Yes, it’s true. GUE are now using and teaching a Closed Circuit Rebreather (CCR). Wonders will never cease. It’s been a long time coming, and many of us within the organization have been diving them for a few years not to gain experience, learn what is important, and think about how to teach divers to use these tools. We’ve also done some very cool diving along the way of course, which is what it is about. It is categorically not just a “cool toy” – it’s a tool for a job. So I will continue to dive open circuit when that’s the right tool, sidemount if it’s needed and use the rebreather when it’s the best way to make the dive.
For deeper technical dives, there is a huge advantage to the rebreather in that there is hardly any gas filling to be done after the dive. A top-up of the oxygen cylinder, and a bit of suit gas, and you’re ready for the next day. The cost benefit is nice on a day-to-day basis, as a weeks trimix diving typically comes in under £50, compared to nearly £1000 for a comparable open circuit week. It will take a little time to pay back the cost of the rebreather, but if you’re doing a lot of deeper diving, then it makes a lot of sense.
The logistics of the class are probably the most complex aspect. We’ll have to make sure that all students can get access to a rebreather, and that it’s set up to the GUE standard.
The entry level to the class is a GUE Tech 2 certification. We’re anticipating that most of the divers taking the class will want to dive deep, so it makes sense that students already have experience in deep water. That and, should the diver have to go back to open circuit, you should be very comfortable ascending on open circuit and doing all of the normal gas switches, rotations and decompression needed for these dives.
The CCR is a more complex tool, but it makes the logistics of deep diving significantly easier. If you’re into deeper diving, and want to find out more about the GUE CCR program, then why not subscribe to the list below and I’ll send you some information about the GUE CCR rebreather, the configuration and how to join a class.