Trimix Now OK on Tec Deep Course; DSAT Mulls More Course Changes

Posted on 04/28/09 1 Comment

DSAT Tec Deep students can now use normoxic trimix on their final course dive under a change announced today by PADI’s technical diving arm. The change in standards is the first result of a series of conferences DSAT is holding around the world to map the future of the Tec Rec program.

According to the DSAT Chat blog:

Tec Deep Instructors now have the option of applying normoxic trimix to Dive 12 of the course if they are a Tec Trimix Instructor. The 3rd Quarter 2009 Training Bulletin will announce this, but instructors may begin implementing it immediately. A letter is about to be sent to all TecRec instructors detailing how the standard has been changed.

DSAT said the change “direct result of the discussions at the DSAT Tec Conference on 30 March.” The agency recently released notes from that seminar that hint at broader changes to come.

DSAT TecRec Specialties

Probably the most-anticipated session was from Steve Mortell, TDD Director for Cave Diving, who talked about plans to open up “distinctive specialties” similar to those offered under PADI auspices. Some of the points covered were:

  • Distinctive specialty tec classes could include: tec DPV, DSO, safety diver, advanced (technical) wreck diver, sidemount, deepwater aquatic life.
  • Tec specialties have potential spinoffs into recreational diving: open water sidemount, cavern in doubles.
  • Follow the PADI Distinctive Specialty process to apply for a DSAT Distinctive Specialty.

Mortell did note that certain areas would not be approved for distinctive specialties, at least for now, which hints PADI/DSAT is preparing to bring these courses out on their own under the Tec Rec banner. On the list? Cave diving and closed-circuit rebreathers.

A straw poll of the room showed that the vast majority liked the distinctive specialty option, assuming prerequisites and instructor qualification requirements are met appropriately. Many said they felt they were losing business by not having a DSAT cave course.

Of course Aquanauts offers full cave through ANDI and TDI, so all our training can be done under one roof here.

More Changes to Tec Deep

In addition to the immediate change regarding trimix use on the Tec Deep course, further changes that won broad support from seminar attendees was the idea that Tec Deep could be split up into blocks, such as Decompression Techniques, Advanced Decompression and Tec Deep Diver.

Decompression Techniques could be single gas, limited decompression using a single with a Y valve, sidemount or doubles. Advanced Decompression could introduce a decompression cylinder, extended no stop and accelerated decompression to 40 metres/130 feet using doubles or sidemount. And Tec Deep Diver would finish to the existing Tec Deep Diver level (50 m/165 ft, air, EANx, oxygen).

CCRs for Non-Techies

Another interesting discussion focused on the idea that CCRs could be introduced to non-technical divers. The introduction of the Posiedon Discovery Cis-Lunar CCR, developed specifically for recreational divers, has brought this topic and hot one in tech circles.

The reaction, as you might expect, was skeptical.

Several attendees expressed concerns related to the discipline needed for CCR diving, and that even with a unit like Discovery, CCR use by recreational divers may be problematic.

The group consensus was that you cannot make an “idiot proof” machine and that even after engineering out many problems, training is critical. It was acknowledged this is true for recreational open circuit diving as well.

Full notes from all the New Jersey seminar sessions can be found here.

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