The ProTec Dive Center in Playa del Carmen has supported CCR Rebreathers and CCR Rebreather diving communities from the very beginning starting in the year of 2001 in Playa del Carmen with ProTec Playa and now extending this service into Tulum With ProTec Tulum since 2011.
The reason for this is simple as the owners and most of the Cave Instructors of the ProTec Dive Center in Playa del Carmen are trained CCR Rebreather Cave Divers. From the time CCR Rebreathers came on the market and where available for scientific, photographic, and exploration purposes ProTec staff was on the forefront getting trained and participating in large expeditions and projects. We have plublished a number of good articles in regards to CCR Rebreather diving on our Blog. Please have a look.
CCR Rebreather Diving
Closed Circuit Rebreather (CCR) diving is a great way of diving but does have serious consequences if one is to violate the rules and procedures of CCR Rebreather diving. Failure to do so might prove fatal. The CCR Diver course is an intense training program with large potential for frustration.
Each and one of the CCR Rebreather units from all the different manufacturers have two things in common. They recycle the breathing gas and effectifly remove Co2 (Carbon Dioxide) out of the recirculating breathing gas, and that the metabolized oxygen needs to be replenished either electronically or mechanically.
The Co2 absorbent is one of the key ingedients why Rebreathers work. Without Co2 absorbent (Sofnolime & Extend Air Cartridges) the Co2 that is produced as a waste product of our metabolism would be recirculate and be reconsumed, building up to intolerant and toxic levels. The propper changes of absorbent as well as staying inside manufacturer limits for absorbent duration is paramount to survival.
There are two different types of Closed Circuit Rebreathers on the market in regards of how the oxygen is injected and controlled in the Rebreather.
Electronically contolled eCCR's have electronics built into the unit that measure the oxygen content in the breathing loop via oxygen sensors and will inject oxygen via a solenoid magnetic valve into the loop when user established setpoint values are not reached, thus bringing up the oxygen content in the loop back to user setpoint value and replenishing the metabolized oxygen.
Mechanically controlled mCCR's have some electronics located in the Po2 readout located either in the handset or within the lid, and oxygen sensors. The replenishment however is done mechanically with constant flow injection and mechanically top up of oxygen by the diver with manual injection in order to bring and keep the Po2 at user selected setpoint.
Examples of electronically controlled CCR are the APECS Megalodon & Pathfinder, O2ptima, Prizm Topaz, Cis Lunar, Inspiration, Evolution, Sentinel, JJ, Cis Lunar, rEvo, OuroBuro and others.
Examples of mechanically controlled CCR are the Sport KISS and Classic KISS, Megalodon COPIS & Predator, IDA 72, rEvo, Submatix, Pelagian and others.
Buoyancy is one of the most crucial skills in CCR Rebreather diving. It provides the diver with a stable position to run lines, do tie off's, work with reel’s and pass easy through the water column.
Neutral buoyancy in a horizontal position with the legs up provides the CCR Rebreather Diver with a streamlined and balanced profile while that particular position does protect the cave or wreck environment. What looks to us solid may be fragile speleothems, coroded superstructure or soft silt that can be agitated or broken with one uncontrolled touch of the hand or fin. Divers must be able to turn in a horizontal position, maintaining the horizontal position and depth without touching anything. While this requires practice it requires dedication for reef, cave or wreck preservation as well.
Mental conditioning is vital for survival with a positive attitude for survival, with an understanding of the inherent risk associated with CCR diving, the willingness to strife for perfection in the art of CCR diving, the willingness to practice emergency exercises again and again until they become second nature. CCR diving is potentially not for everyone but for experienced divers willing to make an effort and these divers will be rewarded with some of the best diving on this planet, and a truly unique experience.
The commitment needed for CCR diving goes beyond the time spend in the water but does include serious challenges to one self physically and mentally. The rewards are great and satisfying. Enrolling in a CCR Rebreather diving course is a step into a new world. Long term commitments do not only include the investment for the proper training needed to dive a particular Closed Circuit Rebreather safely. The financial commitment includes the equipment needed for this type of diving, the necessary life support equipment and the diving to come, to continue and practice what was learned during the training program, not to get rusty but to practice and practice again.
In today’s world a variety of CCR Rebreathers are available for the avid CCR Diver. Rebreathers are usually used to extend gas volume in remote locations, cave diving in the beautifull caves of Mexico or wreck diving applications where the needed gas volumes are not feasible to carry. Personal preferences and logistics dictate the choice of a particular unit. Most divers will choose a path that before CCR diving the diver has to be trained and experienced on open water diving and then can expand on Rebreather technique and technology with an experienced CCR Rebreather Instructor.
Few divers choose to take the initial and following training on Rebreathers and never take a single breath on open circuit SCUBA. But it can be done.
In order to learn CCR diving propperly a training program has to be completed either in stages or in whole, with considerable amount of time to be invested learning and repeating new diving skills and procedures. Your commitment and resolve will be tested here through intense training days filled with awesome diving experiences.
The level of Advanced Nitrox Diver is a prerequisite in order to enroll into a CCR Rebreather Diver course. If you do not have previously done your Adv. Eanx course we can combine both training programs into one.
A minimum of six complete training days is required to complete the training neccecary for the basic or Mod I CCR Rebreather Diver.
We continue to support the cutting edge of CCR Rebreather diving in many ways, starting with providing support for CCR Rebreather divers here at our ProTec Playa Dive Center.