PADI Rebreather CCR Courses and Tec Diving
PADI first became involved in Rebreathers in 1999. This saw the release of the PADI Semi-Closed Rebreather Specialty Diver Courses. These were for the Dolphin / Atlantis and Drager Ray Semi-Closed Circuit units. This was in response to Member requests for PADI Rebreather Courses.
The Dolphin / Atlantis and Drager Ray Semi-Closed Circuit units are very simple “mechanical” units with no electronics. Therefore they are called SCCR units, as opposed to modern eSCR. These recycle some of the gas that you exhale so bubbles will escape periodically but less than open-circuit. SCRs only need one gas supply but it needs to be enriched air Nitrox. Remember the gas must be breathable at the maximum dive depth.
The courses were “Recreational” using the RDP No-Decompression limits and Max Depth being 40m. Dive time was calculated using formulas and the PADI EAD, EANx 32 / 36 Tables and PADI O2 Toxicity table.
In 2001 PADI / DSAT released the Open Circuit Tec Deep along with the EANx and He Gas Blender Courses. PADI TecRec programs train divers to go beyond the conventional limits of recreational diving. PADI members were asking for a valid, professionally designed instructional system in technical diving. And in 2003 Tec Trimix was released.
PADI TecRec Courses were renamed and the structure revised in 2009. This was to offer more flexibility and options for divers to progress in smaller steps. It also provided more options for becoming and advancing as a Tec Diver with Tec 40, Tec 45 and Tec 50. The Tec Trimix 65 qualifies divers to use any trimix with 18% oxygen or higher. The maximum depth is 65 m/213 ft using multiple stage cylinders.
Finally in 2011 the PADI Rebreather and PADI Tec CCR Rebreather Courses were released:
- PADI Rebreather
- Advanced Rebreather Diver
- Tec 40 CCR
- Tec 60 CCR
- Tec 100 CCR
The release of the PADI Rebreather and Tec CCR courses PADI also introduced the “Type R” and the “Type T” Rebreather designations.
PADI Type R and Type T Rebreathers
A Type T CCR is an eCCR or mCCR suited to technical deep diving, decompression diving and cave diving. These units have differing technical requirements and the divers using them need substantially more training and experience in using them. Type T characteristics include that they may have user-packed scrubbers, that they must have manual controls for the diluent and oxygen supply, and they must be rated and functional to 100m.
Rebreathers in the PADI system are categorized as Type R (for recreational divers) and Type T (suited to technical divers). A Type R rebreather is an eCCR (such as the Poseidon MKVI or Se7en Rebreathers) or eSCR specifically suited to recreational, no decompression diving. There are various requirements for a Rebreather to classed as a Type R Rebreather. These include the use pre-packed scrubber canisters and having a system for estimating scrubber duration. They must also provide electronic prompts for the predive check. They must provide automatic setpoint control and have status warnings to indicate problems. They also need a HUD (heads up display) warning system and a BOV or Bail Out Valve.
Type T CCRs need at least one backup display for use during manual oxygen control. And they must have manual set point control capability. Type T CCRs are intended for Tec divers.
To find out which Rebreathers you can use in the PADI system PADI maintains a register of rebreathers. This is a list of units that manufacturers specify meet the key features of a Type R (Recreational) or Type T (Technical) rebreather. They must also have successfully undergone recognized third-party testing against an appropriate standard such as EN14143.
Only rebreathers included in this register can be used for PADI rebreather courses.
Note: The PADI organization does not approve, review or endorse the design or manufacturing of scuba equipment, including rebreathers.
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