Health status and diving practices of a technical diving expedition

Andrew Foch, a senior specialist for the Hyperbaric Services, participated in a technical diving expedition to the South China Sea primarily to dive several deep World War Two wrecks. 

Rebreather Forum 3, RF3, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, rebreathers, technical diving, safety, health surveillance, decompression, air, mixed gas, trimix, nitrox, oxygen, Andrew Foch, Rubicon Foundation, Rubicon, Gene Hobbs, South China Seas, Inspiration, Evolution, Vision, During the expedition, diving practices and diver health were observed, and a diver health survey was completed by six of the seven divers at the end of each diving day.

The survey showed a slight worsening of health scores during the first half of the expedition, which then returned to baseline levels. However, no diver reached a health score of a level (six) associated with clinical decompression sickness (DCS) in a previous study. No clinical DCS was detected or treated; however, a high level of pre-existing musculoskeletal complaints prevalent in this group made clinical diagnosis difficult for marginal symptoms. A high proportion (50%) of divers reported symptoms consistent with pulmonary and ocular oxygen toxicity.

The use of closed-circuit rebreathers for 74 dives in the depth range of 50 to 70 metres' sea water, with total dive time 100.4 hours, was associated with few technical problems for a suitably trained and experienced group of technical divers.

Andrew Foch's report can be found here.

Calling all Rebreather Divers – time to take part in a CO2 Survey

Rebreather Forum 3, RF3, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, Neal Pollock, Jill Heinerthm, Phil Short, John Clarke, Drew Richardson, Simon Mitchell, Richie Kohler, Martin Robson, Steve Lewis, Bruce Partridge, Petar Denoble, Dan Orr, David Doolette, rebreathers, Mark Caney, Nancy Easterbrook, Richard Vann, CO2 monitoring

The Rubicon Foundation in collaboration with Divers Alert Network, Duke Anesthesiology, and the Navy Experimental Diving Unit are calling for rebreather divers to take party in a survey.

The aim of this web-based questionnaire is to evaluate the use of existing carbon dioxide (CO2) canister tracking technology within the recreation and technical diving community.  Divers can be assured that the information is being collected in such a way that it removes the identity of the respondents for privacy protection.

Please click on this link to complete the survey.

The results will be published in scientific literature as soon as they are compiled, with preliminary results being presented in Orlando at Rebreather Forum 3 in May.

Press Coverage includes;
British Diver

The Verdict is in – The 2011 UK Diving Trade Show

250 Trade Personnel (including Dive Centre Owners, Shop Managers, Pro Instructors, manufacturers and distributors), 20 Exhibitors, 6 members of the Diving Media (British Diver, Diver, Dive The World, Scuba, Sport Diver, X-Ray Magazine), 6 Training Agencies (ANDI, BSAC, GUE, IANTD, PADI, SAA), 2 members of the HSE Diving Inspectorate and 1 professional cartoonist attended the 2011 UK Diving Trade Show on Sunday 27th and Monday 28th November 2011.

During the two day event 12 talks were given covering topics such as "Ecopreneurship" (David Jones), "Is your website working for you?" (Richard Howes), "The down and dirty on image copyright" (Simon Brown), "The BSAC snorkel diver course" (Margaret Baldwin) and "Power Up with Proven Business Practices" (Simon Chance).

Dr Neal W Pollock, (the Canadian version of Professor Simon Mitchell), DAN America's Research Director and the event's key note speaker went down a storm with the attendees.

Dr Neal W Pollock, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, DAN, Duke University, The Underwater Marketing Company
Key Note Speaker Dr Neal W Pollock (DAN) & Show Organiser Rosemary E Lunn (TUMC)

He gave two exceptionally useful, entertaining and educational talks to industry personnel covering "How fit is 'fit to dive' " and "Thermal stress and diving. "I've been inspired to start exercising again after listening to Neal", observed one delegate.  Meanwhile a number of the audience in the Thermal Stress talk soon discovered that they were probably not bordering on hypothermia following a winter dive at Stoney Cove. While less exciting on the fish story scale, they were merely "just cold".

Cold water featured heavily during the UK Diving Industry Christmas Party when award winning cinematographer, Doug Allan, gave a mouth-watering presentation on the BBC's Frozen Planet series.  The talk kicked off with a brilliant sequence filmed from a helicopter.  The shot began with a wide view across the polar ice that continually tracked to eventually swoop in low, and closed with a very tight image of a Polar Bear. Over the next 30 minutes Doug transported the entire audience to polar regions with his superb imagery and stories.

Another man with an interesting story was Fraser Bathgate.  This year he was the first Brit to win the DEMA Reaching Out Award, and this was acknowledged during the Dinner - Fraser received a much deserved standing ovation for the work he has done in the field of disabled diving.  It was fitting therefore that the raffle was in aid of Deptherapy and raised just shy of £1,500.  SITA gratefully acknowledges the generosity of BBG Distribution, Rod Roddenbury, and everyone who donated something yummy for the two Christmas Hampers.

There were more reasons to celebrate success and the party was the perfect place for SITA to thank and honour Douglas Nash of PADI.  He is retiring shortly after more than 32 years service to the Industry.  Vini Howlett, Chairman of the Scuba Industries Trade Association presented Doug with an engraved decanter whilst highlighting key aspects of Doug's career.

On the product front, the 2011 UK Diving Trade Show saw the British debut of more than 50 products including Fourth Element's Core Body Warmer, Storm Jacket and Arctic one piece.  "This was a good opportunity to meet many of our UK Dealers and will form an important part of our UK activity in years to come", stated Jim Standing.

Meanwhile, over on the Hollis / Oceanic stand Kelvin Richards stated, "I did not get much of an opportunity to go and listen to the speakers due to the overwhelming work load. This was the UK unveiling of the Hollis Explorer Rebreather and there was huge interest in it.  It made me proud to see the trade platform come back into our industry and Oceanic/Hollis will certainly support all future trade events".

The Poseidon stand was also packed, as Simon Morris launched 46 new products.  "It was important to us to showcase our latest equipment range to the UK Diving Industry who couldn't make it over to Orlando for DEMA". New products include the "One" wetsuits, Rebreather wing, Rebreather BCD with the counter lungs built in, line cutters, wet boots, rash vests, iPAD holder, laptop bag, stage cylinder bag and fins.

Attendees included Chris Wake of Christal Seas Scuba who left his newly constructed dive centre and drove over from Norwich "to meet up with suppliers and other people in our Industry.  I found it useful catching up with industry personnel I've not seen in ages and the social side was great.  It was well worth attending".

Premier Diving Equipment, a new company to the diving industry attended the UK Diving Trade Show for the first time.  "We came to meet people we've been talking to for the last 12 months", explained Rachael Bell.  "We've made a lot of new contacts and it was good to be able to spend time with key players and explain our product range to them.  The talks were really interesting, especially Neal Pollock's Thermal Stress because we're just about to launch a heated vest.  I think what's equally important is that from a personal point of view, I really can't wait to get out and do some more UK diving"!

Images from the UK Diving Industry Trade Show can be found on

Press Coverage includes;

Save Our Life Savers – Portland SAR is to be chopped

Portland, diving, search and rescue, diving, south coast, safety, The Underwater Marketing Company, Rosemary Lunn, Roz Lunn, SAROn November 28th 2011, the British Government announced that it planned to scrap Portland's search-and-rescue helicopter. This helicopter serves some of Britain's most popular and perilous recreational waters and one of Europe's busiest shipping routes.

We believe that local knowledge is paramount to providing an effective and efficient emergency service at sea, where a few minutes are often the difference between life and death. This cut will cost lives.

Please follow the link and sign the petition;

Nominations Open for the 2012 DAN / Rolex Diver of the Year Award

Everyone has the ability to make a difference every day, but there are those who go so far above and beyond the call their contributions have far-reaching effects and influence the ways things are done. Do you know someone like that whose contributions have significantly impacted dive safety? If so, tell DAN about it, because nominations for the 2012 DAN/Rolex Diver of the Year Award are now being accepted.

DAN, Divers Alert Network, diver safety, diving safety, dive safety, safety, Dan Orr, Rolex, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company

Now in its 24th year, the DAN/Rolex Diver of the Year Award is given each year to an individual who has contributed significantly to recreational dive safety or the mission of DAN, either regionally or nationally. Although many past winners have been noted industry professionals, the nominations are open to divers of all levels as well as nondivers. The important criteria are not their area of expertise or experience level; the focus of the award is on the impact of their work.

“This is an extremely rewarding time of year for us,” said Dan Orr, president of DAN. “It’s always inspiring to read the nominations. It’s a testament to those who have worked hard to support DAN or make diving safer for everyone.”

Winners of the DAN/Rolex Diver of the Year Award receive a specially engraved Rolex Submariner dive watch along with a commemorative plaque. The award ceremony will take place at Beneath the Sea in March 2012.

If you would like to submit a nomination, simply send a brief description of the individual’s merits and contributions to DAN or dive safety to Jaclyn Messersmith via email at Nominations can also be sent via traditional mail to Messersmith c/o DAN/Rolex Award, Divers Alert Network, 6 West Colony Place, Durham, NC 27705.

All nominations must be received no later than Jan. 15, 2012.