Be RoSPA CCR Aware

Rebreather Forum 3, RF3, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, Rosemary Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, Simon Mitchell, Neal Pollock, Drew Richardson, Karl Shreeves, Mark Caney, Michael Menduno, Richard Pyle, Peter Denoble, DAN, PADI, AAUS, Richard Vann, rebreather safety, ANDI, IANTD, TDI, rebreather, training, diver training, rebreather market,  diving certification, Betts, Carney, Dituri, diver certification numbers, market analysis, diving data, total number of diving certs, international association of technical dives, technical diving international

In 2011 RoSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) was asked to promote the safe use of rebreathers. To this end RoSPA worked with a number of rebreather industry experts to identify key safety issues.

The result was a film that gives divers and those new to rebreathers a solid awareness of the key safety factors for diving with rebreathers.

Three years ago today - Friday 18th May 2012 - this film was unveiled at a very important international safety symposium called Rebreather Forum 3. In fact 'CCR Aware' opened #RF3.

Today this film is still pertinent and worth a watch for anyone interested in, or who dives a rebreather.

RESA Standards; Teaching Mod 2 and Mod 3 Rebreather Courses

The Rebreather Education and Safety Association (RESA) was developed in order to aid in improving the education and safety in the rebreather industry and to ensure that the appropriate framework is in place that suits our growing industry.

This is a RESA standard for rebreather instructors that are already certified to teach Mod2 or Mod3 on one rebreather, and want to teach Mod2 or Mod3 on another rebreather.

RESA have been actively discussing rebreather training at the Normoxic (MOD 2) and Hypoxic (MOD 3) Trimix levels. Some instructors have been teaching advanced level courses to divers on units where the instructor only has minimal training. These instructors have only been required to pass a user course on the second and subsequent units. There have been no further industry-wide standards such as a minimum number of dives to have this privilege. Also, there has been no evaluation to prove that they understand the units properly.

Below is the standard that RESA members voted on. This standard was approved with a unanimous vote from both RESA Manufacturers and RESA Training Agencies. This standard is for Normoxic (MOD 2) and Hypoxic (MOD 3) Trimix training on additional rebreather’s only. For entry level training (MOD1) the instructor is required to be trained as a unit specific instructor by an IT for the specific rebreather.

The implementation date will be 1st January 2014.

PADI, PSAI, ANDI, Silent Diving, IANTD, GUE Hollis, JJCCR, rebreather, RF3, Rebreather Forum 3 Conference Proceedings, Dr Richard D Vann, Dr Petar Denoble, Dr Neal W Pollock, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, Poseidon, APD, Ambient Pressure Diving, RESA, Rebreather Education & Safety Association, KIss, rEvo, Shearwater Research, TDI, Innerspace Systems

2012 is 'The Year Of The Rebreather'

Christian Heylen, General Manager of PURE Red Sea (Professional Underwater Rebreather Explorers) will be exhibiting at Rebreather Forum 3.  We asked him why he’s taking part in this event.

Christian Heylen, PURE Rebreather College, Rebreather Forum 3, RF3, Rosemary Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, Rosemary E Lunn, RF3 Exhibitor, Red Sea rebreathers, rebreather friendly resort, Poseidon, Poseidon rebreather, DAN, Thermal physiology, US Coastguard, CCR fatalities, Divers Alert Network, PADI, AAUS, PADI Rebreather courses“2012 is definitely the year of the rebreather revolution and RF3 is the rebreather event to be at in 2012.  There’s no way I’m missing this!  Divers are coming to the Orlando conference from every corner of the world, to listen to the latest developments and most up to date information on rebreather diving.  As the specialized rebreather operator in the Red Sea, there is no better opportunity for us to present our services to those divers looking for dedicated and exclusive rebreather diving in one of the best diving spots of the world.

Why do I consider 2012 to be ‘the year of the rebreather’?  Until recently rebreathers were considered a piece of technical equipment for experienced divers.  Today rebreather technology has developed to a level where new divers can now dive safely on a rebreather, ie the Poseidon Discovery MK-VI.

Before manufactures were trying to make their units as advanced as possible for deep trimix and cave diving.  Now they are looking to make their units as simple, foolproof and safe as possible.  This will mean there will be big changes in the rebreather world and this is probably the reason that 2012 is the year of RF3 too!  We are in for a very exciting time.

I’m looking forward to the networking, seeing good friends and making new business contacts.  However being a passionate rebreather diver I’m also hoping to find new opportunities to explore new places around the world with my rebreather.

Christian Heylen, PURE Rebreather College, PURE diving, Tek Diving, rebreather friendly resort, sorb, The Underwater Marketing Company, Rosemary E Lunn, Rosemary Lunn, Roz Lunn, Rebreather Forum 3, RF3, rebreather conference, PADI, DAN, AAUS, Thermal physiology, Peter Denoble, Richard D Vann, Dick Vann, Dr Richard Vann, Neal PollockI also want to know everything the manufactures are planning and the new stuff coming out.  That promises to be very exciting.  And personally as a rebreather diver I want to learn about all the latest upgrades I can put onto my rebreather for my own deep diving and expeditions.  RF3 is going to be an excellent place to source new places, centres, boats and destinations to dive.

With rebreather diving becomes more mainstream, more dive centres, instructors and professionals are going to be involved with this aspect of diving.  It will all make it far easier to take your breather on holiday with you.  The logistics will be sorted and there will be breather friendly facilities in far-flung places with sorb, cylinders and oxygen fills etc. 

With so many topics being presented by many renowned experts in their fields I know this is going to be something special.  There are going to be great presentations by DAN, (Thermal Physiology, OC and CCR Fatalities, and Coastguard Investigations).  And I’m also looking forward to the Rebreathing Testing, Scrubber Technology and CO2 monitoring talks.”

If you want to join Christian Heylen at Rebreather Forum 3, it’s time to book your ticket for Rebreather Forum 3.  Log onto for full details.

Are we there yet? Rebreather technology for recreational divers by Dr Petar Denoble

RF3, Rebreather Forum 3, Karl Shreeves, Richard Pyle, TUMC, The  Underwater Marketing Company, Roz Lunn, Rosemary E Lunn, Neal Pollock, Drew Richardson, Kevin Gurr, Phil Short, Jill Heinerth, Martin Parker, APD, Petar Denoble, Richard Vann, Rebreather Forum 2, Michael Menduno, Yochanan I. Daskalovic, DAN, PADI, AAUS, Douglas Ebersole,

"In the future, you'll simply jump into your car, turn on the Internet, turn on a movie and sit back and relax and turn on the automatic pilot, and the car will drive itself," says Michiko Kaku in his book Physics of the Future. "Unlike a human driver, it doesn't get drunk, it doesn't get distracted and certainly does not have road rage."

Even though driverless cars are not yet commercially available, driving a car is a simple process with all of the complex technology hidden from the user. Today's rebreather technology is a few steps behind, but it may be catching up.

Sixteen years ago diving scientists, manufacturers, divers, training agencies and regulators met for three days at Rebreather Forum 2.0 (RF2.0), in Redondo Beach, Calif., to discuss the future of "sport rebreather diving." At the time, at least one dozen rebreather models had appeared on the market, some of which were there to stay. The market was minuscule, and training opportunities were practically nonexistent. The consumer base consisted of about 100 brave, knowledgeable divers who recognized they could achieve more in their respective fields using rebreathers but at the cost of more work, money and risk than average divers were ready to commit.

RF2.0 reviewed the physiology of rebreather diving and the enabling technology, including the risks and needed enhancements if sport rebreather diving became popular. The findings and recommendations of RF2.0 emphasized the complexity of closed-circuit rebreathers (CCR), a need for technical support and better control of insidious risks including hypoxia, hyperoxia and hypercapnia. Additional safety issues were also noted such as a "caustic cocktail," an unanticipated variation in the partial pressure of nitrogen, thermal considerations and mechanical or electronic failures. Some technological advances were explicitly required, like full-face masks to prevent drowning in case of unconsciousness and an on-board carbon dioxide monitor to prevent carbon dioxide poisoning. Third party pre-marketing testing was advised, but standards were not proposed.

When compared to open-circuit scuba, rebreathers required significant ongoing maintenance and support to function properly; the consensus among the forum attendees was that rebreathers were suited for the technically savvy rather than the average diver. Military divers have successfully managed the risks of using rebreathers with resources not available in sport diving, including the use of a large supporting infrastructure, a high degree of discipline and extensive formal training.

Changing Tides: RF2.0 to RF3

Dr. Richard Pyle describes the experience of a self-taught rebreather diver best: "After my first 10 hours on a rebreather, I was a real expert. Another 40 hours of dive time later, I considered myself a novice. When I had completed about 100 hours of rebreather diving, I realized I was only just a beginner."

He did, however, provide a few survival tips for new rebreather divers:

    1. Know your partial pressure of oxygen (PO2) at all times; do not trust "fail-safe electronics."
    2. Learn, in depth, diving physics and physiology.
    3. Training should emphasize failure detection, manual control and bailout procedures.
    4. Cover your ass (have a back-up).

The experiences and tips of Dr. Pyle and his peers became the basis for development of formal training for technical rebreather divers.

But there were additional challenges for the trainers. According to Karl Shreeves, technical development executive for PADI worldwide, before the training agency could consider the instructional system, it was necessary to determine who the customers would be and how they would use rebreathers. PADI considered rebreather diving a niche not of interest to mainstream recreational divers at the time, but recognized the trend could change at any point. Indeed, a lot has changed; rebreather technology has improved, some training agencies have started offering instruction and the number of users has increased from hundreds to tens of thousands.

The fatalities have also risen accordingly to more than 20 per year, or more than 190 in the sixteen years since RF2.0. Not all of these fatalities were rebreather-specific, but all analyses indicate operator-machine interaction played a major role in it. It's an interaction that must be acknowledged, understood and made as safe as possible. Dietmar Luchtenberg of Europe's Rebreather Advisory Board said, "We can't get rid of safety issues in rebreather diving by [only] increasing technology standards." He emphasized the need and challenge of eliminating the factor of human error to enhance diver safety. After RF2.0, there was also a consensus about the significance of the human factor in the safety of rebreathers; the suggested approach seemed to be to develop a reasonably safe device and shift the residual risk to the users.

The full article is available here at AlertDiverOnline, the magazine for Divers Alert Network