The Tec 50 Course

Report by Alex Boulton, TDD Technical Consultant, PADI Asia Pacific 

Just finished teaching PADI Examiner Thomas Knedlik the final level of the new Tec Diver course – Tec 50. The depth requirements of dives 3 and 4 allowed us to take in two good wreck dives off the New South Wales coast –the Deewhy Ferry and the Meggol. 

Tec 50 really allows the diver to refine foundation skills – one handed staging & retrieving, efficient cylinder movement between two deco mixes & stage positioning option. It’s obvious that returning to the limited open water really locks in the skills learnt on Tec 45 & Tec 50. In terms of muscle memory these are perishable skill sets & if you don’t use them you lose them.

On dive 3 Thomas had the opportunity to role play emergency drills within the context of simulated decompression.  We practiced lost gas scenarios where the diver returns to the staging point to find deco mixes have gone.  We approached this with two methods; firstly we responded by both breathing from the single team stage completing decompression and then passing off the mix to the OOG diver & then as an alternative approach on the shallower stops we ran the simulated deco while buddy breathing. This really sharpens the awareness of what is the best option in terms of gas supplies available & the influence of conditions on the day.

All this is food for thought and part of the ongoing education of a technical diver.  So let’s see how we go with Tec Trimix 65!

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3 replies »

  1. Thomas, congratulations as tec 50 diver. Next time if i am in Bali we can make a tecnical dive. I am starting with normocix instructor 1 april.

  2. Congratulations for completing the tec 50 training. Has a trimix instructor and having taught some of the new levels I can assure you the skills learned are valuable. Please in the pictures having your long hose of your primary regulator dragging on the bottom in the mud might send the wrong picture to some people. I stress to my students to always be in control of their primary long hose. Buddy breathing is a thing of the past and should never be used with a stage. The correct procedure is to pass the stage or deco on the long hose of the donor. Buddy breathing adds to much risk and stress to a diver that will undoubtedly be stressed to the max in this situation. I am writing this to try to stop the wrong messages that are going out about Tec dive training.

    • It’s a good point you raise regarding the optimum response to an out of gas scenario during deco. I couldn’t agree more & this is exactly the reason the students were exposed to the two methods. It clearly illustrates the limitations of buddy breathing in terms of hose discipline and control in the face of other potential problems and emphasizes the ease of passing off the deco tank to the out of gas diver. I chose to run both methods as the student had expressed an opinion during the pre dive “what if” discussion that buddy breathing was an option in an out of gas scenario. I find the compare & contrast approach in simulated decompression dives a valuable tool for underscoring optimum technique.

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