebreather facility, providing training, consumables, technical support & oxygen fills to 200 bar with their Haskell booster.  Aside from offering both sales and training on the Discovery MkVI, they also offer Try Dives.  Both Nitrox (via a membrane system) and Trimix fills are available along with a full range of both sport and technical diving equipment. All of these offerings are backed by friendly and experienced staff and in-house manufacturer approved servicing.  Make sure you check them out at www.dolphinscuba.com.au or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DolphinScubaPerth.

Fil Gray is a freelance TDI/SDI Instructor Trainer, providing Technical Diver & Instructor training throughout Australia, New Zealand & the Pacific.  See www.stingraydivers.com.au for more information.  For more details on TDI and the TDI Poseidon Discovery MkVI Rebreather programs please see https://www.tdisdi.com or contact the TDI Australia Regional Office on (02) 8004-0950.

To locate TDI offices around the world visit https://www.tdisdi.com no matter where your next adventure may take you.

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