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;


Exciting News For Sentinel CCR Owners

Sentinel Rebreather_Rosemary E Lunn_Roz Lunn_The Underwater Marketing Company_Jason Brown_Phil Short_Kevin Gurr_RF3WORLD EXCLUSIVE - BREAKING NEWS - We have just received this rebreather news from Vobster Quay about the Sentinel.

"Vobster Diving Limited (trading as Vobster Quay) is pleased to announce that it has entered discussions with VR Technology Holdings in view of providing support, service and supply of Sentinel closed circuit rebreathers to the recreational diving market.

“This is a very exciting time for us, and we will aim to provide an update in the coming weeks once we are in a position to do so", said Martin Stanton, Managing Director of Vobster Diving Ltd."

What's Rebreather Forum 3 all about? Neal W Pollock explains

“The main aim of RF3 is to evaluate the state of the art”, stated Dr Neal W Pollock, DAN’s Research Director and one of the organisers behind RF3.  “In a nutshell the theme of RF3 is to improve understanding, which we hope will translate to improved safety across the board.  We can always do things better.  So it is a rationality check to see if we can make things safer.

Rebreather Forum 3, RF3, Rubicon Foundation, DAN, Divers Alert Network, Research Director, Neal W Pollock, Neal Pollock, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, AAUS, PADI, Rebreather safety, Simon Mitchell, Jill Heinerth, APD, Ambient Pressure Diving, Martin Parker, Cognitas, Incident reporting, diving safety, BSAC Incident ReportWe’re therefore going to assess the current situation re manufacturing, testing, training and diving protocols to check that we are doing this as safely as we can, and highlight areas that need improving so that we can move forward.  Hence we’ve convened this Conference to put a lot of opinions into the room, rather than relying on a set of interpretations from one particular organization or company.  Doing it this way allows us to pull together all the different views and we then analyse the results through one lens.

The training agencies all say we are doing it right, so therefore why do we still have a number of fatalities every year?  At RF3 we intend to be as honest as we can about issues and address every one of them.  This may sound to some divers that we are suggesting current standards are dangerous.  We are not.  Our ethos is more along the lines of ‘how can we do it better and safer’?

So why will RF3 be useful to the Industry?  When you understand where something is failing; be it manufacturing, training or diving protocols, then everyone benefits from knowing how failures can occur.  Then we can see and evaluate how to successfully improve performance.”

You can be part of this important peer review, just log onto, check out the agenda and book your tickets to the most significant rebreather conference this decade; Rebreather Forum 3.  You’ll kick yourself if you miss it!

Going underground at TEKCamp 2012

With preparations for TEKCamp 2012 moving ahead at full speed, details are leaking out about what promises to be a bigger and better event than ever before!

Kicking off on the 9th July, TEKCamp 2012 will see attendees getting involved in a range of exciting activities and talks. The highlight of the event promises to be an exclusive ‘out of hours’ field trip to the amazing show caves at Wookey Hole with CDG cave diver, Dr Duncan Price. Duncan will be taking TEKCamp attendees on a fascinating history of cave diving in Wookey as they explore these world-class show caves for themselves. Prepare to be gob-smacked by the breath-taking beauty of these amazing caves - but watch out for the Wookey witch!

TEKCamp, Rich Walker, Vobster Quay, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, Mark Powell, Paul Toomer, Martin Robson, Phil Short, Duncan Price, Wookey Hole, skills, buoyancy control, D-SMB, British diving, UK Diving, diving skills, Kevin Gurr, rebreathersTEKCamp 2012 is a unique opportunity to 'speed date' ten of the UK's foremost technical diving instructors at Vobster Quay in Somerset. Over five solid days, attendees will participate in a series of in-water skills development and coaching sessions, lectures and talks - all designed to give divers a unique opportunity to develop and improve their diving skills and knowledge under the guidance and coaching of some of the UK's foremost technical instructors. Some of the biggest names in technical diving will be giving attendees the benefit of their considerable knowledge - names already committed to the event include Martin Robson, Phil Short, Paul Toomer, Rich Walker and Mark Powell.

For recreational and budding technical divers alike, TEKCamp 2012 offers a unique opportunity to improve your skills and increase your diving confidence under the direct guidance of some of the UK's foremost technical instructors. Buoyancy control need work? Finning technique less than efficient? Wish you could pop up a DSMB mid-water without losing control? TEKCamp 2012 will fine tune these skills and more...

Attendees can look forward to a packed schedule of talks throughout the week covering a broad range of diving subjects. The talks schedule is still being finalised but attendees can already look forward to...

• MONDAY 9TH - Acclaimed cave diver John Volanthen will be presenting a fascinating talk on the expedition to dive the cave system at Pozo Azul in Spain. John and other team members managed to set a new record for the worlds longest cave diving penetration, covering a distance of over 9 km!

• TUESDAY 10TH - Ever-popular rebreather cave expert Phil Short will be headlining Tuesday evening. Phil will be giving a talk entitled '20 Years in Diving: The good, the bad and the ugly'. If Phil's previous talks are anything to go by, this one is sure to be packed with seat-of-your-pants anecdotes and humour!

• WEDNESDAY 11TH - Fancy a field trip? On Wednesday night, TEKCamp attendees will be heading down to Wookey Hole for a guided tour of the stunning show caves lead by none other than CDG explorer, Dr Duncan Price. This promises to be the highlight of the week so don't miss out!

TEKCamp, Vobster Quay, Duncan Price, Wookey Hole, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, Phil Short, Kevin Gurr, Rich Walker, Mark Powell, Martin Robson, diving skills, twinset course, stage handling, DSMB deployment, line laying, tech rescue

• THURSDAY 12TH - Pioneering technical diver and rebreather guru Kevin Gurr will be returning to TEKCamp 2012 to give another fabulous talk. Marking the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, Kevin will be taking attendees on a journey to the world’s most famous wreck. Recounting his own dive to the RMS Titanic onboard the MIR submersible, wreck dives don’t get much bigger than this!

• FRIDAY 13TH - Friday night is party night at TEKCamp 2012 will a celebratory hog roast to mark the end of another very successful event. The instructing team will be in attendance, giving attendees the opportunity to rub shoulders and chat with some of the biggest names in diving. We'll also be running our raffle with prizes galore up for grabs!

Tickets for TEKCamp 2012 are selling fast with over 80% already snapped up but there's still time to get yours. Two ticket options are available offering either five or nine training sessions over the course of five days. For more information on booking options, visit

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

Book now for Rebreather Forum 3

For anyone with an interest in rebreather technology and science, Rebreather Forum 3 (RF3) is an unmissable occasion. With all the major players attending, this is the perfect opportunity for you to get up to speed with current thinking in rebreather technology, from the industry's foremost minds.

RF3 ( will be held from Friday 18th to Sunday 20th May 2012 inclusive at the Caribe Royale Hotel, Orlando. This unique conference comprises two elements; 30 different talks delivered by a team of respected speakers over three days and a specialist Expo with more than 30 international exhibitors.

Rebreather Forum 3, Drew Richardson, Michael Menduno, Kim Smith, Kiss Rebreathers, Martin Robson, Petar Denoble, Andrew Fock, David Concannon, Peter Sieniewicz, Bill Stone, John Clarke, Arne Sieber, Jeff Bozanic, Kevin Gurr, Dan Warkander, Bruce Partridge, Gavin Anthony, Mike Ward, Martin Parker, David Cowgill, Oskar Franberg, Phil Short, Dave Pence, Jill Heinerth, Terrance Tysall, Neal W. Pollock, Simon Mitchell, CO2 Sensors, O2 Sensors, O2 Control, Scrubber technology, RESA, Rebreather Education & Safety Association, Rebreather Forum 2, Thermal Physiology and protection, thermal stress, CCR physiology, CCR diving fatalities, decompression methods, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, ANDI, TDI, IANTD, DAN, AAUS, DAN, Divetech Cayman, Nancy Easterbrook, Steve Lewis, Bruce Partridge, Richie Kohler, Richard Pyle, US CoastguardIt's 16 years since the previous Rebreather Forum and there is much to discuss. Major issues will be addressed surrounding rebreather technology, and its application in sport, military, research and scientific diving. RF3 has two key objectives; an emphasis on safety and the much needed peer review of the state of the art. As a RF3 delegate you will be part of this important process.

The social side has not been forgotten either, whenever divers get together they like to talk and in the up and coming months you can follow us on Twitter; #RebreatherF3 or Facebook. On Friday night there will be a Loud Shirt Party - a Beach BBQ extravaganza - ideal for catching up with friends and colleagues, meanwhile on Saturday night we celebrate success at the glamorous and sophisticated RF3 Gala Banquet.

Although rebreather diving is a niche market, it is not without influence and it’s actively expanding. We are now entering a new age of diving. In the last couple of years we've seen major steps forward with the recent launch of two recreational machines. The ‘Type R’ rebreather is coming of age and the training agencies are actively working with manufacturers to grow this significant new market.

Attending Rebreather Forum 3 gives you unrivalled access to the very latest in rebreather training, technology and ethos, delivered by some of the world's significant figures in the field. It’s not often that you will get the opportunity to meet and talk to these cutting edge leading professionals who shape and influence this industry.

Delegates will therefore be pleased to hear that there are "Early Bird Specials" on RF3 Tickets until 1st February 2012, with savings of up to US$100 per ticket. With RF3 tickets starting from US$290, log onto now to book your place at this decade’s most momentous rebreather event. Regardless of your experience level, Rebreather Forum 3 is not to be missed.

Book your ticket for this year's Baltictech Conference

About 20 minutes drive from Gdansk Airport is Gdynia - the location of this year’s Baltictech Conference.  (Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th November).

The speaker line up is impressive; Jill Heinerth, JP Imbert, Tom Mount and Phil Short. 


Amongst the usual suspects are some lessor known names with some hot topics.  Łukasz Piórewicz will be speaking about Baltic for the beginners, whilst Dr Zdsiław Sicko discusses Aseptic necrosis and other less known threats in decompressive diving.  Meanwhile Author and diver Dorota Łeweć is talking on Psychophysical predispositions and medical aspects of diving women.  One talk sure to garner a lot of attention will be the one give by Richard Lundgren.  He will be speaking about the latest wrecks to be discovered in the Baltic.  It’s hoped this will include news on “Mars” - a 16th century Swedish warship littered with cannons, that outshines the Vasa.

Conference Tickets cost €70 and include entry to all presentations, workshops, seminars, the exhibition, conference dinner and diving party.  You need to book by 30 October 2011.  Log onto for more info and the recommended airline is Wizz Air.

Improve your personal diving at TEKCamp 2011

Sponsored by Fourth Element, the inaugural 'TEKCamp' will be held from Monday 25th to Friday 29th July 2011 inclusive. Join ten of the UK's top technical diving instructors for five days of solid diving, lectures, presentations and - of course - fun at Vobster Quay, Somerset UK. 

"Time and again when a diver is considering going down the technical route they always ask the same question - 'who should I train with'? ", stated Martin Stanton, owner of Vobster Quay.  "The consistent sensible answer given is 'that it's not a specific training agency but down to the quality and ethos of the individual instructor'. 

Until now it was a bit of a Catch 22 situation. The only way to find out if a specific instructor's teaching style was for you was to physically book onto and take a course.  At Vobster we therefore decided that an opportunity to 'speed date' some of the UK's foremost tech instructors from the leading agencies would beVobster Quay logo the way forward, with the emphasis focused on a week's personal improvement diving.  Every TEKCamp student gets to take part in a daily in-water workshop with three of their TEKCamp peers covering everything from equipment configuration, twinset diving and finning techniques to a try dive on a closed circuit rebreather, with each workshop taught by a different instructor.  By the end of the week every TEKCampee will have been taught by five different instructors.  These 'taster' sessions will be invaluable for any diver wanting to take up or further their technical diving training.  And it helps them decide if this type of diving and certain teaching styles were appropriate for them.  Some diver benefit from a more military approach adopted by some instructors, whereas others respond to a more pragmatic down-to-earth instructor. 

I'm delighted to say that for TEKCamp 2011 we've secured the services of the very 'crème de la crème' of UK technical diver education - ten really experienced instructors from the four top training agencies. We'll be announcing the full dream team shortly although we're proud to announce that names already signed up include Martin Robson (IANTD, NSS-CDS & NACD), Phillip Short (IANTD UK Training Director), Richard Stevenson (TDI & IANTD) and Rich Walker (GUE UK Training Director - luminary figures not only involved in teaching but also known for diving at the very cutting edge of expedition-level tech.

Whether you're a recreational diver looking to take on a whole new challenge or an experience technical diver looking to broaden your diving horizons, this is an unique opportunity to learn from and dive with some of the biggest names in technical diving.

Rich Walker of GUE UK stated "the opportunity to work alongside the UK's best tech instructors was too good to miss. The way in which the event is structured will allow divers interested in moving to tech diving to get a real picture of the different approaches and styles of teaching available. I can't wait!" 

During the week TEKCampees will also benefit from a five day Guest Pass to Vobster Quay including unlimited day diving, two half hour lectures every lunchtime (each Instructor will deliver one lecture), a Guest Speaker every evening, the ability to dive equipment from key manufactures, six days onsite camping, and a BBQ's every evening where divers can spend time and chat to the instructors informally. TEKCamp 2011 will culminate in a celebratory Hog Roast on the Friday night.

Places are limited at TEKCamp 2011.  To book your place simply log onto . Divers should be a minimum of Sport Diver / Rescue Diver with 50 logged divers preferably with a Nitrox Qualification.  For those who are not Nitrox certified Vobster will run a special course on Sunday 24th July.

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Technical Training to enjoy a renaissance as IANTD UK changes ownership

Following an 18 month hiatus, the UK franchise of IANTD (International Association of Nitrox and Technical Divers) has been bought by the dream team behind the revitalised Vobster Quay - Martin and Amy Stanton.

“In the early 90’s when Kevin Gurr set up IANTD UK, it was the first technical diver training agency in Europe”, stated Martin Stanton, Director of IANTD UK.  “We’re therefore genuinely excited that the mantle is now passing to us.  We’d like to thank Kevin Evans and Simon Watton for caretaking the agency since 2008, and wish them well in future projects.  Now we’re in for a very exciting time because currently IANTD UK ( is in a very good position to grow and expand.  After all virtually every experienced diver and instructor in the UK has done an IANTD training course at some point in their career.

Whilst this announcement doesn’t immediately seem to be that important to ‘the diver in the sea’, it’s of more significance to the UK Dive Shops and Training Centres.  “From today we delighted to announce fulltime superior support ensuring same day despatch of materials, efficient processing of qualification cards and high Quality Assurance. 

We know that at the end of the day a good course primarily comes down to the quality of the Instructor rather than the Agency.  A good way of demonstrating this is by looking at Mark Powell (TDI), Phill Short (IANTD) and Rich Walker (GUE) in the water - there’s not much to tell them apart.  So get a well trained experienced instructor and you gain so much more from your course.  Hence it’s very important to us that we focus on high Quality Assurance and Training, delivering from the top downwards.  Consequently we’re delighted to announce that Phill Short will be the new UK Training Director whose remit will include Standards of Training”.

“As an Instructor, Instructor Trainer and Instructor Trainer Trainer who has maintained loyalty to one Technical Agency throughout my career - IANTD - I’m honoured that Tom Mount and Joe Dituri have asked me to be involved with the new management team at IANTD UK”, stated Phill Short.  “I was very lucky to be introduced to the world of Technical Diving and the diving opportunities it could offer me by Kevin Gurr.  Over the years I’ve gained experience through teaching, and knowledge on further instructor courses and diving on many cave and wreck expeditions. I also consider myself fortunate that I’ve been trained and evaluated as a Cave Instructor by Tom Mount.

Being appointed UK Training Director and work alongside Martin Stanton is very exciting because it gives me the perfect opportunity to share some of the incredible things I’ve learnt over the last fifteen years.  I very much look forward to raising the quality training bar with my colleagues to help create safer and better educated divers at all levels”. 

IANTD UK can be contacted by email on or telephone 0845 644 0635.

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