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In order for a diver to be truly competent in the water, the diver must be familiar with every aspect of his or her equipment. For this reason, most serious divers prefer to purchase their own equipment rather than rent equipment. This not only affords the diver better ability to react in an emergency, but makes diving safer, more comfortable, and, hence, more enjoyable. When a diver is unfamiliar with equipment serious scuba diving accidents can occur.
Recently, the diving industry has seen an explosion in what is known as “technical diving.” Cave diving, deep diving, ice diving, and wreck penetration diving are examples of “technical diving.” This typically involves the diver carrying double tanks, two regulators, wearing a dry suit, and carrying additional tanks called “stage bottles” clipped to D-rings on the diver’s side. To make matters more complicated, frequently such divers do not breathe air, but instead carry a variety of special breathing gases. Sometimes the breathing gas that is appropriate to breathe at one depth is fatal at another depth.
Theoretically, anyone engaged in technical diving should have years of experience in traditional diving as well as specific training in numerous areas of technical diving. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and divers with relatively little experience are accepted into technical diving programs that far exceed the diver’s level of competence and familiarity with their equipment. Not surprisingly, numerous instances have occurred where divers are killed on technical training dives. Sometimes the diver and the instructor are both killed or injured. In fact, it is not unheard of to have multiple fatalities on training dives. Whether a diver intends on doing a 20 foot reef dive in warm, tropical water or a 250 foot trimix dive in cold and dark North Atlantic waters, equipment familiarity and training in that specific equipment is a key component of safety. We can help you find out what went wrong.