Many people are surprised to learn that Rebreather Diving actually pre-dates open circuit SCUBA diving by many years. As early as 1620 Cornelius Drebbel created a submarine with a crude rebreather system to allow the sub-mariner to stay submerged without being overcome by CO2. The first more familiar application of what is more closely related to today's modern rebreather diving unit was introduced by diving engineer Henry Fleuss in 1870's. This far pre-dates the first modern demand valve scuba regulator by Cousteau and Gagnan which was introduced in the 1940's.
What is Rebreather Diving?
Simply put, a rebreather is a scuba device that recirculates your exhaled breath back to you so that you "re-breathe" your breathing gas again and again. This system makes rebreathers extremely efficient with respect to gas usage and also provides for a silent (bubble free) diving experience. While this is a simple explanation of what happens with rebreather diving, the details are a little more complicated, but here's a short (simplified) explanation.
- Your exhaled breath leaves your mouth, and goes into the scrubber (a device which removes the Carbon Dioxide from your exhaled breath with a chemical substance)
- Oxygen sensors determine the Oxygen content remaining in the "scrubbed" gas, and may add pure Oxygen to keep the Oxygen Partial Pressure at a pre-determined set-point.
- You inhale a perfectly optimized nitrox mixture for the depth that you're at with CO2 effectively removed.
- Repeat the process on each breath.
Benefits of Rebreather Diving
- Dive deeper: the optimum nitrox mix at every depth
- Stay longer: with dramatically increased ‘no-deco’ bottom times
- Greatly reduced deco: if you do incur penalties, O2-rich deco gets you out of the water quicker
- Extreme low gas use: consumption is governed by metabolism not depth, so average use is only about 1 litre/min!
- Greater comfort: with warm, moist breathing gas
- Versatility: out-of-the-box unit ready-to-go, shallow or deep
- No expensive gas-mixing / pre-planning for a target depth
- Perfect buoyancy control: unaffected by breathing
- No bubbles, silent diving: get up really close to the wildlife
Why Dive A Rebreather?
If we look at the list of above benefits, we can see that there are many benefits to diving a CCR versus Open Circuit Scuba. Diving with a rebreather leaves your dive site exactly how you discovered it. You don't even leave behind bubbles!
One of the biggest benefits to diving a CCR vs Open Circuit is definitely for the technical mixed gas diver. If you're diving mixed gas, especially with helium, then you'll benefit immensely from the reduced gas consumption of the CCR. You can probably even recover the costs of purchasing your rebreather and the training in just a few years of diving CCR for mixed gas.
Even if you aren't diving deeper or looking to stay longer, maybe you just want a more intimate experience with sea life and be able to get closer to fish and critters. When you're diving a rebreather, there aren't any noisy bubbles to scare the fish away. You'll be amazed at how much closer you can get to sea creatures, since they think you are one!
To sum it all up, when you're diving with a rebreather, you can dive longer, use less gas, have no bubbles to, get closer to marine life, and even visit dive sites that aren't able to be visited by open circuit divers.
Become a Rebreather Diver
Your first step in Rebreather Diving
Your first step into the rebreather diving is to get trained as a rebreather diver. We offer training on several rebreather units through TDI, IANTD and PADI. Your qualifications will be recognized around the world.
Not Experienced enough for Rebreather Diving?
You'll be surprised to hear that there's no previous experience required to dive a rebreather versus other scuba systems. You can take your first ever scuba diving class with a rebreather and become a "Rebreather Open Water Diver" and then continue your CCR training all the way through instructor if you desire.
Choose Your Rebreather Diving Unit
With so many rebreathers on the market, which one do you choose? With The Rebreather Zone, you can try several units, and then decide which one is right for you. With our Discover Rebreather program, you can take a test dive in a pool with a professional and experience one for yourself.
Get Your Own Rebreather
The Rebreather Zone can help you get your own rebreather unit from our retail dive center in Dortmund. Just contact us for more details on the units available.