Scuba deep rebreathing gear commercially available

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Scuba deep rebreathing gear commercially available

This for our resident scuba enthusiast :) Looks like the new technology is moving on fast. An interesting review of rebreathing scuba equipment.

Open circuit scuba equipment is robust, reliable, and inexpensive. But it has some significant disadvantages. First, most of the oxygen is wasted. Inhaled air is about 21% oxygen.

When you exhale, it's still about 15-16% oxygen, but all that oxygen is blown out into the ocean. Second, those bubbles are noisy, scaring fish and reminding you with every breath that you're using an artificial system. (Military divers also don't like it that the bubbles can be conspicuous when they'd rather not be noticed).

Rebreathers address these problems by using a closed instead of an open loop. Instead of being released into the ocean, exhaled air from your lungs is forced through a scrubber containing chemicals that remove the carbon dioxide.

A small oxygen bottle adds just enough additional oxygen to bring the 15% concentration back up to something that you can easily breathe.

Another small bottle of air or Nitrox provides volume and serves as a bailout bottle, letting you breathe on an emergency basis as you ascend to the surface in case something goes wrong with the scrubber.

I dove with the Sport KISS rebreather system. I spent a half day being familiarized with its operation, then dove off Grand Cayman's Cobalt Coast. What was it like?

Well, it was . . . interesting. Several committed rebreather divers told me that most people find going from traditional open-circuit scuba to rebreathers a shock -- and the more skilled and experienced the diver, the bigger the shock that comes with the changeover.

They told me that many habits and skills that work well on scuba don't work at all for rebreathers. That turns out to be the case. For example, experienced scuba divers learn to control their buoyancy pretty much without having to think, just breathing a bit deeper (expanding the air volume in their lungs and making them lighter) to go up, or breathing a bit more shallowly to go down.

I certainly do that when scuba diving, but of course that doesn't work on a rebreather because when you exhale you're just pushing air out of your lungs and into the rebreather loop, so that the volume of air you're carrying stays constant.

I found myself having to pay constant attention to my buoyancy and depth in a way that I haven't since I was a novice diver.

Much more on the site as well as a good video on it

By netchicken: posted on 8-11-2006

I'd better just get the hang of open circuit first, but it is funny that you posted this as I was already thinking about that!
The expelled air is a bit on the annoying side, to say the least.
By Thomas_Crowne: posted on 8-11-2006

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