AP Diving Vacancy: Product Design Engineer

AP Diving, Product Design Engineer, Martin Parker, Nicky Finn, Inspiration Rebreather, Evo, diving vacancy, scuba diving job, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company

Cornish manufacturer AP Diving is looking to a Product Design Engineer to play an integral part in the research, design, development and testing of new high-class diving products and equipment.

Reporting to the Research and Development Manager, the successful candidate will initially find their feet by gaining a complete technical and engineering understanding of the current product range as well as the industry sector including quality and European standard requirements.

For more information, check out the full application on GradCornwall.

Closing date: 8th May 2016

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.

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.

Attention CCR Instructors & Dive Centre Owners – we need your feedback

Pete Mesley of Lust4Rust (www.lust4rust.co) will be doing a presentation at OZtek Tech Diving Conference in March this year "Are rebreathers ready for the recreational diving industry - is the recreational Diving Industry ready for rebreathers?"

He really need to hear from Instructors and Dive Store owners alike. He would appreciated getting as many comments as possible, where you personally stand, your thoughts and comments.

Below is a few questions which he would be most grateful if you answered:

***

Pete Mesley, Lust4Rust, OzTek, tech divers, CCR divers, rebreather diver, CCR Instructors, rebreather instructor, resort diver, Dive Centre Owners, diving training agencies, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing CompanyTech divers have already embraced the technology. Training agencies and manufacturers are obviously going to directly benefit from expansion, but its in the trenches where Instructors are dealing with people all the time. I have categorized divers into 4 main groups (shown below), obviously there are more groups, but in the advent of simplicity and the relevance of the topic I have kept it to 4.

I would appreciate it if you could answer the questions below and any comments you might have on the topic. I have kept the questions to a minimum, but if you have any comments about the topic I would LOVE To hear them.

Can you please email me with all your comments.  Thank heaps, I really appreciate it.
- Pete

***

Categories of Diver

1. RESORT DIVER (only dive when on Holiday, little or no training, resort style diving)

2. AVERAGE DIVER (diver who does an average of 20 dives a year, goes on holiday with a few dives, own their own gear)

3. SERIOUS DIVING ENTHUSIAST (Diving is their main sport, heavily invested in diving, own their gear, but purely rec diving - no tech or deco)

4. Technical Diver (fanatical about diving, dives well beyond rec limits, does little else except dive, own all gear, invested lots of money in training, travel and gear)

FOR INSTRUCTORS

1. Do you think CCR Rebreathers have a place in the Recreational Dive Market?

2. Where do you see, them fitting in the market (from the list above)?

3. Are you preparing to train CCR's in the Rec market? - Who do you see as your biggest market?

4. Do you have any personal comments about CCR's in the rec industry?

FOR DIVE STORE OWNERS

1. Would you mix CCR divers on boats with O/C divers?

2. If someone was a CCR diver who wanted to do a longer bottom time would you be able to accommodate them?

3. Are you happy to change the routine of your dive business to accommodate this?

4. What is the average time people spend underwater each dive?

5. How many dives do you offer in a day?

6. Do you think that CCR diving in the recreational market is upon us?

7. What challenges do you envisage if you adopted CCR diving in your operation?

8. Are you interested in looking at becoming a CCR friendly operation?

9. Do you think that investing in Rebreather Support/Training/Equipment & Service is is going to benefit your business?

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

A Tripartisan look at the State of Rebreathers by ANDI, IANTD and TDI

The following data was announced today (Friday 19th May 2012) at Rebreather Forum 3 by Ed Betts, Brian Carney and Jo Dituri.

 

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, experience, expertise, certification, Betts, Carney, Dituri, diver certification numbers, market analysis, diving data, total number of diving certs, international association of technical dives, technical dives international,

 

ANDI, IANTD, TDI Collective rebreather certification numbers and market analysis

Joseph Dituri (1), Brian Carney (2), Ed Betts (3*)

* corresponding author

1. IANTD World HQ
324 St Joseph ST STE 208
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 721-5600
joe@iantd.com
2. TDI
1045 NE Industrial Blvd
Jensen Beach, FL 34957
(207) 729-4201
brian.carney@tdisdi.com
3. ANDI
74 Woodcleft Avenue
Freeport, New York 11520
(516) 546-2026
edbetts@andihq.com

 

ABSTRACT

ANDI, IANTD and TDI have combined their 65+ years of collective rebreather training experience and will brief the state and future of rebreathers with detailed certification numbers. We will trend this data and provide insight into market direction. Attendance at this lecture provides you with the opportunity to speak with the leaders in rebreather training. (Ed Betts, Brian Carney and Joseph Dituri.)

Keywords: ANDI, IANTD, TDI, rebreather, training, diver training, rebreather market, experience, expertise, certification, Betts, Carney, Dituri

 

INTRODUCTION

The three largest rebreather certification agencies came together to understand the opportunities with respect to rebreathers and foster openness as well as discuss their individual responsibilities as industry leaders in the diving community. The need for knowledge of precise rebreather certifications numbers is overdue. This paper will summarize rebreather certification numbers and analyze their trend as well as mathematically predict the future of rebreather certifications.

 

METHODS

Primary in our minds was the validity of the data. As seems evident, there may be cross certifications between agencies. That is to say, some divers may seek certifications in two or more certification agencies which would effect the resulting certification agency’s numbers. To alleviate this, our respective agencies opened our certification files to one another. We traded all unit specific agency’s numbers. To alleviate this, our respective agencies opened our certification files to one another. We traded all unit specific certification data on rebreather training. We combined our numbers and confirmed the accuracy of the data for a statistically relevant number of years and cross checked each person by name that was certified in a geographical area, by year, unit and level of training. This process allowed each agency to personally verify numbers of certifications. From that we determined a 1% duplication effort. We then applied that duplication decrement number (γ) across all the 22 years of numerical data. All data presented represented the γ reduced data which indicates zero duplication in data. The training agencies know the units on which the training is being completed for each year. Due to potential financial implications we are not sharing unit specific information.

The resultant data was analyzed for the mean by summing the total number of certifications and dividing by the number of years, yielding the mean over the spread of years. Since the early years of rebreather certifications were very low and manufacturers were not regularly producing rebreather, the mean did not contain 1990-1995. The mean was calculated using the following equation:

eq_1

Standard deviation shows how much variation or “dispersion” exists from the mean value. A high standard deviation indicates that the data points are spread out over a large range of values. Standard Deviation was calculated using the following equation:

eq_2

Our three companies have slightly different methods for classifying rebreather certifications. Basic includes any entry level program to CCR’s and SCR’s as well as no stop diving and depths not greater than 30 meters. Intermediate qualifications comprises any training with minimal decompression. Advanced qualifications include dives that generate both hard and soft ceilings that are significant in nature such as trimix, cave and exploratory qualifications.

Since forecasting the market data was an important consideration, we turned to the Holt analysis. Holt’s linear exponential smoothing captures information about recent trend and time series data that is non-seasonal. For any statistical test, the probability of making a Type I error is denoted by the Greek letter alpha (α), and the probability of making a Type II error is denoted by Greek letter beta (β). Type I errors, also known as false positives, occur when you see things that are not there. Type II errors, or false negatives, occur when you don’t see things that are there (see Figure below). Alpha (α) was chosen to be 0.3 and beta (β) which was chosen to be .03. The equations are:

e_3

Lt and bt are respectively (exponentially smoothed) estimates of the level and linear trend of the series at time t, while Ft+m is the linear forecast from t forward. The group understands the Holt analysis continues to have less validity each year after projections are incorporated to determine another year of trend data. That is why the forecast was stopped after four years.

RESULTS

This data that reflects over 30,000 divers have been certified on 27 different types of rebreathers at varying levels from 1990-present. The mean certified per year is 1852 divers (number based only on developmental years 1996-present). The Standard Deviation is 707. Further study of the data reveals that greater than 66% of the years studied reflected a number at or greater than the mean which indicates the market is continually growing and has significant recent growth. A comparison of the SCR to CCR certifications, as shown in Figure 1, indicates a growing trend of CCR certifications although a minor resurgence is noted in SCR certifications toward the end of the data recording period.

graph_1

As demonstrated in Figure 2, basic rebreather certifications (new rebreather divers) total more almost 18,000 divers. Over 12,000 divers carried on to continuing education classes on rebreathers. (50% at the intermediate level and 50% at the advanced level.) New rebreather divers are at almost an all time high in the market save a single year in 2001.

graph_2
graph_3

The Holt analysis projections depicted in Figure 3 indicate the market will generate between 2400 and 3100 rebreather diver certifications each year. This trend continues upward and as expected, the calculation error boundaries converge on a Holt analysis because the result calculated from one prediction is fed into the next year’s prediction. The raw data used for all calculations depicts the duplicate certifications removed and is contained in Table 1 below.

Rebreathers are a growth market. The basic rebreather divers are at a high and climbing. CCR certifications continue to grow, but we have noticed a minor resurgence of SCR in the last two years. ANDI, IANTD and TDI are three different training agencies. We have similarities and differences in the conduct of our individual businesses. Together we have a successful training methodology with 65+ years of experience. We thoroughly enjoyed working together and we will continue to work together in the future to foster openness as well as discuss our individual responsibilities as industry leaders in the diving community. While we may have minor differences as competitors, we agree on a few training items. The most important of which is that the rebreather instructor’s experience matters when choosing an instructor.

table_1

A Tri-partisan look at the state of Rebreathers by ANDI, TDI and IANTD @ RF3

One week today CCR Pioneer’s ANDI, IANTD and TDI will release historical training data at Rebreather Forum 3.  The three agencies have worked together and will announce the total number of divers certified on rebreathers.  This has not been done before, and it will give the Industry some idea of just how big the CCR (Closed Circuit Rebreather) market is.

Brian Carney, TDI President, TDI, SDI, ERDI, Rebreather stats, Rebreather Forum 3, RF3, Rosemary Lunn, Roz Lunn, TUMC, The Underwater Marketing Company, rebreather diver numbers, safety, rebreaher stats“There has been a lot of speculation out there about just how many people lean to dive on CCR’s”, stated TDI’s President Brian Carney.  “I am really glad to participate with Ed Betts of ANDI and Joe Dituri of IANTD and release our certification numbers”.

Joe Dituri, Tom Mount, IANTD, International Association of Nitrox and Technical Divers, TUMC, The Underwater Marketing Company, Rosemary Lunn, Roz Lunn, Rosemary E Lunn, Rebreather Forum 3, RF3, CCR, SCR, certified diver numbers“The rebreather industry is fickle and I laud the other big rebreather certification agencies getting together and setting the record straight,” stated IANTD’s Vice President Joe Dituri.  “I have never been more excited to be part of this growing culture.  Our cooperation is a win for the diving public”.

“Our corroboration will hopefully provide some clarity and result in a stronger, safer industry for all of us”, said Ed Betts, President of ANDI.  “Rebreather Forum 3 should be about improving safety and understanding.  Safety should not be a competitive issue”.

Ed Betts, Edward Betts, ANDI, American Nitrox Divers Inc, Dick Rutkowski, TUMC, The Underwater Marketing Company, Rebreather Forum 3, RF3, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, Rosemary Lunn, rebreather stats, safety stats, diving safety informationDue to the fact that ANDI, IANTD and TDI have slightly different ways of classifying rebreather certifications the numbers will be broken down as ‘Basic’, ‘Intermediate’ and ‘Advanced’ certifications by year.  Basic qualifications will include any entry level program to SCR’s (Semi-Closed Rebreather) and CCR’s.  Intermediate qualifications will include any training that includes minimal decompression.  Whilst Advanced qualifications will include Trimix and exploratory qualifications.  The companies will also be showing the difference between SCR and CCR certifications.

This information will be released post RF3 for anyone not able to attend this event and will be included in the published Conference Proceedings.

"20 Years of CCR Training Data from ANDI, IANTD and TDI" will be presented on Friday 18th May 2012 at 11:30 in Boca Room IV, Caribe Royale by Ed Betts, Brian Carney and Joe Dituri

 

"RF3 is the premier worldwide CCR event" states Tony Davis

Tony Davis, Aqua Tech Australia, CCR Technologies, Dive Rite Australia, The Underwater Marketing Company, TUMC, Roz Lunn, Rosemary Lunn, Rosemary E Lunn, RF3, Rebreather Forum 3, CCR physiology, Simon Mitchell, Petar Denoble, Neal PollockTony Davis, CEO of Aqua Tech Australia & CCR Technologies is flying in from down under to attend RF3.  We asked him why.

“When I read the agenda I knew I had to attend.  RF3 is the premier worldwide CCR event, and I want to learn more about the CCR’s I distribute in Australia, whilst making business contacts to grow the CCR component of my company. I also want to learn more about CCR specific physiology, and the business of CCR’s in recreational diving.”

The three day programme is divided into sessions to cover different aspects of rebreathers.   Topics up for discussion include;

- Hazard Analysis and Human Factors
- CO2 Scrubber Technology
- CO2 Sensors
- O2 Sensors and O2 Control
- Pre-Market Testing
- Post-Market Monitoring
- Post-Incident Testing
- Semi-Closed Systems
- Operations and Training

If you want to join Tony, book your tickets now by logging onto www.rf30.org and be part of this key rebreather event.

 

Duke Research Team wins NASA Award; Preventing DCS in Astronauts

A research team at the Duke University Hyperbaric Centre, (North Carolina, USA) has won a Johnson Space Center (JSC) Group Achievement Award from NASA. The Durham based team comprising Dr Neal Pollock, Dr. Richard Vann, Mike Natoli and Dr Richard Moon. Dr Neal W. Pollock and Dr Richard D. Vann developed an in-suit light exercise pre-breathe regime to prevent decompression sickness developing in astronauts.

Dr Neal Pollock, Dr Neal W Pollock, Dr Richard Vann, Dr Richard D Vann, Dr Dick Vann, Duke University, Astronaut, DCS, Decopression Sickness, NASA, Duke University Hyperbaric Center, Dr Richard Moon, Mike Natoli, pre-breathe protocol, space walking hazards, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, Rosemary Lunn, TUMC, The Underwater Marketing Company, Rebreather Forum 3, RF3, Rebreathers
Dr Neal W Pollock and Dr Richard D Vann

Although it might not seem immediately obvious, there is a strong link between astronauts, rebreathers, diving physiology and physics. A space suit is effectively an oxygen rebreather with the contents of the suit recirculated through a CO2 scubber. However the helmet doesn’t suffer the same CO2 retention problems that some diving helmets can, mainly because the gas is far less dense, therefore it circulates easily around the system.

“When an astronaut transitions from Space Station pressure (1 bar) and dons a space suit (0.29 bar), the pressure on them drops by 0.71 bar”, stated Neal Pollock. “It’s the same effect as instantly going from ground level to a thousand feet above Everest. Consequently one of the dangers of space walking is that decompression sickness will result if there is no intervention or treatment. Although the astronaut hasn’t been diving, he does have nitrogen in his tissues - in equilibrium with the content at ground level pressure. With an immediate drop in pressure the gas comes out of solution forming bubbles and possibly symptoms of decompression sickness, just like diver experience. We needed to wash out nitrogen from the astronauts’ tissues by having them breathe pure oxygen; an old trick used since World War II by bomber and fighter crew."

The full story can be found here, see page 6 of X-Ray Magazine, May Issue, # 48

Dr Neal W Pollock and Dr Richard V Vann also work at DAN Headquarters in Durham, respectively as Research Director and Consultant.  They are two members of the team behind Rebreather Forum 3.

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 www.rf30.org for full details.

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 www.rf30.org, 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!