Divers deserve truth about Rebreathers

Divers Deserve the Truth About Rebreathers

by Jon Kieren with contributions from Training Advisory Panel members Mathew Partridge and Randy Thornton:

Whether you are just starting to investigate the world of rebreathers or are already an experienced rebreather diver it’s likely you’ve heard a lot of very convincing yet, blatantly incorrect, statements on the subject.  Finding the truth behind these statements can be difficult and often requires sifting through hundreds of pages of diving forums, and coming to your own conclusion based on the opinions of self proclaimed experts.  There are several myths that we hear over and over, and it drives us crazy having to correct them time and time again; here are a few of the most common myths and misconceptions that we would like to rectify.

Rebreathers are complex.

Not really.  While rebreathers are technical pieces of equipment, they all operate using the same basic concepts:  replace the oxygen that the diver metabolizes, remove carbon dioxide that the diver produces, and repeat as necessary.  Each manufacturer has a unique way of doing this but the basic concept is the same.

A rebreather is only a tool to be used on the rare occasions when the dive is beyond the capabilities of open circuit.   

Without consistent practice and training in benign environments, a rebreather diver can never be ready for that pinnacle dive that will require complete mastery of skills and protocols.  Maintaining frequency and mastery of skills is also a critical component of emergency management.

Rebreathers are a tool that should be reserved for divers that NEED them.

Let’s be honest, the number of divers on the planet that NEED a rebreather is incredibly small.  These are military, scientific, and commercial divers that require the technology to do a job.  The vast majority of us are doing this for fun, and don’t really NEED to do any of it.  While rebreather diving does involve additional risks and considerations, it is fun.  Many divers choose to dive a rebreather because they find it more enjoyable than diving open circuit, and there is nothing wrong with that.

Your rebreather is trying to kill you.
reaper
While this is a funny concept, the reality is actually the exact opposite.  Your rebreather is trying to keep you alive.  Improper assembly, poor maintenance, complacency, and failure to conduct proper pre-dive checks are among the top reasons for rebreather accidents, not a machine with an affinity for murder.

A 5 minute prebreathe will validate scrubber performance.

This has been a recent hot topic of conversation.  For years, divers and trainers believed that conducting a 5 minute prebreathe correctly could detect CO2 bypass (due to an incorrectly assembled/malfunctioning unit).  A recent study published in Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine, Volume 44, No. 1, March 20151 indicates that this is not necessarily accurate.  While the study does not in any way recommend that the diver does not need to conduct a prebreathe, the  reasons for doing so and the results of the prebreathe have been redefined a bit.  A prebreathe as part of a divers predive check is essential to verify the function of the gas addition systems, monitoring systems, electronics systems functions, etc.  However, we cannot accurately rely on a prebreathe to evaluate CO2 absorption.  The complete study can be read HERE, and an interview with Dr. Simon Mitchell by POD DIVER RADIO can be heard HERE.

A diluent flush will adequately validate a cell error.
digital
A diluent flush is an excellent way to verify the PO2 in the loop, and can sometimes quickly identify a failed cell.  However, it is extremely important to know that current limited cells can often read correct at lower PO2s.  This means that if your machine gives you a cell error and you conduct a diluent flush, all cells may appear to be functioning properly.  A current limited cell is often only revealed at higher PO2s, and this could be catastrophic if two cells had dropped out simultaneously and your unit votes out the remaining GOOD cell, raising PO2s to a dangerously high level.  A diluent flush in this case may not identify the issue, and only close monitoring as the PO2 rose back to/past setpoint or a high O2 flush would identify the current limited cells.

Checklists are for new rebreather divers, I’m so amazing that I have mine memorized!
checklist
Checklists are a topic of heated debate, and their usefulness is often questioned.  Research in the medical and aviation fields have shown that yes, improperly made and poorly implemented checklists are ineffective.  However, a properly created and consistently implemented checklist will save lives – period.  Gareth Lock wrote an excellent article for X-Ray Mag on this topic, found HERE.

We know these topics are debated often, and there are some valid points to be made on both sides.  However after 20+ years of experience as the world’s leading technical diving training agency, our experience has shown the above to be true.

References

  1. Deng C, Pollack NW, Gant N, Hannmam JA, Dolley A, Mesley P, Mitchell SJ. The five-minute prebreathe in evaluating carbon dioxide absorption in a closed-circuit rebreather: a randomized single-blind study.  Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine. 2015 March: 45 (1):16-24

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37 replies
  1. Toby
    Toby says:

    Embarrassing and misleadiing PR from people with vested interests in promoting ccr use. Just look at the stats on fatalities; you just can’t hide it.

    Reply
    • Tim Saville
      Tim Saville says:

      Where are the Stats? Rebreathers have come a long way even since I started using one in 2013. Agreed the early pioneers of CCR technology suffered a higher fatality rate. I’d be very interested in looking at the statistics for 2013 and 2014 and comparing them to previous years.

      Reply
    • Peter R.
      Peter R. says:

      Divers are going longer and into more extreme environments. It’s as much physiology / staying healthy issue as it is technology. A 25mile marathon is not the same as a walk in the park. Proper preparation prevents ploddy plunges and predictable problems.

      Reply
    • James
      James says:

      The stats are virtually the same if you compare dive type for dive type. If you compare raw figures (baring in mind that most oc dives are conducted by recreational divers in the 20m range) you see that more incidents occure with CCR. However of you look at the figures in more detail and compair similar depth and profiles dives then although CCR is still more dangerous, OC isnt far behind.

      Also as somebody who has done a 5 min pre breath without a scrubber o-ring in and then only felt the co2 once at 40m I would completely agree with the statment about prebreathing not being a good tool for detecting breakthrough – something it was never designed to do! I also removed the co2 sensor during that prebreathing as it had ‘developed another fault as it always does once it gets a bit wet’ – BE WARNED!

      Reply
      • Mark
        Mark says:

        The false co2 alarms are getting better, there was a software update to adjust the parameters. Also a recommendation that you adequately lube your scrubber O-ring to prevent possible leaks. I’m curious. If any studies have been done to validate that we haven’t been diving with minute co2 blow by past the o-ring all this time and now just have had the technology to see it. My co2 has caught a malfunctioning o-ring in my unit by giving me a correct high co2 reading at 30fsw.

        Reply
  2. Neil Watson
    Neil Watson says:

    Has DAN or a similar organisation got statistics for deaths? It is a difficult one to compare because you could argue that rebreather divers take more challenging and dangerous dives so the research would have to be pretty strong and control for factors like this.

    Reply
  3. Wesley
    Wesley says:

    The user manual for JJ-CCR is 104 pages long. Even the paper that you cite here states unequivocally: “Rebreathers are complex devices with many failure points and potential user errors” (first sentence of the Discussion section). Why you disagree is beyond my comprehension. The “everyone can cook” concept has already led to enough deaths in cave and technical diving. I am quite scared by the increased availability of the so-called “recreational” rebreathers.

    Reply
  4. T. Storm
    T. Storm says:

    Being relatively new to the rebreather world, here is my take,…. #1. Rebreathers are both complex & very simple at the same time. The meachnics & physics are quite simple,…. the complexity (to the average “Joe”) comes with the electronic monitoring systems &, if electronically controlled, the systems that control the loop contents. Unfortunately, I’ve seen OC recreational divers that can not even figure out the basic functions of their dive computers, let alone The linearity of the currents produced or the concept of current limitation. #2. I agree,… any discipline of diving needs to be practiced & rehearsed for muscle memory of the skill. #3. What is “need”? Maybe I “need” to extend my bottom time, while reducing & minimizing the risk of DCS. Maybe I “need” to get closer to the wildlife to take that “perfect shot” of a critter. Maybe I “need” to keep expanding my skills,.. so as not to stagnate * let my skills get stale. #4. Maybe the rebreather is not trying to kill me,…. but I still do not 100% trust it. It is electronics,… underwater, under pressure,.. it can fail, I can fail,…. When on my unit, I do not tuck my head away, up my rear end. I constantly monitor what the electronics are doing,… along with how my body is doing (the canary in the mine). 5 min will absolutely not validate the CO2 scrubber. I use it as ONLY a beginning to the activation of the chemical. When I pack my scrubber, I check it for fullness & for tightness, over & over again. If I am not satisfied,… I continue to pack until I am satisfied. #5. A Diluent flush is a good tool,… but must also be used with an O2 flush at 20 ft or under comparable pressures to get the “whole picture”. #6. Check lists are for every rebreather diver,…. Not even a bad idea for OC recreational divers,… it keeps continuity. A rebreather diver that forgoes a check list is a fool. Is a few minutes time,.. or your ego worth risking your life. We are humans,… We fail at times.

    Reply
  5. Michel Richer
    Michel Richer says:

    Been diving for 32 years, dove in the Navy. I have lost 2 very good friends in the past 10 years. All of my dive buddies that dive open circuits are still alive. END OF STORY!
    CCR’s should only be used if diving on a Professional basis.
    KISS(keep it simple stupid) in fact Patrick Nichols just dies last month.

    Reply
    • Ken Charpie
      Ken Charpie says:

      I don’t see any CCR “hate” in the comments, I see people looking objectively at the claims in the article, and dispelling some of the author’s bias. CCRs ASRE complex, but they can be useful tools, when used for the right reasons, and they DO require practice on a regular basis. From the link David provided above: At an annual death rate of 20 divers per year, this equates to an estimated
      death rate of 4 per 100,000 dives per year or approximately
      10 times that of non-technical recreational OC scuba diving
      (McDonald, 1994; Canberra, 2005; Bandolier, 2010; Dituri et
      al., 2013; Lippmann et al., open-ended database).

      ken

      Reply
    • Wesley
      Wesley says:

      Where is the hate??

      Let me ask you this. Is this normal:
      To enroll in the PADI Rebreather Diver course, you must:
      Be a PADI Open Water Diver
      Be a PADI Enriched Air Diver
      Have a minimum of 25 logged dives
      Be at least 18 years old

      Reply
      • Wesley
        Wesley says:

        …or TDI/SDI:

        Rebreather Course prerequisites:
        Minimum age 18
        Provide proof of 20 logged open water dives
        Provide proof as a TDI Nitrox Diver or equivalent from agencies recognized by TDI

        Reply
  6. Gregory B.
    Gregory B. says:

    Dear Toby and Wesley and many other, “engaged” and “disengaged” about rebreathers, divers!

    I’m a telecommunication, computer and software engineer during my day hours.
    I’m a PADI and TDI diving instructor and rebreather diver at all other hours when I’m not sleeping.

    I may assure you that I have NO vested interest in rebreathers and that _this_ article is not a PR.
    Well, said the above:
    Are you aware that very first publicly available, commercial underwater diving systems, 135 years back, WERE rebreathers?
    That rebreathers were at full scale deployed and used for commercial and military diving already 100 years ago?
    And that a “recreational” open scuba diving in a way one may know it today is ONLY slightly more than 60 years old?
    And that a submersible pressure gauge is “just” slightly older than 30 years?
    And that diving computers are still not always nor by everyone considered as a “must” have equipment?

    That first self-driven carriages and later on – gasoline or electric cars were called “killing machines”?
    That 100 years back, in 1915, first FORD’s (no offense, please) and other manufactured, not home-made, cars were killing many more people in a single year than all rebreathers taken together during those same 100 years?
    That back in 1850s there was a huge public debate about forbidding any experiments targeted at reaching speeds of 55 miles per hour BECAUSE it was believed that speeds above those 55MPH were just by itself deadly for human body?
    You’re probably aware that modern mobile phones are capable to slowly (or even quickly enough) fry your brain and reproductive organs?

    There is NOTHING different about rebreathers!

    Is a “simple” SCUBA actually simple or safe enough?
    Why is it than – that the very entry level Open Water (OW) manual is over 200 pages long and the course takes 4 or 5 days?
    Or do you really think that you’re more safe with a simple set of OW equipment than one would be with a rebreather?

    I’d say – it’s totally opposite.
    Most people today dive in a non redundant OW, single tank back-mount SCUBA configuration – is it safe?
    How come?
    An OW diver at a moderate depth of 90-100 feet under water will NOT surface safely if there were a problem with his or her regulator or a free-flowing tank!.
    A real probability that a buddy was near enough to share his/her air is very low!
    It’s a MYTH that a simple OW SCUBA set is bullet proof just by itself (I regularly see “things” happen – mostly minor, but sometimes – no so)!
    How many “simple” recreational OW divers use side-mount or other type of redundant SCUBA equipment?
    How many [divers] use PONY (or properly said – bail-out) bottles?
    How many of those who have such redundant equipment do actually know how to use it and have a habit of regularly checking their own and their buddies skills on using and sharing such redundant equipment?

    Now – speaking of what you called “rebreather PR” – every rebreather is sold to ONLY a rebreather certified diver.
    Moreover – the diver MUST be certified for the specific model of rebreather he or she is buying!
    The certification for one rebreather is NOT valid for another one.
    There are very strict requirements for divers before they may get trained and certified for a certain rebreather diving.
    Those requirements include obligatory training with shared and/or redundant OW bailout equipment among many others.
    There are also obligatory training for pre- during- and after- diving safety procedures and protocols.
    I’m not denying that rebreathers are more complex machines compared to “simple” OW SCUBA.
    But NO more complex than operating a car…
    Today’s new driver (vehicle driver) requirements by most DMVs are much less stringent than those for a rebreather diving.

    A new car driver today is probably a million times more dangerous (to him/her-self as well as to any one out there) than a rebreather diver.
    Oh, by the way – any simplest, stripped down car’s operating manual is MUCH longer than 100 pages…

    A “usual” rebreather has mechanical and electronic components/sub-systems which may actually “scream” aloud when a diver does some incorrect or stupid thing.
    But – a rebreather, the same as OW kit – cannot stop a diver from jumping into waters without following appropriate safety protocols.

    Are you aware that a “simple” drysuit “may” kill you if you forgotten to attach its inflator before jumping in cold water with an empty BCD while loaded with steel tank? It’s a still a very OW and recreational configuration, isn’t?
    How many of OW divers “know” how to quickly disconnect BCD or drysuit inflator hose in case of valve’s malfunction? That “simple” skill alone may save one’s life at some day.

    A “recreational” rebreather set and a rebreather diver today is actually safer and more redundant machine-human set than an OW-scuba-human combination.
    At least – when certification requirements and safety protocols followed before, during and after a dive.

    It’d be a subject of stand-alone article which you’d probably call “PR” if I wanted to discuss features and components of some rebreathers and how those benefit, add to comfort and safety of their divers.

    I dive and teach a number of different rebreathers made by different manufacturers – both semi (SCR) and fully closed (CCR) ones.
    I may like some more than others and even don’t like some specific ones.
    I also dive and teach OW diving (including redundant side-mount and bail-out sets) – I may spend hours (and days :-)) discussing pros and cons or OC vs. CC therefore I may say – this specific article is anything else, but not a PR.
    And in my humble opinion – a rebreather diving is NO more dangerous (if not safer) than a “casual” open water diving.
    Not at all.
    Dive wisely, enjoy, learn and be SAFE.
    Thank you.

    Reply
  7. Ken
    Ken says:

    I’m a fairly inexperienced rebreather diver and use a “yellow box of doom!”. Personally I dive it as if it will try to kill me given the slightest chance. I showed it insufficiency respect once and very nearly didn’t come back. I won’t do that again. In my humble opinion it’s both thrilling and daunting in equal measure. It’s definitely not for the casual divers, or the technophobes, or the slapdash or the adrenaline junkies, but it certainly it is for the adventurous and focused. I love it!… but it still makes me nervous!

    Reply
  8. Rock
    Rock says:

    Statistics can be misleading, mostly because the families wind up suing everybody in sight when their loved one expired wearing a rebreather. Everybody thank all the lawyers for this one.

    I first dove an oxygen rebreather in 1972. Note that some of my peers have developed throat cancer, possibly due to lithium based scrubber compounds, reputed to work in cold water.

    Every time I hear a war story from a fellow diver concerning a near miss or a diving accident, I ask, “At what point in the dive did you consider aborting, and instead, continued the dive?” Divers that refuse to consider taking the safe way out need to stick to open circuit equipment. Better yet, change sports. Hang up your regulator and take up skydiving.

    Rebreathers are mechanically complex devices that require a great deal of attention and care in maintenance and assembly tasks. Designers of this kind of equipment have yet to develop a system that is easy to maintain and cannot be improperly assembled. Bear in mind that if you make something idiot proof, only an idiot will buy it.

    The crux of rebreather safety lies in the two scuba tanks, one strapped to either side. Your rebreather malfunctions, you shift to open circuit gear and abort the dive. I’ve never had to do this, and I hope I never do.

    There are two characteristics of rebreathers that can make a recreational diver sit up and take notice. First, a rebreather diver can vary the oxygen partial pressure in his gas mixture. The open circuit analogy is having a tank of oxygen and a tank of air on your back, and couple them together with a gas mixing do-hickey. Increasing the oxygen partial pressure as you ascend causes a rapid reduction in the nitrogen dissolved in your tissues. Everybody in open circuit gear that I know hangs on a line at ten feet for ten minutes at the end of a dive, just to be safe. The difference is that I have flushed my rig of diluent and am breathing pure oxygen.

    The second characteristic is being able to use trimix (helium-oxygen-nitrogen). I do not like nitrogen narcosis. If I am diving deeper that eighty feet, I shift to trimix to keep my head clear. The Hogarthian rig allows an open circuit diver to dive with trimix, but the cost can become prohibitive. I have seen dive shops selling helium for five bucks a cubic foot. Filling an open circuit ninety cubic foot tank is expensive. Filling a fifteen cubic foot diluent tank is not.

    There is a lot of predjudice against rebreathers. I walked up to Red Sail Sports in Grand Cayman one day and was told to go elsewhere. Open circuit only. OC divers look at me and sneer. “What is it like, diving a death trap?” So I agree with Gregory B. Rebreather diving is hands down much safer than open circuit, provided the diver properly maintains and assembles his equipment, and knows when to abort a dive.

    Rock

    Reply
    • James
      James says:

      Agreed – CCR with multiple bailout tanks is much safer than diving a single 12L tank withba single first stage. Looking back I think that I was a little crazy heading to 35-40m on a single tank. What if the oring on the din connection goes – You die. What if the 1st stage seat goes – You die, what if the second stage free flows and empties the tank in a few seconds – You die. With a CCR unless you flood the loop you should in most cases be able to get back to the surface with the unit ahut down by of boarding to a suitable nitrox mix in yohr bail out tank and running in in manual SCR mode to the surface, or just bail out onto your multiple tanks of gass.

      Reply
  9. B. Egan
    B. Egan says:

    Safe or not safe seems to have missed the point. The article is just about misinformation associated with this type of diving. If we only did things that were safe we would not accomplish much in life. My open circuit gear is dangerous along with my rebreather but so are the flip flops that I wear on vacation. So far my dive gear has not resulted in injury but I did suffer a broken toe from a blown out flip flop….Just glad it happened as we were leaving the dive boat vs arrival.

    Safe diving all

    Reply
  10. Danny
    Danny says:

    Rebreathers… Extremely dangerous. Will kill you. Point blank. Very fast. With little to no warning. Leave just about zero margin for error. End of discussion. But then again so will a car if driving down the road at night on the freeway doing freeway speed.
    Rebreather diving is inherently more dangerous than open circuit diving.
    Being a Navy Diver that teaches a military rebreather to very well trained fellow divers, I have seen first hand the damage caused by inexperienced divers when diving a CCR. And for that matter, a semi closed breathing loop, too.
    Here’s all it boils down to…
    First, you better damn well know your equipment before you even think about getting wet. If you haven’t spent countless hours reading and understanding your rig, you’re wrong! It’s not as simple as just putting on a BC and a regulator and breathing. Stuff happens. Things go wrong. And very quite possibly before you’ve even touched the water. Packing of CO2 canisters and utilizing the correct CO2 absorbent is a big deal. So is proper set up and break down of your equipment. Checklists were designed to be followed verbatim. Don’t have one? Better make a
    damn good one and follow it to the T. Make sure no step is missed or ignored. In my line of work, our operating procedures were written in blood, meaning all procedures were tried and tested and rewritten because damn good guys have paid the ultimate sacrifice due to lack of procedure or something happening.
    Second, knowing your limits. If you don’t understand partial pressure of oxygen and what’s happening at specific depths inside your loop, you have zero business diving… YET. When diving SCUBA, assuming you’re breathing air, the PPO2 inside your rig never changes above .21. Now, the deeper you go, the PPO2 in your body changes. That’s why we have depth limits, and why they are shallower than tables for a CCR. OXYGEN TOXICITY IS A VERY REAL PHENOMENON that occurs no matter the rig you’re using. When diving a rebreather that adds or adjusts your oxygen levels as you descend, it is so important to know what will happen if you add more gas to your loop. The last thing you want to do is add more oxygen and raise your limits of O2 possibly putting you into a potentially dangerous zone for CNS O2 toxicity. You’re diving deep, let’s assume. What gas you add is going to either raise or lower your PPO2. Also, what diluent are you using? Just because you add diluent to your loop doesn’t necessarily mean you’re lowering PP02. Depending on your depth, and the diluent type and percentage, you could very well be RAISING your levels. So make sure you are using the proper diluent for the depth you’re diving. It is serious! You must plan your dive, and dive for plan. Do not deviate.
    Lastly, this one is huge for us… Do you know why Navy dive school and BUD/s is so arduous and challenging? Physical fitness is a huge issue when it comes to the amount of on gassing and the rate of off gassing. Gas is dissolved into liquid caused by pressure, and off gassing of fat is extremely slower than muscle. Hence the reason why physical fitness is a requirement for my line of work. Rebreathers allow you to push limits and dive deeper. You can also stay longer. This means that the deeper you go,
    The longer you stay, the more inert gas your body has taken on. Now, when it’s time to ascend, you better damn well follow all of your decompression schedule and then some if you sit at a desk and on a couch and your idea of staying in shape is walking to the fridge or an occasional jog. That being said, just because you’re in tip top shape doesn’t mean you’re exempt from getting bent. It happens to the best of divers more than you could imagine.
    Rebreathers are awesome tools. But touchable to understand diving physics as well as the tool you’re diving. You wouldn’t let your 6 year old use a table saw just because he knows how to swing a hammer, right? So the same applies to diving. Proper knowledge and understanding of the equipment will set you up for diving success when diving complex rebreathers.

    Reply
    • Royston
      Royston says:

      Now somebody that knows what he is talking about. I was driving to the dive location and a giant pickup truck was so impatient cut right in front of me and completely lost control. The driver sadly was killed and found out it was one of the diver who was on the same charter boat with me. Just goes to show that when people talk about “surviving on a rebreather” there are worst things people need to survive on like driving safely to the dive location.

      Reply
  11. Elliott Oppenheim
    Elliott Oppenheim says:

    I just learned CCR at Deep Siam in Eilat with Ariel Auslander…the best teacher. (Hollis-Prism) I am amazed at CCR but it is verrrrrry tricky. I was impressed with how much can go wrong, I was also impressed by the level of performance one needs. “You gotta be good at this,” is true… and practice makes perfect. I am interested to do this more but only with very skilled instructors.

    Reply
  12. Jay Easterbrook
    Jay Easterbrook says:

    My wife Nancy Easterbrook owner of Divetech Ltd. has played an essential part in the rebreather industry for the last 21 years. She has brought together under one roof training agencies, rebreather manufactures, DAN in-field research studies, Leading speakers and divers from all around the world to a yearly rebreather event called “Inner Space” held at Divetech in Grand Cayman. In the last few years she has been a major supporter and sponsor of conferences TEKDiveUsa and Eurotek which brings professionals from all around the world to speak on rebreathers.
    Divetech has trained and supported thousands of rebreather divers for the last 21 years.
    Yes, things can go wrong for any diver, be it open circuit or closed circuit. The key is a professional instructors teaching per the training agencies specifications and certified knowledge of the rebreathers manufactures specifications for proper training on unit.
    Then it comes down to practice makes perfect, carry a redundancy plan, knowledgable rebreather buddy, physical fitness for the profile and surface support knowing your profile and emergency protocol.

    Reply
  13. Robert Fleckenstein
    Robert Fleckenstein says:

    As far as checklists go, why not? Their simple and fool proof. And they eliminate that one time when you get heavily distracted, stressed, and bypass the fact that your diluent or bail-out bottle is almost empty, or some other “couldn’t happen” occurance.

    Reply
  14. Wesley
    Wesley says:

    If you feel rebreather is beyond your comfort level don’t do it. Same as trimix or deco. I had no intention of ever Diving the Explorer must less teach it. Although during my Prism 2 course I had a chance to try it and not only is it simple to use it would have been my 1st choice had I know how good it was. But again OC was a death machine in the pioneering days after WWII so give cct and sccr a chance. They are a lot of fun

    Reply
  15. Warren Meixner
    Warren Meixner says:

    I’ve been a TDI certified rebreather diver for four years and it always amazes me when I review my dive log how every logged rebreather dive was better than the one before.
    The rebreather is light, trims extremely well and is overall a far better system than OC. I hauled HP steel doubles for years…now it a couple AL 19’s and an AL 40.
    What ever we do in life we are bound by rules. Rebreather don’t kill divers…NOT FOLLOWING RULES KILLS DIVERS!
    If you don’t like checklists,timely replacement of inexpensive batteries and sensors, attention to detail, proper pre/post dive gear inspection, cleaning, service and maintenance protocols then you probably shouldn’t be diving period!
    Rebreathers aren’t for everyone…neither is scuba diving in any form. We are not forced to do any of this…we do it for enjoyment and adventure.
    If you don’t like what you’re watching on TV…turn the channel!

    Reply
  16. Phil SIMHA
    Phil SIMHA says:

    some people are fit to rock climb, some are fit to hit the Himalayas. A recreational rock climber would die on Everest or lesser mountains, while the Everest summiter can easily rock climb. Rebreather or Tec is just not for anyone or everyone, it is meant for a specific brand of divers and good teachers should identify whether a student has the right attitude for it or not. Shortcuts kill divers, not CCR units per se.

    Reply
  17. JonT
    JonT says:

    Its a good and accurate article. As a diver with modest rebreather experience (who’s been guilty of promoting some of the myths behind rebreathers) its refreshing to see an article that removes the ego and “cool” factor from a machine thats been around longer then the traditional OC scuba equipment we’ve all grown up on.

    Cheers.

    Reply

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