Technical Training

Technical Diver Level 1 is the first of the Trimix based Technical courses (Normoxic Trimix).

Technical Diver Level 2 is the second of the Trimix based Technical courses (Hypoxic Trimix).

Technical Diver Level 3 focusses on exploration and greater depths than Technical 2.

Rebreather Diver is based on diving the Halcyon Rebreather (RB80).

Technical Diver Level 1

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Purpose

GUE’s Technical Diver Level 1 (Tech 1) course is structured to prepare divers for the rigors of technical diving and to familiarize them with the use of different breathing and decompression mixtures. Tech 1 training focuses on expanding the fundamental skills learned in the GUE Fundamentals course (or elsewhere), and is designed to cultivate, integrate, and expand the essential skills required for safe technical diving. This will include problem identification and resolution, and building the capacity for progressively more challenging diving. In this class, students will be trained in: a) the use of double tanks/cylinders and in the potential failure problems associated with them; b) the use of Nitrox for accelerated and general decompression strategies; c) the use of Helium to minimize narcosis; and d) the applications of single decompression stage diving, with respect to decompression procedures.

The class will focus on nitrox and Trimix as breathing gases for dives down to 160 feet/48 meters, and provides an excellent foundation on which divers can build their technical diving experience and prepare for GUE’s Technical Diver 2 course (Tech 2).

Prerequisites

  1. Must meet GUE General Course Prerequisites as outlined in section 1.6
  2. Must be a minimum of 18 years of age
  3. Must be GUE Fundamentals qualified with the Tech-rating
  4. Must have a minimum of 100 dives beyond open water qualification
  5. Students participating in a Tech class conducted in a cave must be at least GUE Level 2 Cave divers

Duration

The Tech 1 class is normally conducted over a five-day period. It involves a minimum of forty hours of instruction, encompassing both classroom and in-water work.

Course Limits

  1. General Training Limits as outlined in section 1.4
  2. Student to instructor ratio is not to exceed 3:1 during any in-water training
  3. Maximum depth 160 feet (+/- 10 feet)/48 meters (+/- 3 meters)
  4. Dives should not be planned to incur more than 30 minutes of Unadjusted Decompression
  5. No overhead diving except by active GUE Cave 2 Level instructors while teaching in the cave environment

Course Content

The GUE Tech 1 course involves a minimum of forty hours of instruction designed to provide a working knowledge of nitrox, normoxic and hyperoxic Trimix and decompression mixtures, including history, physics, physiology, tables, and operational considerations.

Course requirements include ten hours of academics and eight dives, six of which will be critical-skill dives and two will be experience dives.

Initial dives will be conducted in shallow water to test diver ability and to fill in any deficits in skill levels. The last two dives are to be Trimix dives at depth for experience.

Required Training Materials

  1. Doing it Right: The Fundamentals of Better Diving. Jarrod Jablonski, GUE, 2001, High Springs, Florida.
  2. Getting Clear on the Basics: The Fundamentals of Technical Diving. Jarrod Jablonski, GUE, 2001, High Springs, Florida.

Academic Topics

  1. Physics
  2. Pressure and gas law review
  3. Equations relevant for planning, mixing, and using enriched air
  4. Physiology
  5. Hypoxia
  6. Hyperoxia
  7. Oxygen toxicity
  8. CNS
  9. Pulmonary toxicity
  10. Tracking multilevel, multi-dive, and multi-day exposures
  11. Inert gas narcosis
  12. Inert gas absorption and elimination
  13. Carbon dioxide toxicity
  14. Carbon monoxide toxicity
  15. Hyperthermia
  16. Hypothermia
  17. Decompression illness
  18. Accelerated and general decompression strategies
  19. Decompression practices on air, enriched air, and Oxygen
  20. Generic tables, computers, and custom tables
  21. Introduction to normoxic and hyperoxic Trimix
  22. Advantages over deep air
  23. Equipment considerations (DIR emphasis)
  24. Singles
  25. Doubles
  26. Decompression stage bottles
  27. BC/harness
  28. Regulators, depth gauges, pressure gauges, and hose routing
  29. Manifolds
  30. Surface marker buoys and spools (for deco platforms)
  31. Computers and bottom timers
  32. Exposure suit appropriate for the environment
  33. Dive planning
  34. Operational planning
  35. Support
  36. Teams
  37. Team planning
  38. Gas matching
  39. Oxygen limits
  40. Nitrogen limits
  41. Emergency procedures
  42. Omitted decompression procedures
  43. Miscellaneous issues including limited deco gas, out of gas, team separation, etc.
  44. Procedures
  45. Bottom and deco gas
  46. Normal operations
  47. Procedures for failure, loss, or inadequate supply
  48. Gas mixing
  49. Analyzing and labeling gas supplies
  50. Line following

Land Drills and Topics

  1. Reel and guideline use
  2. Dive team order and protocols
  3. Touch contact
  4. Manifold operation and failures
  5. Use of safety spools and reels
  6. Basic navigation skills
  7. Pre-dive drills

Required Dive Skills & Drills

  1. All skills and drills as outlined in General Diving Skills, section 1.5.
  2. Must be able to swim at least 400 yards/375 meters in under fourteen minutes without stopping (This test should be conducted in a swimsuit and, where necessary, appropriate thermal protection)
  3. Must be able to swim a distance of at least 20 yards/18 meters on a breath hold
  4. Procedures for gas failures, including valve manipulation, gas-sharing, and regulator switching as appropriate.
  5. Surface marker buoy deployment.
  6. Buoyancy and trim.
  7. Be able to comfortably demonstrate at least two propulsion techniques appropriate for delicate and/or silty environments.
  8. Use of touch contact for limited and simulated zero visibility situations.
  9. Reel and guideline use.
  10. Demonstrate familiarity with required course equipment.
  11. Gas-sharing scenarios to include gas-sharing for at least 200 feet/60 meters.
  12. Demonstrate the effective deployment of a reserve light in less than 30 seconds.
  13. Demonstrate good buoyancy control skills.
  14. Demonstrate effective valve-management by switching regulators, shutting down a valve in less than 15 seconds and returning the valve to the open position again in less than 15 seconds.
  15. Demonstrate reasonable proficiency with a single decompression bottle.
  16. Demonstrate proficiency with effective decompression techniques, including depth and time management.
  17. Demonstrate a comfortable demeanor while sharing gas without a mask.
  18. Demonstrate dive-rescue techniques, including effective management of unconscious diver. Differences between the management of unconscious and toxing diver should be noted.
  19. Demonstrate good buoyancy and trim, i.e. approximate reference maximum of 20 degrees off horizontal while remaining within 3 feet/1 meter of a target depth. Frequency of buoyancy variation and the divers control of their buoyancy and trim are important evaluation criteria.

Equipment Requirements

Each student should have, and be familiar with, all of the following required equipment.

  1. Tanks/Cylinders: Students are required to use dual tanks/cylinders connected with a dual outlet isolator manifold, which allows the use of two first-stages. All dives must start with a minimum of 80 cubic feet/2250 liters of gas. Divers must also have access to one deco tank/cylinder of 50% Nitrox.
  2. Regulators: Two first-stages, each supplying a single second-stage. One of the second-stages must be on a 7-foot/2-meter hose. One of the first-stages must supply a pressure gauge and provide inflation for a dry suit (where applicable). One first-stage regulator for shallow decompression gas, supplying a single second-stage and pressure gauge.
  3. Backplate System: A rigid and flat platform, of metal construction with minimal padding, held to a diver by one continuous piece of nylon webbing. This webbing should be adjustable through the plate and should use a buckle to secure the system at the waist. A crotch strap attached to the lower end of this platform and looped through the waistband would prevent the system from riding up a diver's back. A knife should be secured to the waist on the left webbing tab. This webbing should support five D-rings; the first should be placed at the left hip, the second should be placed in line with a diver's right collarbone, the third should be placed in line with the diver's left collarbone, the fourth and fifth should be affixed to the crotch strap to use while scootering or towing/stowing gear. The harness below the diver's arms should have small restrictive bands to allow for the placement of reserve light powered by three in-line c-cell batteries (where necessary). The system should retain a minimalist approach with no unnecessary components.
  4. Buoyancy Compensation Device: A diver's buoyancy compensation device should be back-mounted and minimalist in nature. It should come free of extraneous strings, tabs, or other material. There should be no restrictive bands or "bungee" of any sort affixed to the buoyancy cell. In addition, diver lift should not exceed 80lbs. Wing size and shape should be appropriate to the cylinder size(s) employed for training.
  5. At least one depth-measuring device
  6. One timekeeping device
  7. Decompression tables
  8. Mask and fins: Mask should be low volume; fins should be rigid, non-split
  9. At least one cutting device
  10. Wet Notes
  11. One spool with 100 feet/30 meters line per diver
  12. One primary reel per team, with a minimum of 300 feet/90 meters of line
  13. One primary light: A primary light should be minimalist in design; its power source should consist of a rechargeable battery pack residing in a canister powering an external light head via a light cord. Primary lights should produce the equivalent output of 50 watt halogen/10 watt HID lighting or greater.
  14. Two reserve lights: Reserve lights should be non-rechargeable in-line three c-cell battery lights with a minimum of protrusions and a single attachment at its rear. The light should be activated by twisting the front bezel towards the body, deactivated by turning it away from the body.
  15. Exposure suit appropriate for the duration of exposure
  16. At least one surface marker buoy per diver
  17. One wrist compass
  18. One reserve mask

Note: Prior to the commencement of class, students should consult with a GUE representative to verify equipment requirements. Whether or not a piece of equipment fulfills GUE's equipment requirement remains at the discretion of GUE and its instructor representatives. Participants are responsible for providing all equipment or for making provisions to secure all necessary equipment before the start of the course. In general, it is better for the student to learn while using his or her own equipment. However, students should exercise caution before purchasing new equipment to avoid acquiring substandard equipment. Please contact a GUE representative prior to making any purchases. Information about recommended equipment can be obtained from the equipment considerations section of GUE's web site.

Technical Diver Level 2

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Purpose

GUE’s Technical Diver 2 (Tech 2) course is the second in a series of three courses designed to develop technical diving excellence, building upon previously learned skills with a focus on extending essential technical diving skills. Tech 2 training focuses on building diving proficiency at increasing depth, using Helium diving gases with Oxygen-enriched decompression gases. These skills include: the use of multiple stages; the use of Trimix; the use of greater percentages of Helium; gas management; Oxygen management; decompression; accelerated, omitted and general decompression strategies; dive planning, and technical equipment configurations. Course participants will gain experience working with a variety of different gas mixtures for use as bottom-mix and multiple-decompression gases.

Prerequisites

  1. Must meet GUE General Course Prerequisites as outlined in section 1.6
  2. Must be a minimum of 21 years of age
  3. Must have passed GUE Tech 1
  4. Must have a minimum of 200 dives, with at least fifty dives on double tanks/cylinders; twenty-five of these should have utilized a single decompression cylinder
  5. Must have a minimum of twenty-five dives beyond Technical Diver Level 1 qualification
  6. Students participating in a Tech class conducted in a cave must be at least GUE Level 2 Cave divers

Duration

The Tech 2 class is normally conducted over a five-day period. It involves a minimum of forty hours of instruction, encompassing both classroom and in-water work.

Course Limits

  1. General Training Limits as outlined in section 1.4
  2. Student to instructor ratio is not to exceed 3:1 during any in-water training
  3. Maximum depth 240 feet (+/- 10 feet)/70 meters (+/- 3 meters)
  4. Dives should not be planned to incur more than 60 minutes of Unadjusted Decompression
  5. No overhead diving except by active GUE Cave 2 Level instructors while teaching in the cave environment

Course Content

The GUE Tech 2 course involves a minimum of forty hours of instruction, designed to instill in divers a working knowledge of extended-range diving, including physiology, tables and logistics. Special emphasis is placed on extended exposures and on their associated considerations (gas consumption, DCS, Oxygen toxicity, and thermal concerns).

Course requirements include a minimum of six hours of academics, and eight dives, four of which will be critical-skill dives and four will be experience dives. Four dives must utilize Helium.

Required Training Materials

  1. Doing it Right: The Fundamentals of Better Diving. Jarrod Jablonski, GUE, 2001, High Springs, Florida.
  2. Getting Clear on the Basics: The Fundamentals of Technical Diving. Jarrod Jablonski, GUE, 2001, High Springs, Florida.

Academic Topics

  1. GUE organization
  2. Limits of training
  3. Course completion requirements
  4. Review of decompression, gas utilization and risk, diving physiology
  5. Accelerated, omitted, and general decompression strategies
  6. Dive logistics and planning

Land Drills & Topics

  1. Spool, reel, and guideline use
  2. Dive team order and protocols
  3. Gas switching procedures and protocols
  4. Bottom, stage, and decompression bottle use

Required Dive Skills & Drills

  1. All skills and drills as outlined in General Diving Skills, section 1.5.
  2. Must be able to swim at least 500 yards/450 meters in under fourteen minutes without stopping. This test should be conducted in a swimsuit and, where necessary, appropriate thermal protection.
  3. Must be able to swim a distance of at least 20 yards/18 meters on a breath hold
  4. Review procedures for gas failures; including valve manipulation, gas-sharing, and regulator switching (as appropriate).
  5. Effectively and comfortably demonstrate the ability to deploy a lift bag/surface marker buoy in less than two minutes while hovering stationary. Participants should not vary in depth more than 5 feet/1.5 meters.
  6. Demonstrate the clean and effective removal and exchange of multiple stages and decompression cylinders while hovering horizontally. The participant must be capable of removing and replacing each of at least two cylinders in under one minute, i.e. one minute per cylinder.
  7. Equipment familiarization.
  8. Gas-sharing scenarios, to include a prolonged gas-sharing event.
  9. Demonstrate the effective deployment of a reserve light in under thirty seconds.
  10. Demonstrate excellent buoyancy-control skills, including when conducting stage and decompression gas-switches.
  11. Demonstrate effective valve management by switching regulators, shutting down a valve in under ten seconds and returning the valve to the open position again in under ten seconds.
  12. Comfortably demonstrate at least three propulsion techniques that would be appropriate in delicate and/or silty environments; one of these kicks must include the backward kick
  13. Demonstrate good buoyancy and trim, i.e. approximate reference maximum of 20 degrees off horizontal while remaining within 3 feet/1 meter of a target depth. Frequency of buoyancy variation and the divers control of their buoyancy and trim are important evaluation criteria.

Equipment Requirements

Each student should have, and be familiar with, all of the following required equipment.

  1. Tanks/Cylinders: Students are required to use dual tanks/cylinders connected with a dual outlet isolator manifold, which allows for the use of two first-stages. All dives must start with a minimum of 80 cubic feet/2250 liters of gas. Also required are two decompression cylinders: one (1) greater than 30 cubic feet/850 liters for Nitrox and one (1) 30 cubic feet/850 liters, or greater, for an additional deco gas.
  2. Regulators: Two first-stages, each supplying a single second-stage. One of the second-stages must be on a 7-foot/2-meter hose. One of the first-stages must supply a pressure gauge and provide inflation for a dry suit (where applicable). One first-stage regulator for shallow decompression gas and one first-stage regulator for travel/decompression gas; each one is to supply a single second-stage and a single pressure gauge.
  3. Backplate System: A rigid and flat platform, of metal construction with minimal padding, held to a diver by one continuous piece of nylon webbing. This webbing should be adjustable through the plate and should use a buckle to secure the system at the waist. A crotch strap attached to the lower end of this platform and looped through the waistband would prevent the system from riding up a diver's back. A knife should be secured to the waist on the left webbing tab. This webbing should support five D-rings; the first should be placed at the left hip, the second should be placed in line with a diver's right collarbone, the third should be placed in line with the diver's left collarbone, the fourth and fifth should be affixed to the crotch strap to use while scootering or towing/stowing gear. The harness below the diver's arms should have small restrictive bands to allow for the placement of reserve light powered by three in-line c-cell batteries (where necessary). The system should retain a minimalist approach with no unnecessary components.
  4. Buoyancy Compensation Device: A diver's buoyancy compensation device should be back-mounted and minimalist in nature. It should come free of extraneous strings, tabs, or other material. There should be no restrictive bands or "bungee" of any sort affixed to the buoyancy cell. In addition, diver lift should not exceed 80lbs. Wing size and shape should be appropriate to the cylinder size(s) employed for training.
  5. At least one time/depth-measuring device
  6. Decompression tables
  7. Compass
  8. Mask and fins: Mask should be low volume; fins should be rigid, non-split
  9. At least one cutting device
  10. Wet Notes
  11. One spool with 100 feet/30 meters of line per diver
  12. One primary reel per team, with a minimum of 300 feet/90 meters of line
  13. One primary light: A primary light should be minimalist in design; its power source should consist of a rechargeable battery pack residing in a canister powering an external light head via a light cord. Primary lights should produce the equivalent output of 50 watt halogen/10 watt HID lighting or greater.
  14. Two reserve lights: Reserve lights should be non-rechargeable in-line three c-cell battery lights with a minimum of protrusions and a single attachment at its rear. The light should be activated by twisting the front bezel towards the body, deactivated by turning it away from the body.
  15. Exposure suit appropriate for the duration of exposure.
  16. At least one surface marker buoy per diver.
  17. One reserve mask
  18. Diver’s breathing Helium mixtures and utilizing a dry suit must have a separate (from the back gas) dry suit inflation source, such as an argon/air cylinder. Divers may not inflate the dry suit from the back gas.

Note: Prior to the commencement of class, students should consult with a GUE representative to verify equipment requirements. Whether or not a piece of equipment fulfills GUE's equipment requirement remains at the discretion of GUE and its instructor representatives. Participants are responsible for providing all equipment or for making provisions to secure all necessary equipment before the start of the course. In general, it is better for the student to learn while using his or her own equipment. However, students should exercise caution before purchasing new equipment to avoid acquiring substandard equipment. Please contact a GUE representative prior to making any purchases. Information about recommended equipment can be obtained from the equipment considerations section of GUE's web site.

Technical Diver Level 3

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Purpose

The Technical Level 3 (Tech 3) course is the culmination of a series of three courses designed to establish technical diving excellence and facilitate deep, mixed gas diving. Emphasis is placed on aggressive diving profiles including advanced decompression theory, advanced gas mixture/management, control over extreme exposures to Oxygen and proficiency in the use of a DPV for propulsion at depth. This course is heavily experience-based and deals mostly with the practical implications of deep diving; divers are expected to be capable technical divers.

Prerequisites

  1. Must meet GUE General Course Prerequisites as outlined in section 1.6
  2. Must be a minimum of 21 years of age
  3. Must be GUE Tech 2 qualified and GUE Cave Level 1 trained
  4. Must have a minimum of 300 logged dives with at least 200 dives in double cylinders and at least 50 dives beyond Tech 2 training
  5. Must be able to swim a distance of at least 60 feet/18 meters on a breath hold
  6. Must be able to swim at least 600 yards/550 meters in less than 14 minutes without stopping. This test should be conducted in a swimsuit and, where necessary, appropriate thermal protection.

Duration

The GUE Tech 3 class is normally conducted over a 7-day period and involves a minimum of forty (40) hours of instruction. Training consists of at least ten (10) dives of which six (6) are critical skills/drills and four (4) are experience dives as defined by GUE standards.

Course Limits

  1. General Training Limits as outlined in section 1.4
  2. Student to instructor ratio is not to exceed 3:1 during in-water training or land drills

Course Content

The GUE Tech 3 course is normally conducted over a 7-day period, and cumulatively involves a minimum of forty (40) hours of class-oriented instruction (lecture and in-water) designed to instill divers with an advanced understanding of mixed gas diving. Special emphasis here will be placed on extended exposures and their associated considerations (dive planning, gas management, DCS, Oxygen toxicity, DPV propulsion, and thermal concerns).

Course requirements include a minimum of six (6) critical skill dives (3 days) with training in scooter diving, multiple stage/deco bottles, navigation, advanced gas management and advanced decompression strategy, and four (4) Trimix experience dives (4 days) with practical implementation of critical skills during deeper/longer diving.

Required Training Materials

  1. Doing it Right: The Fundamentals of Better Diving. Jarrod Jablonski, GUE, 2001, High Springs, Florida.
  2. Getting Clear on the Basics: The Fundamentals of Technical Diving. Jarrod Jablonski, GUE, 2001, High Springs, Florida.
  3. Beyond the Daylight Zone: The Fundamentals of Cave Diving. Jarrod Jablonski, Panos Alexakos and Todd Kincaid, GUE, 2001, High Springs, Florida.
  4. The Physiology and Medicine of Diving. Peter Bennett and David Elliott, W. B. Saunders Company Ltd, London.

Academic Topics

  1. GUE organization
  2. Limits of training and course completion requirements
  3. Conservation
  4. Logistical planning, project support, and operational planning
  5. Advanced diving techniques including scooter diving, use of multiple stage/deco bottles, navigation, advanced gas management, and advanced decompression strategy

Land Drills & Topics

  1. Spool, reel, and guideline use
  2. Dive team order and protocols
  3. Scootering protocols
  4. Touch contact
  5. Advanced navigation skills

Required Dive Skills & Drills

  1. All skills and drills as outlined in General Diving Skills, section 1.5.
  2. Assess and review diving limitations.
  3. Skillfully demonstrate gas failure procedures; including valve manipulation, gas-sharing, and regulator switching (as appropriate).
  4. Demonstrate the ability to deploy a lift bag/surface marker buoy in less than two minutes while hovering stationary. Participants should not vary in depth more than 5 feet/1.5 meters.
  5. Be able to skillfully demonstrate at least two propulsion techniques that would be appropriate in delicate and/or silty environments.
  6. Demonstrate good touch contact skills for limited and simulated zero visibility situations.
  7. Demonstrate excellent reel and guideline use.
  8. Demonstrate proficiency in gas-sharing while managing multiple stages.
  9. Demonstrate safe and efficient operation of a DPV.
  10. Demonstrate proficiency in gas-sharing while piloting a DPV.
  11. Demonstrate the ability to run/retrieve a guideline while scootering.
  12. Demonstrate the ability to tow a diver whose diver propulsion vehicle has failed.
  13. Demonstrate proficiency in managing scooter times (power management protocols).
  14. Demonstrate the effective deployment of a reserve light in less than 30 seconds.
  15. Demonstrate excellent buoyancy control skills.
  16. Demonstrate a clean and efficient removal of multiple stage and/or decompression bottles while hovering horizontal.
  17. Demonstrate facility with advanced decompression procedures by: 1) demonstrating the ability to explain trends in decompression tables, and 2) by explaining a strategy for managing decompression in the event of a lost decompression gas.
  18. Demonstrate the knowledge to safely carry out all decompression obligations assuming the loss of all back gas.
  19. Demonstrate capacity with navigation, including compass operation and natural navigation techniques.

Equipment Requirements

Each student should have, and be familiar with, all of the following required equipment.

  1. Tanks/Cylinders: Students are required to use dual tanks/cylinders connected with a dual outlet isolator manifold, which allows for the use of two first-stages. All dives must start with a minimum of 80 cubic feet/2250 liters of gas. Divers must also maintain the use of at least four appropriately marked stage bottles. Stage bottles should include: one Oxygen cylinder, one cylinder for use at 70 feet/21 meters, one cylinder for use at 120 feet/36 meters, and one cylinder for use at 190 feet/57 meters.
  2. Regulators: Two first-stages, each supplying a single second-stage. One of the second-stages must be on a 7-foot/2-meter hose. One of the first-stages must supply a pressure gauge and provide inflation for a dry suit where applicable. Four first-stage regulators, one for each stage/decompression cylinder; each one is to supply a single second-stage and a single pressure gauge.
  3. Backplate System: A rigid and flat platform, of metal construction with minimal padding, held to a diver by one continuous piece of nylon webbing. This webbing should be adjustable through the plate and should use a buckle to secure the system at the waist. A crotch strap attached to the lower end of this platform and looped through the waistband would prevent the system from riding up a diver's back. A knife should be secured to the waist on the left webbing tab. This webbing should support five D-rings; the first should be placed at the left hip, the second should be placed in line with a diver's right collarbone, the third should be placed in line with the diver's left collarbone, the fourth and fifth should be affixed to the crotch strap to use while scootering or towing/stowing gear. The harness below the diver's arms should have small restrictive bands to allow for the placement of reserve light powered by three in-line c-cell batteries (where necessary). The system should retain a minimalist approach with no unnecessary components.
  4. Buoyancy Compensation Device: A diver's buoyancy compensation device should be back-mounted and minimalist in nature. It should come free of extraneous strings, tabs, or other material. There should be no restrictive bands or "bungee" of any sort affixed to the buoyancy cell. In addition, diver lift should not exceed 80lbs. Wing size and shape should be appropriate to the cylinder size(s) employed for training.
  5. Approved DPV
  6. At least one depth-measuring device
  7. One timekeeping device
  8. Survey compass and slate
  9. Decompression tables
  10. Mask and fins: Mask should be low volume; fins should be rigid, non-split
  11. At least one cutting device
  12. Wet Notes
  13. One reel/spool with 100 feet/30 meters of line per diver
  14. One primary reel per team, with a minimum of 300 feet/90 meters of line
  15. One primary light: A primary light should be minimalist in design; its power source should consist of a rechargeable battery pack residing in a canister powering an external light head via a light cord. Primary lights should produce the equivalent output of 50 watt halogen/10 watt HID lighting or greater.
  16. Two reserve lights: Reserve lights should be non-rechargeable in-line three c-cell battery lights with a minimum of protrusions and a single attachment at its rear. The light should be activated by twisting the front bezel towards the body, deactivated by turning it away from the body.
  17. Exposure suit appropriate for the duration of exposure
  18. At least one surface marker buoy per diver

Note: Prior to the commencement of class, students should consult with a GUE representative to verify equipment requirements. Whether or not a piece of equipment fulfills GUE's equipment requirement remains at the discretion of GUE and its instructor representatives. Participants are responsible for providing all equipment or for making provisions to secure all necessary equipment before the start of the course. In general, it is better for the student to learn while using his or her own equipment. However, students should exercise caution before purchasing new equipment to avoid acquiring substandard equipment. Please contact a GUE representative prior to making any purchases. Information about recommended equipment can be obtained from the equipment considerations section of GUE's web site.


Rebreather Diver

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Purpose

GUE's Rebreather Diver course is designed to 1) educate individuals in basic rebreather technologies and 2) cultivate diver proficiency in the use of Halcyon's semi-closed-circuit technology. The course assumes that divers are not experienced in the use of rebreather technology but are very capable open-circuit divers.

Prerequisites

  1. Must meet GUE General Course Prerequisites as outlined in section 1.6
  2. Must be a minimum of 21 years of age
  3. Must have passed GUE Tech 2 (or equivalent)
  4. Must have at least 300 scuba dives beyond open-water qualification. Fifty must have been in doubles, with twenty-five involving stage decompression.

Duration

The Rebreather class is normally conducted over a five-day period. It involves a minimum of forty hours of instruction, encompassing both classroom and in-water work.

Course Limits

  1. General Training Limits as outlined in section 1.4
  2. Student-to-instructor ratio is not to exceed 3:1 during any in-water training
  3. Maximum depth 100 feet/30 meters

Course Content

The GUE Rebreather course involves a minimum of forty hours of instruction designed to ensure a working knowledge of rebreather diving, failures and life-saving solutions. Course requirements include a minimum of twelve hours of academics and at least eight open-water dives.

Required Training Materials

  1. Doing it Right: The Fundamentals of Better Diving. Jarrod Jablonski, GUE, 2001, High Springs, Florida.
  2. Getting Clear on the Basics: The Fundamentals of Technical Diving. Jarrod Jablonski, GUE, 2001, High Springs, Florida.
  3. Recommended rebreather training materials.

Academic Topics

  • Purpose
    • Purpose
    • Common components of the Halcyon RB80 and how they function
    • Inherent risks of rebreathers
    • Introduction to the Halcyon rebreather
    • Halcyon rebreather alarms and warnings
    • The physics behind a Halcyon rebreather
    • Configuration
    • Halcyon rebreather physical design
    • Problem recognition and management
    • The importance of instinctive physiological monitoring
    • Pre-dive planning
    • Diving the Halcyon rebreather
    • Post-dive procedures
    • Need for continuing education and skill reinforcement

Land Drills & Topics

  1. Flow-checks
  2. Manifold failures
  3. Gas-addition failures
  4. Gas-sharing
  5. Rebreather functions

Required Dive Skills & Drills

  1. All skills and drills as outlined in General Diving Skills, section 1.5.
  2. Must be able to swim at least 500 yards/450 meters in under fourteen minutes without stopping. This test should be conducted in a swimsuit and, where necessary, appropriate thermal protection.
  3. Must be able to swim a distance of at least 20 yards/18 meters on a breath hold
  4. An understanding of diving limitations.
  5. Skill required to manage gas failures, including valve manipulation, gas-sharing, and regulator switching as appropriate.
  6. Demonstrate the ability to deploy a lift bag/surface-marker buoy in under two minutes while hovering stationary. Participants should not vary in depth more than 5 feet/1.5 meters.
  7. Demonstrate the ability to recognize, evaluate and correct water floods, and then discharge excess water.
  8. Demonstrate the ability to diagnose and correctly respond to simulated rebreather problems.
  9. Gas-sharing scenarios to include breath-hold management for gas-sharing for at least 200 feet/60 meters.
  10. Demonstrate effective valve-management by switching regulators, shutting down a valve in under fifteen seconds and returning the valve to the open position again in under fifteen seconds.
  11. Demonstrate proficiency in removing/attaching stage and/or dempression bottles while hovering horizontal. Trainees must be capable of removing, replacing and plugging in a deco bottle in under ninety seconds.
  12. Demonstrate the ability to comfortably switch gases using the gas-addition manifold while maintaining good trim and neutral bouyancy.
  13. Demonstrate proficiency in safe diving procedures, including assembly, vacuum and pressure test, pre-dive preparations, pre-dive vacuum test, flow check, in-water activity, and post-dive assessment and breakdown.
  14. Comfortably swim for at least 50 feet/15 meters without a mask while diving, breathing on semi-closed circuit.
  15. Demonstrate the ability to safely switch between semi-closed circuit and open circuit, i.e. flow check.
  16. Efficiently and comfortably demonstrate how to donate gas to an out-of-gas diver in multiple gas-sharing episodes from semi-closed circuit, with one or more experiences to include a distance of at least 30 feet/9 meters.
  17. Be able to comfortably demonstrate use, manipulation and failure of the gas-addition system.
  18. Demonstate awareness of a team member's rebreather function and a concern for safety, responding quickly to visual cues and needs during diving and failures.
  19. Demonstrate reasonable proficiency with use of the rebreather during ascents, descents and diving.
  20. Demonstrate good buoyancy and trim, i.e. appropriate reference maximum of 20 degrees off horizontal while remaining whithing 3 feet/1 meter of a target depth. Frequency of buoyancy variation as well as general diver control remain important evaluation criteria.

Equipment Requirements

Each student should have, and be familiar with, all of the following required equipment.

  1. Rebreather: Halcyon semi-closed circuit rebreather
  2. Tanks/Cylinders: Students are required to use dual tanks/cylinders connected with a dual outlet isolator manifold, which allows for the use of two first-stages. The double cylinders must be accessible by both the rebreather and the open circuit regulators. Two aluminum cylinders of 30 cubic feet/840 liters or greater are required for deco gases.
  3. Regulators: Two first-stages, each supplying a single second-stage. One of the second-stages must be on a 7 foot/2 meter hose. One of the first-stages must supply a pressure gauge and provide inflation for a dry suit (where applicable). One first-stage regulator for shallow decompression gas and one first-stage regulator for travel/decompression gas; each one is to supply a single second-stage and a single pressure gauge.
  4. Backplate System: A rigid and flat platform, of metal construction with minimal padding, held to a diver by one continuous piece of nylon webbing. This webbing should be adjustable through the plate and should use a buckle to secure the system at the waist. A crotch strap attached to the lower end of this platform and looped through the waistband would prevent the system from riding up a diver's back. A knife should be secured to the waist on the left webbing tab. This webbing should support five D-rings; the first should be placed at the left hip, the second should be placed in line with a diver's right collarbone, the third should be placed in line with the diver's left collarbone, the fourth and fifth should be affixed to the crotch strap to use while scootering or towing/stowing gear. The harness below the diver's arms should have small restrictive bands to allow for the placement of reserve light powered by three in-line c-cell batteries (where necessary). The system should retain a minimalist approach with no unnecessary components.
  5. Buoyancy Compensation Device: A diver's buoyancy compensation device should be back-mounted and minimalist in nature. It should come free of extraneous strings, tabs or other material. There should be no restrictive bands or "bungee" of any sort affixed to the buoyancy cell. In addition, diver lift should not exceed 80lbs. Wing size and shape should be appropriate to the cylinder size(s) employed for training.
  6. At least one time/depth-measuring device
  7. Decompression tables
  8. Mask and fins: Mask should be low volume; fins should be rigid, non-split
  9. At least one cutting device
  10. Wet Notes
  11. One spool with 100 feet/30 meters of line per diver
  12. One primary reel per team, with a minimum of 300 feet/90 meters of line
  13. One primary light: A primary light should be minimalist in design; its power source should consist of a rechargeable battery pack residing in a canister powering an external light head via a light cord. Primary lights should produce the equivalent output of 50 watt halogen/10 watt HID lighting or greater.
  14. Two reserve lights: Reserve lights should be non-rechargeable with a minimum of protrusions and a single attachment at its rear. The light should be activated by twisting the front bezel towards the body, deactivated by turning it away from the body.
  15. Exposure suit appropriate for the duration of exposure
  16. At least one surface marker buoy per diver
  17. Divers breathing Helium mixtures and utilizing a dry suit must have a separate (from the back gas) dry suit inflation source, such as an Argon/air bottle. Divers may not inflate the dry suit from the back gas.

Note: Prior to the commencement of class, students should consult with a GUE representative to verify equipment requirements. Whether or not a piece of equipment fulfills GUE's equipment requirement remains at the discretion of GUE and its instructor representatives. Participants are responsible for providing all equipment or for making provisions to secure all necessary equipment before the start of the course. In general, it is better for the student to learn while using his or her own equipment. However, students should exercise caution before purchasing new equipment to avoid acquiring substandard equipment. Please contact a GUE representative prior to making any purchases. Information about recommended equipment can be obtained from the equipment considerations section of GUE's web site.