PADI, the world’s largest diver training organisation has announced that PADI will be launching rebreather training for closed circuit rebreathers (CCRs) in 2011.
Mark Caney, Director, Rebreather Technologies in PADI’s Technical Diving Division, today announced that PADI is planning to introduce its first rebreather courses to include closed circuit rebreathers next year.
PADI has had limited training for semiclosed rebreathers for some time, but the step into the launch of training for CCRs shows a recognition that these products are now ready for playing an important role, if not in the mainstream, on the edges of the mainstream.
Caney said that PADI will produce a range of rebreather courses covering the needs of recreational and technical divers, and that the first courses will become available next year. They will be supported by the usual high quality educational materials that PADI is well-known for.
No announcement has been made of which rebreathers will be initially supported, but I woud guess that the Hollis Prism 2 and the Poseidon Discovery units that have recently been, or about to be, released would be strong candidates, as they are well supported units that support a range of diving from recreational to technical.
Rebreathers, and rebreather training, are not new. Until now, however, they have been rather niche due to their cost and complexity, as well as the limited support for rebreather supplies in many parts of the world. With PADI coming on board to support CCRs with its high quality training, I suspect that the tipping point is approaching when they become more mainstream.
With that said, I also don’t think CCRs will be replacing traditional open circuit scuba any time soon. Instead they will become a great option for some divers and some diving applications.