A rebreather is extremely fun to dive, but without proper instruction and care it can KILL you. It is therefore very
essential to get good instructions from different sources before you begin to dive. These resources can be Internet (be careful
though, make sure to double & triple check the content), books, local RB divers in your area or in your country, some
specialized dive shops and RB instructors. Do your homework first, read as much as you can on the subject, try a pool dive
with an experienced instructor, talk to local RB divers, and then go out and buy a unit. Make sure to get trained on that
special unit. If that is not possible, try to find a recognized "RB Guru" in your area to help you with your RB
plans (be aware of people who seem to know what they are talking about, but don´t really have a clue). Most important
though, is personal experience.
I will try to give you as much information as I can, so that you don't have to repeat the
mistakes of others. Knowledge is power, knowledge & practice is a lifesaver! My intention is share with you my rebreather
education that started New Years eve 2001 and is still going on (if you think you know it all, stop diving!) :I had realized
that my type of OC diving would soon mean that I would have carry equipment that weighted as much as myself (above water)
and I found it ridiculous. There has to be a smarter way to dive, I thought. I started to ask around and soon I was back to
a subject that I had encountered in the navy, rebreathers.
I decided quickly (since I was in a hurry) to get myself
trained on a unit. I combined the training with a dive vacation to the island of Malta. Well, I went there and got trained
(PADI, Dräger Dolphin). I got my first experience of what high PO2 could mean and how easy it is to do things the "wrong"
way. The training was ok and I found many interesting parts in it, but with the knowledge that I have today I can say that
it was not enough to become certified as a RB diver! So I decided to do more research. I got to know local RB divers in my
area around Stockholm, I read (I am still doing this) everything I could on the Internet, I tried different rebreathers, I
read as many product manuals as I could (and can), I asked questions on the Internet to different forums (if you are shy,
then use an alias instead of your real name), I shared my information to other people who was also gathering information about
rebreathers, I went to rebreather meetings, I tried to talk to the manufacturers (most of them suck in customer relationship
management CRM, they don't want to talk to strange customers with strange questions, prospective customers are bad according
to their customer policy), I found a "Guru" in this area that I ask questions, I started designing rebreathers on
paper for fun & evaluation, etc. I collected as much quality information as I could. I started then to digest all of the
information that I had collected, and after that I began to dive again with rebreathers.
I started of softly with a
semi closed system, which I redesigned for learning purposes. My next step was to build a closed rebreather system. I have
since 2004 only built CCRs. Today I am at version 10.0, but I still consider myself today a beginner/novice/newbie. That attitude
keeps me alive!
Carl Wern, Sweden, 13-03-2013