A New Option For Carrying Dive Plan Data

The phrase "plan the dive, dive the plan" was coined Hal Watts, founder of PSAI. (He was also the one to name an alternative air source 'an octopus', but that's another story.)

Let's face it, the fundamentals of dive planning remain the same for all divers, a process that every diver should follow. However, when it comes to recording your proposed plan, what do you do? It can be quite simple data or something far more complex, depending on what level of dive you have planned for.

Sally Cartwright, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, Fraser Purdon, Martin Robson, MV Karin, John Thornton, Scapa Flow, Otter Drysuits, The Underwater Marketing Company, diving planning, technical diving
Mixed gas training in Scapa Flow, March 1999

I wish that 'Deco-Decals' has been in existence in March 1999 during my trimix training. I can vividly remember sitting in the cabin of MV Karin - a Scapa Flow liveaboard - with a roll of masking tape, and very precisely covering my wrist slate with strips of it. Once this was evenly applied I would then carefully draw a specific grid in biro. Finally I would take my time to write out my dive schedule and two bailout tables. It would typically take me about 30 minutes to plan my dive and get my slate ready for a dive. Whilst I found the process quite theraputic, the task was a bit of a time thief, and I would lose chunks of my day complying with best practice in dive planning.

Today there is a better option for both OC and CCR advanced and technical divers to record their proposed dive - along with the various bail out options - thanks to a collaboration between Huw Singer, Bristol Channel Diving Services, Neal Brock, Deco-Decals, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, XRay Mag, X-Ray MagazineHuw Singer and Brit based Bristol Channel Diving Services. The team designed and developed a range of self-adhesive, 'traffic light' colour-coded slate stickers called 'Deco-Decals'. They should fit pretty much every scuba-diving wrist slate available (Size: 200mm x 118mm).

Green – the dive is going to plan.

Amber – depth or time has been exceed and adjustments should be made, ie next depth, next time.

Red – there is an issue that requires immediate action, ie loss of decompression gas, or bailout is needed.

We all know that colour is absorbed at depth, so what is the point of colour coding each decal? In low light conditions the diver will use a light to read their slate - and in blue water there will be a visual difference, albeit subtle. The significance of the colour coding also makes the students think beyond the immediate dive plan and understand the implications of properly planning for set scenarios, in addition to the original dive plan.

Huw Singer, Bristol Channel Diving Services, Neal Brock, Deco-Decals, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, XRay Mag, X-Ray Magazine, Hal Watts, Plan the dive, dive the plan

Each Deco-Decal is logically laid out, in an accessible format for training scenarios or every day diving up to 70 metre / 230 feet diving, and is available in both metric and imperial. (There is also a V2 version of Deco-Decal dive planning set which is printed slightly larger, apparently making it easier to read underwater for those with slightly older eyes.)

The green slate has a two useful key way points to prompt you where you need to turn your dive - gas pressure or time. Plus you can see the gas mixtures you are carrying, both back gas and deco gas.

Huw Singer, Bristol Channel Diving Services, Neal Brock, Deco-Decals, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, XRay Mag, X-Ray Magazine, technical diving, recording diving data, dive slates

The reusable decals are varnished and durable, and you simply write on them using an ultra-fine tipped waterproof marker. Once you have completed your dive and want to input fresh data, just wipe the decal clean with a 'Magic Sponge' / 'Magic Eraser' or similar product. After multiple use (10+ dives) you can replace a decal by peeling it off cleanly, leaving little, if any, adhesive residue.

First Published: X-Ray MagazineJuly 2015 Issue 67, Page 34

McCartney Headlines In Liverpool

No, not Paul. Renowned maritime historian, archaeologist and technical diver Dr Innes McCartney will be speaking in Liverpool on Saturday 9th May.

Dr Innes McCartney, SS Andrea Doria, RMS Lusitania, HMHS Britannic, HMS M1, Submarine Historian, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, Merseyside Maritime Museum, Otter Drysuits, AP Diving
Respected submarine historian, Dr Innes McCartney

 
Dr McCartney is known for his discovery and archaeological research into shipwrecks including the wrecks of the Battle of Jutland, 1916 and many British and German submarine wrecks. He has contributed to shipwreck documentaries, such as Time Team Special, Deep Wreck Mysteries and Wreck Detectives series. In addition Innes McCartney used archaeological research to identify 40 new German submarine wrecks in the waters around the UK and Ireland, such as the rubbercoated U480.

He initially became interested in shipwreck archaeology when he learned to dive in 1989. In 1994 Innes McCartney became one of Britain's first Trimix-certified scuba divers and 1998 became the first person to have dived on the three great liner wrecks, SS Andrea Doria, RMS Lusitania and HMHS Britannic. Innes has always been fascinated by submarines, and in 1999 he discovered the 12-inch-gunned submarine HMS M1 off Start Point in the English Channel.

Over the past two decades Innes has focused on researching and locating lost historic shipwrecks and finding innovative methods to interpret his fieldwork.

On Saturday 9th May, Innes will be discussing key aspects of the first U-boat war and exploring some of the U-boat wrecks as they are seen today.

This free event is being hosted at the Merseyside Maritime Museum.

"Always analyse your gas" – Statement from the NACD

Following a recent fatality at Ginnie Springs, the National Association for Cave Diving has issued the following statement.

NACD Gas Analysis Advisory

NACD National Association for Cave Diving Nitrox Trimix Rosemary E Lunn Roz Lunn The Underwater Marketing Company DAN Safety ReportThe recent death of a cave diver highlights the necessity to review some critical procedures that we should be doing before all dives – gas analysis. A couple of years ago there was a cave diver death in Cozumel that resulted from breathing high carbon monoxide content in a cylinder. This created quite a commotion that caused the sales of CO analyzers to jump quite a bit. These days it’s not uncommon to see divers analyzing their cylinders for CO during the pre-dive process. However, even with that awareness it is a bit surprising that there are still divers that do not analyze all cylinders for oxygen content. While the NACD does not have courses for mixed gas procedures diving at this time, all NACD instructors should be emphasizing the need for gas analysis during the pre-dive process.

990 Magazine Volume 1 Issue 3 Spring 1999 Training Topics Nitrox for All analysing diving gas Nitrox Trimix Rosemary E Lunn Roz Lunn The Underwater Marketing Company
It is always worth having everything you need to hand when analysing and labelling diving gas. 990 Magazine

Divers should re-analyze all cylinders to be used on a dive at the site during the pre-dive process and make sure the cylinders are properly labeled with oxygen content, helium content (if any helium in the blend), and MOD. This should occur even if the cylinders were personally filled by the diver. Each and every cylinder should be analyzed and clearly labeled, even if there is an isolator connecting the cylinders, and regardless what gas is believed to be in the cylinder.

While it is understood that not everyone may own enough cylinders to permanently mark them with content and MOD, cylinders being used for 100% oxygen should be permanently marked and only used for 100% oxygen. However, permanent markings do not substitute for additional labeling. Even permanently marked cylinders need to be analyzed and labeled with content and MOD to show confirmation of the contents. There should never be any confusion about labeling. It should be clear and concise to anyone who looks at it.

Finally, there is some controversy over whether gas analysis should be an individual responsibility or a team responsibility. All divers with mixed gas training of any kind have been instructed that all gas should personally be analyzed prior to every dive. Almost every dive training class emphasizes gas sharing with teammates. With that, there is always the potential for a diver to be breathing from a teammate’s cylinders. Gas analysis and confirmation should be a team project during the pre-dive process.

990 Magazine Volume 1 Issue 3 Spring 1999 Training Topics Nitrox For All Rosemary E Lunn Roz Lunn analysing gas trimix safe diving practices The Underwater Marketing Company
Rosemary E Lunn analysing a Nitrox stage prior to diving Scapa Flow / 990 Magazine

The lessons to take away from this:

1. Analyze every cylinder, whether you think it is filled with air, Nitrox, Trimix, or Oxygen,
2. Label every cylinder with gas content and MOD
3. Remove all old, Oxygen, Nitrox, and Custom Mix labels if the cylinder is to be repurposed.
4. Make gas analysis a team project.

If you are unfamiliar with or out of practice with analyzing gas contact any NACD instructor and request a gas analysis refresher. If you do not have an NACD instructor nearby contact the training committee and we will provide you with an instructor who can help you.

Gas analysis is not an optional activity. Your life depends upon it.

Rob Neto
NACD International Training Director
NACD International Safety Officer

Source: NACD

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.

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!

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 www.tekcamp.co.uk

Mark Powell Steps Into RF3

Mark Powell, renowned author of ‘Deco for Divers’, (the award winning guide to decompression theory) and one of the UK’s leading technical diving instructors, has booked his ticket for Rebreather Forum 3.  A diver since 1987, Mark has a passion for wreck diving.  We asked him why he is attending RF3.

Mark Powell, Rebreather Forum 2, Rebreather Forum 3, Michael Menduno, Deco for Divers, EUROTEK, Richard Pyle, Jill Heinerth, Petar Denoble, Neal W Pollock, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, rebreather conference“When Rebreather Forum 2 was held in 1996 it was one of the most influential events in the development of technical diving.  I’m therefore expecting RF3 to be even more significant event. The opportunity to get so many divers, instructors, manufacturers and experts together in one place is invaluable. The rebreather industry is at a critical point in its development. Lessons have been learned regarding training, operations and design of units and I expect RF3 to consolidate these lessons and set the direction for the way rebreather diving develops over the next few years”.

What are you looking to get out of Rebreather Forum 3 Mark?

“My main goal is to meet as many people as possible and learn as much as I can. Simon Mitchell is a ‘must see’ as his talks are always entertaining and incredibly insightful and I also want to listen to Jill Heinerth and Richard Pyle. The safety and decompression workshops are the ones I most want to attend and I will definitely be looking forward to the talks by David Doolette, Petar Denoble, Andrew Fock and Bill Stone.

This conference promises to be a lot of fun as well.  Whenever divers get together we love to talk and the Beach BBQ Loud Shirt Party on the Friday night sounds intriguing. And if the Gala Banquet on the Saturday night measures up to that at EUROTEK I know we’ll be in for a cracking evening.  If you’re serious about your diving, why would you not attend RF3?!”

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 (www.rf30.org) 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 www.rf30.org 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.

Health status and diving practices of a technical diving expedition

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

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

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

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

Andrew Foch's report can be found here.

Want to know about diving a DUI Drysuit? Talk to Rich Walker at DIVE.2011

People attend Dive Shows for many different reasons, and a major one is to shop for a drysuit.  There is a lot of choice for today's diver and sometimes it can all seem a bit overwhelming.  So where do you start?  One sensible option is to visit a dive show and talk to all the different suit manufactures.  You should soon find something that suits your style of diving today, and of equal importance, your future diving too.

Rich Walker, Wreck and Cave, GUE, DIVE.2011, Birmingham Dive Show, DUI, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, dive shows, UK Dive shows, Fundies instructor, GUE instructor, scuba divingRich Walker (Wreck & Cave and GUE's Director of Technical Training) will be on hand to assist potential DUI Customers on Stand 835 (SDS Watersports). If you've always fancied one of these suits, why not come and talk to him at DIVE.2011. Rich actively dives DUI because he thinks they're the only manufacturer that makes a drysuit that matches the style of diving he does.

DIVE.2011 will be held on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd October 2011, at the NEC, Birmingham, England.