Reporting from the ADEX and TeKDIVE show held in Singapore recently, Terry Cummins, PADI Worldwide VP of Marketing Metrics and Performance and Director of Market Development for the PADI Technical Diving Division stated: “The focus for me in Singapore was “TeKDIVE” where it was my absolute pleasure to co-MC the introduction of the quality speakers and co – present the opening paper of the conference along with OZTeK organizer David Strike. Our paper – “Technical Diving: Revolution or Evolution” was a very brief history of technical diving as well as an opportunity to pose the thought provoking question of whether so called “technical diving” is really just an evolution of diving practices, equipment and diver capabilities or alternatively a true revolution. We noted that many of the first dives ever were performed on forms of closed circuit and even some forms of scuba diving are still viewed by some as technical. So what is viewed as technical one day maybe mainstream the next … all made for an interesting discussion”.
This theme was continued with Thailand based Simon Pridmore’s two papers posing questions, and providing some of the answers to: what happens as technical diving becomes more mainstream, what motivates technical divers and what qualities does a technical diver need to succeed. Simon also made a very strong case against the continuation of deep air dives. We should all look forward to Simon’s soon to be released book; “Scuba Confidential – An Insider Guide to Becoming a Better Diver” from which is two TekDIVE presentations were taken.
Understandably, technical diving in Asia was a feature of TekDIVE. Some 15-years ago, the first lines were laid in some of Asia’s deepest cave systems beneath the jungles of Thailand. Actively extending a lot of these lines to extreme depths, Ben Reymenants expanded on the logistical challenges of exploring these vast Southern Thailand cave systems using both open circuit and rebreathers to depths beyond 200 meters.
Also from Thailand, Stuart Shaw gave a presentation about three of the more challenging wrecks in the Gulf of Thailand: the submarine USS Lagarto (war grave in 79 metres), the Seacrest (drillship lying upside down in 75 metres) and the Tottori Maru (a WW 2 hellship sunk in 75 metres by the USS Hammerhead). During his presentation, Stuart appropriately acknowledged fellow diver and friend; Jamie MacLeod for his outstanding and ground breaking contribution to the exploration and discovery of many of Thailand’s most famous wrecks.
Singapore based Gideon Liew is always an entertaining speaker and his exploration dives around the world, especially those in the caves and ancient mines of China and the deep wrecks of the South China Sea, kept the audience entertained and inspired. Whilst over from the Philippines, Dave Ross of Tech Asia in Puerto Galera, presented an inspiring journey through the last seventeen years of his tech diving adventures and associated discoveries.
Keynote speaker: Professor Simon Mitchell headed up the fine array of international speakers with his presentations on the gas CO2 and diving on rebreathers. These presentations are becoming favourites within the tech community. Simon’s knowledgeable and often humorous approach to diving physiology, captivates audience whenever he speaks. You should not miss Simon’s presentations when the opportunity presents itself.
US based Casey Mc Kinlay’s reported on the 2008, WKPP explorers cave diving distance record of 7856 metres on a single 30 hour dive. This presentation was a rare behind the scenes look at the planning, logistics and equipment used on the historic dive in the Florida aquifer.
Other conference highlights included more on the wreck of the light battle cruiser USS Atlanta (lying at a depth of 130-metres after being sunk during the WW II Battle of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands) and John Lippman’s update on DAN.
Terry also stated: “On behalf of all the speakers and participants, I want to publicly thank David Strike for inviting me to become so involved in this exciting conference and for doing much of the lead-up work for TeKDIVE. I personally cannot wait when we all get together again under David’s guidance for OZTek in Sydney – March 2013 (www.diveoztek.com.au)”.