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Technical Diving

     The last few years has seen the emergence of diving activities which are beyond the normal scope of recreational diving, such as wreck penetration, cave, mixed gases diving, and decompression and deep mixed gases diving, deep wreck exploration, depth record breaking, to name the principals.
     Since the beginning of diving, these activities have existed and are therefore not new, but they were reserved to special elite navy or commercial divers and based on salvage or recovery of governmental or private shipped properties lost at sea or in lakes.
     Diving with mixed gases is not a new concept and for decades navy divers from major countries as well as commercial divers have been working and diving with different gas mixtures to attain safer and greater comfort in working deeper. The French, British and Italian navies were pioneers in these activities and great progress has been achieved with the development of new technologies, new scientific knowledge, and better physiological understanding of what the divers' bodies can sustain under an increased pressure.
     Since the 70's, the French COMEX (Companie Marseillaise d'Exploitation), a most known commercial diving company worldwide, has helped to improve knowledge and technical development with a series of research named "Hydra" experiments. This research culminated in the early 90's, when the company sent a diver (Theo Navrostromos) breathing a mixture of Hydrox (Hydrogen and Oxygen) in calculated percentages to a record depth of 701m, where he successfully simulated working on an underwater site.

     Humans have always been fascinated by overtaking their limits and a great loss of lives paves the "record breaking" path of humans. Most activities have paid their toll: Mountaineering, Flying, Space Conquest, Sailing, Skiing, Rock Climbing and of course Commercial and Recreational Diving.
     It is our nature to push our limits, and scuba diving doesn't escape the rule. As recreational diving applies to air diving, or enriched air diving within specific limitations, our bodies are limited to physical and physiological rules, from which no one can escape.
     Specifically, Technical Diving has been developed to embrace what is beyond the rules of air diving in exceeding depth, time and decompression limits, but it is not commercial or military diving either.
     Decades ago, a journalist ask Sir Edmund Hillary why he climbed to the top of Mount Everest and his answer was simply, "Because it's there!" We believe this would also be the appropriate answer of a technical diver, if he were asked, "Why are you going on this deep, dark, cold wreck at 95m?" But, physical and mental achievements in those activities should never overlook the amount of training and time it took for those people to reach their goals.
     Can everyone go to the top of Mount Everest? The answer is obviously a resounding "No". Can every diver go on a deep decompression mixed gases wreck dive? One more time the answer is "No". The technical diving community is small and because they keep it small, they are able to train and obtain great safety records and achievements.
     Today, some people in the industry seem to believe that Technical Diving is "fashionable" and is a great incentive for extra income. We would like to remind divers that to train efficiently in these technical diving activities is of paramount importance and they need a great amount of time training with competent instructors, who are safety oriented above all.
     To qualify to train in technical diving, one must be an already accomplished "traditional" recreational diver and proof of experience will be verified by agencies, prior to training.

More information could be obtained through these Technical Diving Training Agencies:

NAUI Tec: Based in South Padre Island in Texas, developed a complete technical diver curriculum. Probably the best Technical Diving Training Agency today.
     We would like to add a final note here on the worldwide development of Nitrox or Enriched Air Diving. As long as not breathed with a percentage higher than 40% Oxygen (balanced with Nitrogen), Nitrox diving is considered as a recreational diving activity, within the limits of no-decompression.
     Most diving training agencies are now offering Nitrox certification and on that issue we would like to break a myth for novice divers, before they engage in this enjoyable activity: Nitrox is not designed to dive deeper as a lot of people believe, but to dive safer at shallower depth as the intake of Nitrogen is lessened compare to normal air (or "Normox"), therefore authorizing the divers to stay longer in shallower dives as compared to air. Your training will develop all these concepts.

Nitrox increases your bottom time, not your depth!

Also remember that "A good diver is an old diver!"

Safe Diving To All!