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Archive for the Rebreathers Category
PADI Asia Pacific Technical Diving Consultant , Alex Boulton, recently had the opportunity to check out the Hollis Explorer Sport Rebreather led by Rubens Monaco PADI Recreational Rebreather Instructor (Hollis Explorer). Having seen the interest in the Hollis Explorer at last weekend’s OZTeK13 – these are exciting times ahead for PADI Rebreather training on the Hollis Explorer.
As Rubens is also qualified to train divers on the rEvo it was another chance to discover how another CCR operates and to check out the features and benefits of scrubber stack design, lung position, electronics and gas addition mechanisms.
The first PADI course on the Hollis Explorer Sport Rebreather was recently held in northern Florida. In attendance was John Conway, Rebreather Training Director for Hollis, Georgia Hausserman, PADI Technical Diving Division and Rebreather Advisory Team member, Kelly Rockwood, PADI Technical Diving Division member and Training Consultant, Steve Olfe, PADI Course Director and Dive Center owner and Mischa Hausserman, PADI IDC Staff Instructor.
The first day of the course was spent learning the technology behind the electronic control of the semi-closed rebreather, assembly and predive procedures as well as maintenance of the components. The next two days were spent in the water, where the units performed flawlessly while they and the divers were put through their paces.
The design of the Explorer appeals to the recreational diver because of its ease of use, integrated jacket-style BCD, back mounted counterlungs and use of EANx. The electronics guide the diver through the startup procedure with prompts to evacuate the loop, turn on the supply gas and prebreathe. The Explorer senses the negative loop test, analyzes the gas and performs a positive loop test. Setting up the rebreather and getting it ready to dive takes no more than about 10 – 15 minutes.
Diving the Explorer has the ease of diving an open circuit nitrox system with all the benefits and the feel of diving a closed circuit rebreather. The wrist-mounted computer displays current depth, elapsed dive time and remaining dive time based on the controlling resource (NDL, gas supply, filter time). For the more advanced rebreather diver, additional dive information including PO2 may be displayed with the push of a button.
Based on the planned dive the diver can select before or during the dive, whether they prefer a longer NDL but higher gas use or shorter NDL and less gas usage by adjusting the Dive Control Parameter (DCP). The electronics maintain a computer selected PO2 based on the depth, the percentage of oxygen in the supply gas(O2 must be between 32% and 40%) and the DCP setting selected by the user. Its as simple as using a single gas nitrox computer.
The Hollis Explorer is a Type R Rebreather and is on PADI’s Register of Rebreather Units. PADI Americas has Explorer Diver Courses scheduled in several US locations beginning in April. Times and locations are listed on the PADI Pros’ Site. PADI EMEA and Asia Pacific regions will announce course dates and locations soon.
The soon to be launched Hollis Explorer has now been registered as a Type R rebreather for use on PADI recreational courses.
The Explorer is a hybrid rebreather. Whilst it is a semi-closed rebreather the sophisticated electronics use the single gas in a unique way to optimise the dive duration balancing no decompression time and gas supply.
The rebreather is a truly recreational unit with very simple setup, pre-packed scrubber, electronically guided pre-dive checks and CO2 monitoring.
During the dive, the displays alert divers to any potential problem and guide them on when and how to end the dive.
As with any rebreather, longer dives, less bubbles and warmer breathing enhance the diver’s experience underwater and it all comes in a small light weight package that will suit the travelling and local diver alike.
So if you fancy discovering the Explorer for yourself look out for launch dates near you or follow the latest news on http://www.hollisgear.com/
By, Vikki Batten, Rebreather Advisory Team, Technical Diving Division
I am going to take the liberty of presuming you know that before you teach any course you must have the correct qualifications and equipment plus follow standards and the course outline. You will find all of this in the Discover Rebreather Guide, but here are a few tips on making the Discover Rebreather experience fun and effective.
If you are running a Discover Rebreather event then I presume you want to entice divers to try rebreather diving, with the aim of them wanting to follow up with more training and diving. So it’s important to tell them the real reasons they should try it:
- Rebreather Divers are cooler than other divers! Ok, that may just be my opinion…but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong!
- Rebreather diving is an exciting new challenge – in many parts of the world diver’s enjoy learning new skills and information.
- Rebreather diving can enhance any type of diving you enjoy:
- Photographers don’t have to Photoshop bubbles
- Animals aren’t scared because you are quieter
- Videographers can dive for longer
- No deco limits are longer
- Feels closer to true weightlessness when you master the buoyancy
- Longer no deco limits mean that you can make your dive more conservatism (if you plan it that way)
- Warm, moist gas and no demand valve makes breathing on a rebreather the most natural underwater breath there is.
- Mastering recreational rebreather diving makes the step to Tec CCR diving easier if you want to move into tec diving later.
Make the most of social media to tell your divers about dates and let us know so that we can post it on the TecRec Blog.
Why not contact the manufacturer/distributor and let them know too, they may be able to publish dates or even come along to support you.
Schedule and organisation
A Discover Rebreather program can easily be run in as little as an hour, but TBH it takes a while to get used to a rebreather so if you can spend a bit longer with divers they will have more time to fall in love with the rebreather.
Why not do both, give them a short pool based Discover Rebreather as a taster session to get them interested and then move them out to confined water for a longer more in depth experience. This also helps avoid information overload. At this stage getting too technical too quickly can overwhelm participants. Be guided by the divers questions and if some divers want more in depth info, make time to answer their questions after the experience.
Unlike the PADI Rebreather and Advanced Rebreather Diver courses, the Discover Rebreather program doesn’t need to cover too much generic information. You will spend your time focussed on the rebreather the student will dive. Have the rebreather in front of divers during the knowledge development and encourage a hands on approach so that divers learn the theory connected to the equipment. While you don’t need to teach them indepth information about other rebreathers, divers usually want to compare attributes, so make sure you know enough about other units to give them a fair comparison. Tell the truth, if you don’t know the answer to a question about the rebreather you teach, tell them you will find out from the manufacturer. If you don’t know something about another unit, be honest about that too.
You will need to supervise every aspect of the diver kitting up and checking the unit but they will build knowledge and comfort with the unit by doing things under your supervision. If you need to intervene, explain what happened and how you solved it. There is nothing more disconcerting than not knowing enough about the equipment you are about to dive, imagine this:
A diver is sitting in a rebreather they are about to dive for the first time when it alarms, the instructor presses something and it stops alarming, the diver asks what the problem is and the instructor replies, “nothing to worry about, let’s get in the water”.
Eek – can you imagine anything worse than getting in the water wondering if there is something wrong! Obviously if there is, the diver shouldn’t be getting in the water, but the chances are there isn’t anything wrong and the instructor just felt they didn’t need to go into details for something minor. However, part of the battle is overcoming the years of negative press and teaching divers to learn to trust rebreathers.
And while we are on that subject, teach your divers to trust rebreathers from the very beginning. I hate the “treat your rebreather as if it will kill you” mentality. I don’t treat my open circuit equipment like that; if I thought my regs were going to kill me I wouldn’t use them! . I trust my rebreather to try and support life at all times. That is what it is designed to do. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not promoting complacency, but you can take care of your equipment and monitor its functionality without being completely paranoid
So, we’re in the water. Make sure your divers are comfortable with everything at the surface and understand that it’s ok to dive like a beginner again when they first change to a rebreather. That way they aren’t surprised when they have less control to start with. Explain that experienced open circuit divers can often feel a little frustrated at their lack of skill on rebreathers, but that it will soon come back with practice.
Introduce skills slowly and don’t be tempted to rush divers or think they are bored. Most people want to spend time just watching the handsets, breathing on the rebreather and swimming in the shallows – experiencing the differences is why they are doing this.
To minimise risk to the diver, the Discover Rebreather experience keeps divers shallow. If you use confined water use certified assistants to lead the group wherever possible. This means the divers can concentrate on diving the rebreather and just follow the assistant without having to think too much about depth, navigation etc. It also leaves you free to change position and monitor the divers to make sure everything is functioning correctly. Don’t forget they have only very basic knowledge at this point, so you are responsible for their safety. Most Discover Rebreather participants are more interested in trying the equipment than in what they see on the dive, but if you do have fish life, show them how little disturbance rebreather divers make and that underwater animals pay less attention to rebreather divers than open circuit.
After the Dive
Back on the surface show divers what they need to do after the dive. One of the concerns people have is that rebreathers take too much maintenance. Show them what needs to be done and explain that (with proper maintenance) equipment set up shouldn’t take longer than an hour (often much less) and breakdown and cleaning is no longer than for open circuit.
Why not have a special stamp for rebreather dives so that you can stamp log books with something special. Make sure you give divers the chance to ask any questions they have and ask them what they liked and didn’t like about the experience. Finally, ask whether they would like to do more rebreather diving and how you can help.
If you have any questions about Discover Rebreather please contact firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can help.
It is now over a year since we launched the PADI Rebreather and Advanced Rebreather Diver courses and, to use a metaphor which is particularly apt here in the UK at the moment, recreational rebreather diving is snowballing!
The demand for courses at all levels is growing steadily and as manufacturers and dive centres work together to provide more support for the travelling market, divers are getting more and more enthusiastic about recreational rebreather diving. In a difficult market this kind of potential for growth is rare and dive centres who are embracing rebreathers are using this to attract and keep divers at all levels.
Below is a step by step guide to becoming a PADI Rebreather Instructor or Instructor Trainer, but before I let you loose on that, my one piece of advice on getting into rebreathers is not to spread yourself to thinly. Do your homework and commit to one rebreather. Whether you are an instructor or dive centre this is not something you can dabble in. You need to get and maintain experience on the unit you teach and to be able to back this up with current knowledge and expertise. You’ll also need to market your services, of course, and the discerning diver will look for someone with extensive experience and a good reputation on the chosen rebreather. Developing a positive relationship with the manufacturer will also help both you and your customers and make sure your investment reaps rewards for everyone; instructors and divers get to enjoy the amazing feeling of diving on rebreathers as well as being good for business, now that’s a WIN WIN situation!
How to become a PADI Rebreather Instructor
PADI Rebreather Instructors teach the PADI Rebreather Diver and PADI Advanced Rebreather Diver Courses on the specific unit they qualify on.
1) First Steps – becoming a rebreather diver and getting the pre-requisite experience:
a. Qualify as a PADI Advanced Rebreather Diver or equivalent on the specific rebreather you want to become a PADI Rebreather Instructor for.
b. Log 75 rebreather dives including at least 50 dives and 50 hours (30 hours and dives for additional units) on the specific rebreather you aim to become an instructor for.
2) PADI Instructor Requirements – the PADI professional qualifications you need.
a. Teaching Status PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor or higher
b. PADI Enriched Air Nitrox Instructor
c. PADI Deep Diver Instructor
3) Sign up for a PADI Rebreather Instructor Course. Contact your local Rebreather Instructor Trainer or email@example.com
4) Medical Requirements:
Current diving medical clearance signed by a physician.
5) Additional requirements for Instructor Crossovers:
Current rebreather instructor on the specific unit with a recognised organisation.
6) “Additional Unit” courses:
If you are already a PADI Rebreather Instructor or Tec 40 CCR Instructor you can take the shorter “Additional Unit” Instructor course.
7) Contact the manufacturer to make sure you meet any additional manufacturer requirements
8) Course Materials – what do you need to prepare for the program?
9) Purchase all required diver level materials from your regional PADI sales department:
PADI Rebreather Diver and Advanced Rebreather Diver Manual
PADI Rebreather Predive Checklist Slate
PADI Rebreather and Advanced Rebreather Diver Key Skills Video
10) Purchase all required instructor level materials:
PADI Rebreather and Advanced Rebreather Diver Instructor Guide
PADI Rebreather and Advanced Rebreather Diver Exams
PADI Rebreather/Advanced Rebreather Diver Instructor wet guides
11) Have a copy of all the manufacturers materials:
Manufacturer’s manual and/or other support literature for rebreather used in course
Manufacturer’s checklist (if available)
12) Course Assist. This can be done before or after the instructor course or crossover.
Prior to certification as a PADI Rebreather Instructor, the candidate must assist with
at least one PADI Rebreather Diver course or one PADI Advanced Rebreather Diver
How to become a PADI Rebreather Instructor Trainer
PADI Rebreather Instructor Trainers teach the PADI Rebreather Instructor Courses on the specific unit they qualify on.
- Before you can be an Instructor Trainer you will need to qualify as a PADI Rebreather Instructor on the rebreather you want to become a PADI Rebreather Instructor Trainer for.
- Teaching Status PADI Course Director or TecRec Instructor Trainer
- Current diving medical clearance signed by a physician
- Contact the manufacturer to make sure you meet any additional manufacturer requirements
- Sign up for a PADI Rebreather Instructor Trainer Course. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Gain additional experience. As an Instructor Trainer you will need to have a minimum of 150 logged rebreather dives
- Have certified at least 5 PADI Rebreather Divers and 5 PADI Advanced Rebreather Divers including at least 4 certifications on the specific unit.
For more information on PADI Rebreather Courses please contact email@example.com
Poseidon Diving Systems have released a great new tool to teach the functionality of the Poseidon MKVI rebreather; The Factory Training presentation. We have also recently released a new manual for the unit. You can download both on our webpage http://www.poseidon.com/. The manual also contains a new checklist that we want you to use when assembling the Poseidon MKVI visit
to download the pdf versions or visit http://www.poseidon.com/ for a wider choice of format for the Factory Training Presentation.”
Over the past year I have had the privilege to work for PADI helping to run the Launch Programs for the PADI Rebreather Instructor and IT and Tec CCR Instructor and IT courses.
These programs have been spread as far and wide as USA, Australia, Sweden, Thailand, UK, Philippines, Egypt and Germany. Each has been great fun and a wonderful opportunity to meet PADI members I would probably not have done otherwise and to work with staff from each PADI Office. The courses have been really well received with all the participants thoroughly enjoying the courses, saying that they had learned a lot but also admitting they were hard work!
Although the courses differ depending on the level, each course involves candidates in giving Knowledge Development presentations, doing a Waterskills Assessment, teaching Practical Applications, Confined and Open Water presentations. We also had the chance do so some real diving and share our experience during the simulated Course Assists.
Some of the candidates said they felt as nervous as their IE when giving the presentations (I think I would have done too) but the programs were designed with development rather than assessment as the goal. So although, of course, we had to make sure that all the candidates were up to speed, we always made time to work with each person to help them achieve their goals, rather than just assessing them.
For me the most rewarding part was how many candidates told us how much they had learned in the short space of the course and how well prepared they felt to go out and deliver what is a really excellent set of PADI courses.
The programs have undoubtedly been a success as can be seen by the number of candidates who are now actively teaching both the Rebreather and Tec CCR courses.
The PADI Launch Programs are nearly at an end but if you want to learn more about becoming a Rebreather or Tec CCR Instructor or IT you can contact your PADI office. I am still busy running Instructor courses and there is some information about these on my blog (www.eau2.wordpress.com) for anyone ready to take the (silent) plunge.
Martin Robson has been teaching rebreathers since the 1990s and is one of the most experienced and well respected Tec I.Ts in the world. He was chosen by PADI to be a Technical Field Consultants and help PADI develop the Rebreather and Tec CCR courses and then asked to conduct launch programs in conjunction with PADI to teach the first wave of Rebreather and Tec CCR Instructors and Trainers. Martin runs http://www.eau2.com/ .
Alex Boulton PADI Educational Consultant & PADI Rebreather Instructor MKVI
PADI Rebreather Divers John O’Brien, Director of Customer Service & PRRA, & Young Hee Haniss, Member Liaison Officer: Korea, recently completed PADI Advanced Rebreather Diver training on the Poseidon MKVI.
The first diving day at Sydney Harbour’s Clifton Gardens saw the divers mastering off board bailout use: removal & replacement of bailout underwater & at the surface, loop clearing utilising the offboard bailout and out of gas scenarios. The divers also finetuned buoyancy, ascents, SMB deployment and a no mask swim & ascent while on the loop.
The second day was a real treat as we completed 2 dives on the wreck of the ex HMAS Adelaide on the Central Coast of NSW. A short boat ride out took us to a mooring amidships and from there the divers took a tour that incorporated skills while gradually descending each deck & then forward over the bow & almost down to the sand. They then returned to amidships to shoot the SMB from 18m & completed an out of gas shared air ascent scenario. On final dive 5 of the course the skipper dropped us on the stern of the wreck next to the hangar. We then gradually made our way to the bridge where we were greeted by a school of juvenile kingfish. We then moved back amidships & shot the SMB from 24m. Clear waters & calm seas allowed the diver to really enjoy diving the MKVI in 30m of water and gave them a great opportunity to meet the challenges of making ascents from increased depth.
Congratulations to both divers and a big thanks to Bob Diaz, Pro Dive Central Coast for our dives on the ex HMAS Adelaide & Tony Davis Aqua Tech Australia for equipment support.
Peter DenHaan, recently completed his training at PADI Americas to become along with Mike Fowler from PADI Canada, the first Instructor Trainer in PADI Americas for the new Rebreather Training programs for Ambient Pressure Vision. Peter also is a PADI Technical Open Circuit Instructor Trainer. DenHaan has been teaching Technical and Rebreather diving for divers and instructors full time for the last 17 years and is excited to be part of PADI’s new program.
The following are classes that have been conducted by DenHaan over the last 4 months:
March, 2012, Gary Moyer, owner of Scuba Magic, Tempe, AZ completed his PADI Tec 40 CCR Ambient Pressure Vision Rebreather Instructor workshop with Peter DenHaan at Casino Point, Catalina Island. Moyer holds the honor of being the first certified PADI Ambient Pressure Vision Rebreather Instructor in North America. Congratulations Gary!
Successful completion of first the PADI Recreational, Advanced Recreational and Tec 40 CCR Ambient Pressure Vision Rebreather Instructor Crossover in Seattle, WA with 2 instructor candidates and one student. From left; IC Ken Rymal (Portland, OR), student Shannon Bray (Denver, CO), IC Jake Andreason (Eugene, OR) and IT Peter DenHaan (Bothell, WA)
Silent diving was at the PADI Xplor Day at PADI Regional Headquarters in California, Monday after the Scuba Show in Long Beach. This was a great venue for divers to try different rebreathers in the pool. Gary Moyer (upper right hand) of Scuba Magic, Tempe, AZ drove over to PADI HQ for Tec Xplorer Day to help Silent Diving with Pool discovery diving on the Evolution Rebreather. He was assisted by Margaret Malewski, owner of Liquivision, Canada. Thanks for your help Gary and Margaret!
Another successful PADI recreational & Tec 40 CCR Ambient Pressure Vision Rebreather Instructor Xover was completed at Conch Republic Divers, Tavenier, FL. From left, Gary Mace, owner of CRD, Cliff Diamond, owner of Empire Divers, NY, Matthew Hahn, St. Peters, MO and Peter DenHaan (IT)
PADI hosted their first Tec 40 CCR Instructor Ambient Pressure Vision Rebreather Crossover at YMCA Aquatic Center, Orlando, FL before RF3.
From left Mike Fowler (IT), Antonio Ortega, Chris Brown, Ian Martin, Eric Machum, Jorge Mahauad, Peter DenHaan (IT), Georgia Hausserman (PADI Technical/CCR consultant)
Confined water skills for PADI’s Tec 40 CCR Ambient Pressure Vision Rebreather Instructor Crossover
from left: Ian Martin, Eric Machum, Antonio Ortega, Peter DenHaan, Chris Brown and Jorge Mahauad
Congratulations to Kelly Rockwood (PADI Technical Consultant) and James Warner from Baltimore who successfully completed their PADI Tec 40 Ambient Pressure Vision Rebreather Diver course at Casino Point, Catalina Island, CA.