Award Winning Diving Stars Speaking In Chicago Today

Jill Heinerth, Dr Neal W Pollock, Our World Underwater Chicago, Bell Island Expedition, Steve Lewis, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, Rebreather Forum 3, cave diving, scuba diving
Jill Heinerth and Neal Pollock during the 2016 Bell Island Expedition - Photo Credit : Steve Lewis

Two explorers and a diving doctor are headlining 'Our World Underwater' in Chicago this weekend.

You can find Jill Heinerth, Richie Kohler and Dr Neal Pollock at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont.

Jill and Neal have just flown in from Newfoundland - they were part of a team exploring and surveying the Bell Island Mine - and are pictured here in Conception Bay South.

They are going to be talking on subjects close to their heart.

Jill is speaking about the science of cave diving and giving advice on rebreather diving, whilst Neal will be discussing managing decompression stress and concerns of the aging diver. You can find the talk schedule here.

Dive Rite, Lamar Hires, Jared Hires, Our World Underwater Chicago, Transpac, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, scuba divingIn between talks visitors have the opportunity of perusing the very latest in scuba diving equipment. Whether you are looking for your first snorkel or first rebreather, you should be able to find it here.

If you are considering more adventurous diving it is worth checking out Dive Rite. This company extensively designs and tests their gear by taking it real life diving. In reality it means that you benefit from equipment that fits properly and is capable of supporting the dives you want to do.

Did you know that several rebreather divers use a Transpac harness underneath their unit because it is so comfortable and hard wearing? And that many divers are diving Dive Rite products that are 10 - 20 years old because they are durable and so well made?

Last Olympian, Our World Underwater Chicago, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, Richie Kohler, Rebreather Forum 3, O'Three Drysuits, scuba diving, wreck divingDive Rite equipment would not be out of place being dived on *HMHS Britannic.

Britannic is **RMS Titanic's bigger sister, and she also sunk. But why did she sink?

Britannic was being built in Belfast when Titanic sunk early on the 15th April 1912. Titanic's catastrophic loss was such a shock to her shipbuilder - Harland & Wolff - that the engineers redesigned the mighty Britannic so that she would not share the same fate as her sister. But she sank twice as quickly as Titanic. How was that possible?

A man with some answers is wreck explorer and deep sea detective Richie Kohler. Richie is going to be talking about 'A Decade of Exploration on HMHS Britannic'. And, if you are lucky, you might even be able to get your paws on a copy of his latest book, 'The Last Olympian'. Why not get it signed!

*   HMHS = His / Her Majesty's Hospital Ship
** RMS = Royal Mail Ship (sometimes Steam-ship or Steamer)

Yes! You Should Still Do Your Rebreather Prebreathe

Beneath The Sea Show, Dr Simon Mitchell, DAN Rolex Diver of the Year, Dr Neal W Pollock, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, Pod Diver Radio, Joe Cocozza, rebreather, prebreathe, diving safety
Joe Cocozza (sat to the left) interviews Dr Simon Mitchell on pre breathing a rebreather

 

In July last year I wrote a LinkedIn blog calling for Auckland based divers to take part in a rebreather study that was being conducted by Dr Simon Mitchell and Dr Neal Pollock.

The results of this useful research were first unveiled to the world in September 2014 at EUROTEK, the European Advanced Diving Conference. Dr Simon Mitchell presented 'The Five Minute Prebreathe: Sensitive Test For CO2 Scrubber Problems Or A Waste Of Time' to a packed hall of international delegates.

Since then there is some mixed messaging about should rebreather divers do a prebreathe? Or is it just a waste of time? If you didn't attend either EUROTEK or OZTek and hear Simon Mitchell's talk, what should you be doing?

Joe Cocozza of Pod Diver Radio interviewed Dr Simon Mitchell at this year's Beneath The Sea show about this hot topic.

During the interview Dr Mitchell stated, "this study has been mis-interpreted by some people to suggest that the prebreathe is completely useless. We are not staying that. We absolutely believe that a prebreathe should be still be done for the other reasons. Checking the loop function is correct, adding oxygen and maintaining a set point. These are all critical things.

What we are saying is that you should not do a five minute prebreathe in the expectation that it will reveal any carbon dioxide problems. Or put it another way, if your five minute prebreathe is ok or appears ok from a CO2 point of view you cannot rely on that. That is the point we are making. Of course you should always do a prebreathe."

To hear this interview in full, click here.

Simon Mitchell Receives DAN / Rolex Award

The 2015 winner of the DAN / Rolex Diver of the Year Award - one of the most prestigious honours in scuba diving - has just been announced by Divers Alert Network. For the last quarter of a century DAN has partnered with Rolex to acknowledge excellence in diving and dive safety. This year the prolific work that Associate Professor Simon J Mitchell has done, has been recognised.

Dr Simon Mitchell, Anaesthesiology, University of Auckland, New Zealand, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, DAN Rolex Award, Diver of The Year, Fourth Element, Dr Neal W Pollock, EUROTEK Advanced Diving Conference
Dr Simon Mitchell is an avid tech and rebreather diver Image Credit: Dr Neal W Pollock

This award is given to “an individual who has made significant contributions to dive safety and / or the DAN mission over the past year.” Without a doubt, Simon Mitchell fulfills this criteria.

I first met Dr Mitchell in 2008 when I co-organised the inaugural EUROTEK. During the run up to the event, the late Carl Spencer praised a diving doctor he had heard speak at OZTek. Carl was keen that this hyperbaric expert should also present at our international advanced and technical diving conference. At this time Simon Mitchell’s name was not that well known by northern hemisphere advanced and technical divers.

Simon was only meant to deliver two sessions at EUROTEK.08, a different talk each day, but because another speaker had been unable to attend at the last minute, he willingly stepped into the breach and gave four different talks over two days. I spoke to him on the Sunday night post-conference, and noted he was absolutely exhausted. It was obvious he had given his all, both educating and engaging an audience of European advanced and technical divers. Simon easily fulfills the wording for the DAN / Rolex Diver of the Year Award; “he goes beyond to ensure that all divers prepare smarter through proper dive education…

The diving forums went wild post EUROTEK.08. The northern hemisphere divers loved and appreciated the fact that Simon Mitchell didn’t dumb down decompression theory. Instead he took time to carefully explain quite complex information to them, in a non-patronising manner, communicating it in such a way that everyone in the audience left having learnt something useful.

Simon Mitchell, Decompression Theory, Rebreathers, The ICC, EUROTEK, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, Leigh Bishop, Mark Dixon, The Underwater Marketing Company
Simon Mitchell speaking to a packed hall at EUROTEK Image Credit: Jason Brown

 

Dr Simon Mitchell is a fantastic speaker with a knack of explaining medical information to non medics, yet also keeping the medics engaged.” Mary Sinclair

After attending all of Dr Simon Mitchell’s lectures I feel like I’ve had a crash update in the latest decompression theory.” Sebastian Chander

Simon Mitchell was engaging and funny and has a knack for making complex subjects interesting and easy to understand for the layman.” Howard Payne

Dr Simon Mitchell is a physician with specialist training in anaesthesiology and diving medicine. He is the Head of the Department of Anaesthesiology at the University of Auckland in New Zealand and divides his time between the operating theatre, teaching, research and lecturing around the world. Simon holds a medical degree, Diplomas in Occupational Medicine and Diving Medicine, and a PhD in medicine. He is board certified in anesthesiology and hyperbaric medicine.

The DAN / Rolex Diver of the Year Award is given to “an outstanding individual who has devoted their career to making diving safer for all of us.” Simon Mitchell has authored or co-authored 104 publications including books, text book chapters, scientific journal articles and papers, and workshop proceedings. He sits on three editorial boards (Journal for Extracorporeal Technology, Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine, and Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine) and is on the Medical Advisory Board for DAN South-east Asia / Pacific and the DAN USA Research Committee.

Since 2008, I have worked with Dr Mitchell on a number of international events. He has spoken at every EUROTEK; 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014 and he is slated again for 2016. He also talks and lectures throughout the world at many medical and diving conferences and events. He says (when asked) that he loves talking to divers because they are an involved hungry curious audience that absorbs information.

Rebreather Forum 3, RF3, AAUS, DAN, PADI, Dr Richard D Vann, Dr Petar J Denoble, Dr Neal W Pollock, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz LunnIn May 2012 Simon Mitchell beautifully accomplished what many of us on the Rebreather Forum 3 organising team thought to be an unenviable and challenging job, and made it look simple. Simon chaired the final two-hour session at Rebreather Forum 3, the purpose of which was to forge an agreement for consensus recommendations of the meeting. (This three-day safety symposium was hosted and driven by the AAUS, DAN and PADI).

Simon successfully got the various communities to ratify consensus on 16 safety points. During the session, Simon actively listened and carefully took into consideration every argument delivered from the floor, amalgamating the relevant issues into acceptable form. As a result many recommendations have already been adopted by the worldwide rebreather community in the hope that they will reduce rebreather accidents and fatalities. Simon Mitchell’s action at RF3 demonstrated beautifully he is “a leader in the dive community.”

Inner Space 2014, Divetech, Georgia Hausserman, prebreath, PADI TecRec, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, Nancy Easterbrook, rebreather diving
PADI TecRec Consultant Georgia Hausserman doing a pre-breathe during Divetech's Inner Space Image Credit: Rosemary E Lunn

The DAN / Rolex Diver Award is given to “a diver who actively promotes and supports DAN’s mission and dedication to incident prevention, management and protection.” Evidence of this was confirmed by a paper entitled ‘The five minute prebreathe in evaluating carbon dioxide absorption in a closed-circuit rebreather: a randomized single-blind study’ published in Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine, for which Dr Mitchell was the senior author. He worked with colleagues from various key institutions including Duke University.

This research had been inspired by the rebreather community. This is a ‘hungry for knowledge’ community, and this thirst is partially driven by technology. Equipment continues develop and evolve allowing deeper and / or longer dives to be conducted that just a few years ago we used to consider improbable. At the turn of the century 100 metre / 300 foot technical dives were considered cutting edge. Today these kinds of depths are the norm for many divers. It is of little surprise therefore that extreme divers and explorers are asking quite challenging physiology questions.

In 2014 Simon Mitchell therefore set out to answer a controversial topic - just how effective is the five minute pre-breathe that all rebreather divers undertake prior to entering the water? A minimum pre-breathe period of five minutes is usually prescribed, on the basis this timeframe allows the diver to recognise elevated carbon dioxide levels in the scrubber, ie shortness of breath. Simon, along with Dr Neal W Pollock, devised a research study to confirm whether the five minute prebreathe is an appropriate sensitive test and does reveal CO2 scrubber problems, or whether it is actually a waste of time.

Simon shared this key research with the recreational and technical diving community, presenting it at EUROTEK.2014 and OZTEK.2015.

Simon Mitchell, Pete Mesley, Lust4Rust, Bikini Atoll, Truk Lagoon, AP Diving, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company
Simon Mitchell about to jump in Bikini Image Credit: Pete Mesley

Simon’s current research interests include the pathophysiology and treatment of decompression illness and, in particular, the pathophysiology of inner ear decompression illness. He is also interested in the incorporation of CO2 monitoring in closed circuit rebreathers, and the use of checklists to improve safety in the operating room and during diving.

Simon not only talks diving, he an avid technical diver. He began diving in 1972 and he is still an active current diver today, usually diving a closed-circuit rebreather. He has completed over 6000 recreational, scientific, military, and occupational dives and regularly uses rebreather technology to facilitate the exploration of shipwrecks and deep reefs. Simon's notable underwater achievements include helping to positively identify the SS Cumberland and working with Pete Mesley to identify and then recover the Port Kembla ships bell. He was also part of a team that helped confirm that the wreck of hospital ship AHS Centaur was mis-identified, and is often the diver medic on extreme remote rebreather and technical diving expeditions to Truk and Bikini Atoll.

DANeLogo11“We are very pleased to name Dr Simon Mitchell as this year’s DAN / Rolex Diver of The Year,” said Bill Ziefle, President and CEO, Divers Alert Network. “Simon’s academic and diving achievements are impressive and his accomplishments stood out amongst a field of worthy nominees. His life-long dedication to diving has made a significant impact on safety and has advanced our great sport."

“I am delighted and honored to receive the DAN / Rolex Diver of the Year Award" stated Simon Mitchell. "Like a number of my colleagues who perform similar roles, I enjoy being immersed in the diving community and need little more than this to motivate me. I am deeply appreciative of the recognition this award brings and I are very excited to attend the Beneath the Sea Show and Awards Banquet. My sincere thanks to DAN, Rolex and the selection committee."

Stephen Frink, Beneath The Sea, Secaucus, New Jersey, Dr Neal W Pollock, Dr Simon J Mitchell, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, Jean-Michel Cousteau, DAN Rolex Diver Of The Year Award
Dr Simon Mitchell with Dr Neal Pollock and Rosemary (Roz) Lunn at 2015 Beneath The Sea Gala Dinner Image Credit: Stephen Frink

Dr Simon Mitchell received his award at the 2015 Beneath the Sea Dive Show in Secaucus, New Jersey. He was presented with an Oyster Perpetual Rolex Dive Watch and a commemorative wall plaque. In addition, Rolex donated $15,000 to DAN to support essential safety initiatives such as medical research, safety education and first aid training.

The Underwater Marketing Company's 2014!

Sport Diver Magazine, Mark Evans, Apeks Aqua Lung, Shearwater Research, Suunto Dive Computers, TEKDiveUSA, Randy Thornton, Light Monkey, Tom Mount, Diving Awards, Rebreather Forum 3, RF3, Dr Richard D Vann, Dr Neal W Pollock, Dr Petar J Denoble, Girls on Gas, Rebreather divers, Inner Space, Divetech, Nancy Easterbrook, James Roberton, Poseidon Rebreathers, Steve Newman, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, diving Cayman Islands, Scuba Radio, Greg Holt, XRay Mag, X-Ray Magazine, Anglesey ScubaFest, EUROTEK, advanced and technical diving conference, The ICC, Dive Rite, DEMA Show, The Underwater Marketing Company, New Product Showcase

2014 was a fantastic year for The Underwater Marketing Company. Rosemary E Lunn (Roz) regularly contributes to a number of diving publications, including Sport Diver Magazine and X-Ray Magazine. Getting your work printed is always special. But nothing is quite so thrilling as being featured on the front cover.

The first half of the year was taken up consulting on and establishing an inaugural technical diving event in North America; TEKDiveUSA. Roz and the Thorntons were supported and assisted by some amazing and talented Smurfs, and the international team of speakers, sponsors and exhibitors weren't bad either. A favourite memory was being grabbed by gleeful Tom Mount who was chuffed to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.

From Miami Roz flew straight to Grand Cayman to work Divetech's Inner Space. If every dive centre was as well run as Nancy Easterbook's establishment, the diving industry would be in great shape. This week long event attracts rebreather divers from all over the world for a number of reasons, including the plethora of underwater attractions this tropical island offers. The highlight of Inner Space was being made an ambassador for Poseidon Rebreathers, a fun time machine with the ability to do some serious diving.

The summer saw the publication of the long awaited Rebreather Forum 3 Proceedings. (Click the link to get your free copy of this invaluable resource from this 2012 international safety symposium). Anyone involved with or diving rebreathers ought to read it.We attend a number of scuba shows and events throughout the World. In the USA Roz often bumps into Greg the Divemaster from Scuba Radio. This online radio show has been broadcast for 17 years. It is always good to be able to contribute to this programme.

In August, 200 divers descended on North Wales for The Anglesey ScubaFest. Diving, snorkelling, discover scuba, freediving clinics, kit try dives, bands, beach combing, beverages and bonne amid. £100 was raised for local charities and a good time was had by all.Time for another fab event. In September 500 divers, industry movers and shakers, explorers, experts and specialist exhibitors from all over the globe headed for the ICC in Birmingham. EUROTEK Advanced Diving Conference, the major European advanced and tech diving conference turned 4 this year! Our gorgeous gala awards dinner was even more glittering and we raised £4,000 for the Rubicon Foundation, thanks to the generosity of divers and sponsors alike.

It only seemed days later that it was DEMA Show in Las Vegas. Roz worked with Dive Rite on the launch of their new LX 20 Primary handheld torch. It was great to help produce a sexy display iin the New Products Showcase.So that is glimpse of some of the highlights of 2014 - a year of scuba event management, journalism and PR. Here is to a great 2015!

CCR Divers at Inner Space Assist Decompression Research

DAN, Divers Alert Network, Dr Neal W Pollock, Jenna Wiley, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, Dr Stephen Thom, Microparticles, Decompression Stress, Divetech, Inner Space, Nancy Easterbrook, Cobalt Coast, Lighthouse Point, Jay Easterbrook, Steve Tippetts, rebreather diving in Cayman, tech diving in Cayman, deep diving in CaymanHave you attended Divetech's Inner Space and wondered why the blood samples were collected by the DAN team led by Dr Neal W Pollock?

They were used to see if microparticles (MP), fragments of cells that accumulate in the blood in response to a variety of stressors, are a good indicator of #decompression stress. The MP measures are compared with the bubble data collected onsite with ultrasound techniques.

The MP assays are completed by Dr Stephen Thom at the University of Maryland. Dr Thom gave a presentation at the ONR-NAVSEA Progress Review Meeting that took place in Durham on 15 to 17 July. He summarised the current status of his research on circulating microparticles (MPs). These are small fragments shed by various cells that have been exposed to stress and can be found in divers after diving. Here is a report on Microparticles and Decompression Stress from 'The Dive Lab'.

Pictured here is Divers Alert Network Research Associate I, Jenna Wiley. She is taking blood from a deep trimix CCR diver during Divetech's Inner Space.

 

 

Auckland Based Diver? Take Part In A CO2 Prebreathe Study This July

Dr Simon J Mitchell, Dr Neal W Pollock, EUROTEK.2014, TEKDiveUSA, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, rebreather prebreathe, rebreather safety, diving physiology study, scuba diving safety, Rebreather Forum 3, top diving speakers, diving physiology, CO2, diving research
Dr Simon Mitchell and Dr Neal Pollock will be presenting their research at EUROTEK.2014

Are you an Auckland based diver, or live near Auckland, New Zealand? Are you available on Saturday 19th or Sunday 20th July 2014? Do you dive a rebreather or are thinking of becoming a rebreather diver? If you answer 'yes' to these questions, Dr Simon Mitchell and Dr Neal Pollock need your help. They are conducting a Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Prebreathe Study and need volunteers to assist in this incredibly useful research.

We are delighted to report that the findings from this study will be announced at EUROTEK.2014 in September.

What is the purpose of this research?

Rebreathers which recycle exhaled gas after removing carbon dioxide (CO2) are becoming increasingly popular in recreational diving because they offer advantages such as the conservation of breathing gas. However, they are more complex than normal scuba equipment, and there is potential for operator error in their use. These errors may lead to accidents and death. Several of these potential operator errors relate to the use of the CO2 absorbent (or the CO2 “scrubber”). If there is failure of CO2 removal from the expired breath, the diver will re-inhale CO2 and this may result in hypercapnia (commonly referred to as CO2 toxicity). Rebreather divers are taught about this during their rebreather dive training. CO2 toxicity may cause progressive shortness of breath, headache, anxiety, panic, and ultimately unconsciousness. In addition, CO2 toxicity enhances the adverse effects or toxicity of other gases such as nitrogen and oxygen. There have been many deaths during the use of rebreathers in which CO2 toxicity is thought to have contributed, though this is often difficult to prove.

The absorbent material used in CO2 scrubbers must be replaced periodically. Related errors include failing to replace the absorbent material, incorrect packing of the absorbent material into the scrubber canister, and incorrect installation of the canister in the rebreather (or forgetting to install it entirely). Most rebreather units do not monitor CO2, and so rebreather divers are taught to conduct a 5 minute “pre-breathe” of their unit just before entering the water. A prebreathe involves preparing the unit for diving, and then sitting quietly breathing on the rebreather loop. If the CO2 scrubber is absent or faulty the diver will rebreathe CO2 and, in theory, should notice the early symptoms of CO2 toxicity such as shortness of breath or headache.

Divers assume that symptoms of CO2 toxicity will occur reliably and be noted during a 5 minute prebreathe. However, this has never been formally tested. This study aims to measure the proportion of subjects who can identify the absence of an effective scrubber during a 5 minute prebreathe on a rebreather circuit. The detection of a partial scrubber failure may also be evaluated.

If you want to be part of this important study please email Pete Mesley as soon as possible to get booked in. You will be need for no more than 2 hours during the course of the weekend.

 

Rebreather Forum 3 Conference Proceedings Now Available

The RF3 proceedings are now available, online and free to anyone to download!

Rebreather Forum 3 Proceedings, RF3, 2014, Rebreather Forum 3, RF3, Dr Nick Bird, Mark Caney, Dr Petar Denoble, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, Christian MacDonald, Dan Orr, Dr Neal W Pollock, Dr Drew Richardson, Karl Shreeves, Dr Richard Vann, AAUS, DAN, PADI, The Underwater Marketing Company, rebreather diving, scuba diving, American Academy of Underwater Sciences
RF3 Proceedings are available for free online

The Rebreather Forum 3 Proceedings have been published in both print and electronic format following the safety symposium held from 18 - 20 May 2012 at the Caribe Royale Hotel in Orlando, Florida. Two years in the planning and two years in the writing, the 324-page rebreather publication showcases state-of-the-art and science of rebreather diving through the experience and knowledge of some of the world’s leading specialists in education, operations, physiology, medicine and safety. This meeting followed the Rebreather Forum 2 conference which was held in 1996.

The goal of Rebreather Forum 3 was to positively impact the safety of recreational, professional, scientific, media and military rebreather divers by sharing latest developments and best practices. Educational sessions took place in seminars that discussed history and evolution, medicine and physiology, business and operations, incidents and their investigation, design and testing, and training and operations. Safety was the key theme and participants were informed about the most common causes of rebreather incidents and fatalities in hopes of reducing their future occurrence. To round out the meeting, participants were able to gain hands-on experience through various pool sessions.

The 11-member, Rebreather Forum organizing committee comprised Dr. Nicholas Bird (DAN), Mark Caney (PADI), Dr. Petar Denoble (DAN), Michael Lang (American Academy of Underwater Sciences), Rosemary E Lunn (The Underwater Marketing Company), Christian MacDonald (American Academy of Underwater Sciences), Dan Orr (DAN), Dr. Neal W Pollock (DAN), Dr. Drew Richardson (PADI), Karl Shreeves (PADI) and Dr. Richard Vann (DAN).

Rebreather Forum 3, RF3, Dr Nick Bird, Mark Caney, Dr Petar Denoble, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, Christian MacDonald, Dan Orr, Dr Neal W Pollock, Dr Drew Richardson, Karl Shreeves, Dr Richard Vann, AAUS, DAN, PADI, The Underwater Marketing Company, rebreather diving, scuba diving, American Academy of Underwater Sciences
The Editors of the RF3 Proceedings (from l to r); Dr Neal W Pollock, DAN Research Director | Dr Richard D Vann, Professor Emeritus Duke Anesthesiology | Dr Petar J Denoble, Vice President DAN Research

“We planned this Forum to introduce divers without rebreather experience to the equipment as well as to assist experienced rebreather divers in refining their skills. This was the ideal format to share ideas and listen to some of the world’s most respected experts on rebreather diving," stated Dr. Richard Vann, former Vice President of Research, Divers Alert Network.

Publishing the Rebreather Forum 3 proceedings is a significant accomplishment by the AAUS, DAN and PADI. All three partners are very pleased to share this invaluable resource with the diving community, in order to help make diving safer. It is hoped that the knowledge gained will reduce incidents and fatalities among rebreather divers.

PDF copies of the complete RF3 Proceedings can be downloaded immediately at no-cost from the DAN website. Print copies will be available in the near-future through a print-on-demand service. More detailed information can be found at the Rebreather Forum 3 website; www.rf30.org

 

Deadline for AAUS Foundation Scholarships Approaches

We recently caught up with the Chairman of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences Foundation, Dr Neal W. Pollock.

Dr Pollock advised us that the the AAUS currently has four scholarships;

Kevin Flanagan Student Travel award, Kevin Gurr, Kathy Johnston Scholarship award, AAUS Logo, American Academy of Underwater Science, Christian McDonald, Steve Sellers, Dr Neal W Pollock, Scientific diving scholarships, Hollis Gear, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, scuba diving PR* Hollis Gear award
* Kathy Johnston Scholarship award
* Kevin Flanagan Student Travel award
* Kevin Gurr Scholarship

The deadline for applications this year is 30th June.

If you are, or know a student who is studying scientific diving, now is a good time to apply. Visit the AAUS Foundation website for further information.

TEKDiveUSA.2014 Attendees To Receive A PADI Rebreather Checklist

PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) has today confirmed that TEKDiveUSA.2014 attendees will receive a 'Type T' rebreather checklist in their conference bag.

PADI_Rebreather Checklist_RF3_Rebreather Forum 3_Dr Drew Richardson_Christian McDonald_AAUS_DAN_Dr Petar Denoble_Dr Neal W Pollock_Dr Richard D Vann_Rosemary E Lunn_Roz Lunn_The Underwater Marketing Company_TEKDiveUSA_EUROTEK_RF3 Consensus Statements_safety_rebreathers_checklists_Mark Caney_Karl Shreeves_scuba diving
PADI 'Type T' Rebreather / CCR Checklist

Two years ago this month PADI, along with the AAUS and DAN, hosted Rebreather Forum 3. This three day safety symposium was convened to address major issues surrounding rebreather technology, and its application in commercial, media, military, scientific, sport and technical diving. Experts, manufactures, instructor trainers, training agencies and divers from all over the world discussed this technology and shared information.

The programme included dedicated sessions covering topics such as medicine and physiology, closed circuit rebreather (CCR) orientation, business and operations, CCR familiarization, training, design and testing, and incident analysis.

Associate Professor Simon J Mitchell chaired the final session at RF3 and, as a result, 16 key consensus statements were agreed and ratified by the global rebreather community. You can hear this presentation by clicking here.

Two of the 16 consensus statements agreed at Rebreather Forum 3 concerned the use of checklists. RF3 acknowledged the overwhelming evidence demonstrating the efficacy of checklists in preventing errors and two recommendations were made. These are listed below.

REBREATHER FORUM 3 CONSENSUS STATEMENTS

CHECKLISTS:

The forum acknowledged the overwhelming evidence demonstrating the efficacy of checklists in preventing errors in parallel fields that share similar technical complexity. Two recommendations regarding checklists were consequently agreed:

1. CHECKLISTS

The forum recommends that rebreather manufacturers produce carefully designed checklists, which may be written and / or electronic, for use in the pre-dive preparation  (unit assembly and immediate pre-dive) and post-dive management of their rebreathers.

– Written checklists should be provided in a weatherproof or waterproof form.

– The current version of these checklists annotated with the most recent revision date should be published on the manufacturer’s website

2. CHECKLISTS

The forum recommends that training agencies and their instructors embrace the crucial leadership role in fostering a safety culture in which the use of checklists by rebreather divers becomes second nature.

 

TRAINING AND OPERATIONS:

1. TRAINING AND OPERATIONS

The forum applauds and endorses the release of pooled data describing numbers of rebreather certifications by training agencies, and encourages other agencies to join ANDI, IANTD, and TDI in this initiative

2. TRAINING AND OPERATIONS

The forum endorses the concept of making minimum rebreather training standards available in the public arena.

3. TRAINING AND OPERATIONS

The forum endorses the concept of a currency requirement for rebreather instructors. We recommend that training agencies give consideration to currency standards in respect of diving activity, class numbers, and unit specificity for their instructors.

4. TRAINING AND OPERATIONS

The forum recognizes and endorses the industry and training agency initiative to characterize “recreational” and “technical” streams of sport rebreather diver training. These groups will have different operational, training and equipment needs.

 

ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION

1. ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION

The forum recommends that training agencies provide rebreather divers  with a simple list of instructions that will mitigate common errors in evidence preservation after a serious incident or rebreather fatality.

– These instructions will be developed under the auspices of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society Diving Committee in consultation with the relevant RF3 presenters.

2. ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION

The forum endorses the concept of a widely notified centralized “on-call” consultation service to help investigators in avoiding errors or omissions in the early stages of a rebreather accident investigation, and to facilitate referral to expert investigative services.

3. ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION

The forum recommends that in investigating a rebreather fatality the principal accident investigator invite the manufacturer of the incident rebreather (or other relevant equipment) to assist with its evaluation (including the crucial task of data download) as early as is practicable.

4. ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION

The forum endorses the DAN worldwide initiative to provide a means of on-line incident reporting with subsequent analysis and publication of incident root causes.

 

DESIGN AND TESTING

1. DESIGN AND TESTING

The forum recommends that all rebreathers incorporate data logging systems which record functional parameters relevant to the particular unit and dive data, and which allow download of these data. Diagnostic reconstruction of dives with as many relevant parameters as possible is the goal of this initiative.

– Footnote: An ideal goal would be to incorporate redundancy in data logging systems, and as much as practical, to standardize the data to be collected

2. DESIGN AND TESTING

The forum endorses the need for third party pre-market testing to establish that rebreathers are fit for purpose. Results of a uniform suite of practically important unmanned testing parameters such as canister duration, and work of breathing (qualified by clear statements of experimental parameters) should be reported publicly. Ideally, this testing should be to an internationally recognized standard.

3. DESIGN AND TESTING

The forum acknowledges recent survey data indicating a poor understanding of rebreather operational limits in relation to depth and carbon dioxide scrubber duration among trained users, and therefore recommends:

1. that training organizations emphasize these parameters in training courses.

2. that manufacturers display these parameters in places of prominence in device documentation and on websites.

4. DESIGN AND TESTING

The forum strongly endorses industry initiatives to improve oxygen measurement technologies, and advocates consideration of potentially beneficial emerging strategies such as dynamic validation of cell readings and alternatives to galvanic fuel cells.

4. DESIGN AND TESTING

The forum identifies as a research question the issue of whether a mouthpiece retaining strap would provide protection of the airway in an unconscious rebreather diver.

6. DESIGN AND TESTING

The forum identifies as a research question the efficacy of a full face masks for use with sport rebreathers.

 

Myths and Misconceptions of Thermal Stress and Physiology" at TEKDiveUSA

Dr Neal W Pollock_Thermal Stress_Environmental Physiologist_DAN Research Director_Rosemary E Lunn_Roz Lunn_The Underwater Marketing Company_TEKDIveUSA_EUROTEK_RF3_Rebreather Forum 3
Environmental Physiologist, Dr Neal W Pollock

There is now a reasonable choice when it comes to heated vests. They are also becoming more affordable and in reach of every day divers. It would seem that DIY torso heating solutions are not always a wise move however, and a surgeon has just advised against the use of heat packs after an accident; Irish Examiner

When it comes to 'off the peg' heated devices, are they the magic bullet for solving thermal stress? Dr Neal W Pollock, an environmental physiologist will be speaking about the “Myths and Misconceptions of Thermal Stress and Physiology" at TEKDiveUSA in Miami on the 17th May 2014.

“Diving is carried out in a tremendous range of thermal environments and conditions. The extremes demand extra consideration, but, ultimately, a well- equipped polar diver can be more comfortable than some tropical divers. Potentially more important than comfort, though, is the fact that thermal status can dramatically influence decompression risk.

This presentation will consider the impact of thermal status on comfort, performance and decompression safety. One of the hot areas (pun intended) for diving equipment is ‘active heating.’ Technological improvements are providing divers with more options, but it is important to be mindful of risks as well as benefits.”

To hear this and 39 other talks, book your place at North America's advanced and technical diving conference now.