Jaksonbrown wrote: Joshua Smith wrote:
Jaksonbrown wrote:Perhaps some rebreather owners would like to give their opinions on this subject??
Sure. CCRs are orders of magnitude more dangerous than OC, no matter how you look at it. I dive one because I'm willing to accept a high degree of personal responsibility for maintaining my own gear in exchange for the main benefit a CCR offers- virtually unlimited breathing gas at any depth.
Do you feel that you are risking your life everytime your getting in the water with a CCR? You say that you accept a high degree of responsibility for maintaining your gear... once maintained the way you say, do you still feel that there is a high degree of danger, or having the knowledge of how well you maintain your gear, do you feel confident in your gear never letting you down?
Understand, I am not trying to dissagree, or contradict or anything with you .... I am just trying to get a handle on how users mindsets are about their equipment after being trained....
I kind of think it would be like hanggliding. A very dangerous sport. Multiple people die every year from the sport. Was I aware of the potential danger involved in participating in this sport? Yes.. Very. I carried 3 people off the hill that perished, and 1 that we had to life flight out. Did I feel in danger in the 500+ flights I made over a 10 year period. No.. I was confident in my gear, and my ability to maintain and my ability to fly it well. If it was not maintained, or if you are careless,..agreed,.. your dead. period...
Would you consider this a good analogy?
That's a very good analogy, actually. And John's post above is excellent.
Don't get me wrong, here. I'm a firm believer in the idea that everyone should be free to dive however they choose to, as long as they aren't endangering other divers. That said, I actually discourage a lot of people from buying a CCR, because I think a lot of people want to buy them for the wrong reasons. I bought mine because I wanted to dive on deep shipwrecks. This is one scenario where I believe that a CCR can actually improve safety- as long as the diver has taken care of their CCR and is well trained, they have plenty of gas to breathe. (on one of my first wreck dives after my trimix class, I got badly tangled in invisible monofilament as soon as I started to swim along the hull......I felt a surge of adrenaline as I realized that I was trapped 230' underwater.....and then, a light went on in my brain as I realized that I had 3-4 hours to solve the problem! -Rob cut me free in under 20 seconds, anyway- but it was a really cool epiphany for me.) Another really good CCR candidate, IMO, would be a photographer- you really can get a lot closer to critters. The downside is that photographers get distracted easilly- I spend a lot of time keeping an eye on their P02s when I dive with them (you're welcome, John and Calvin! Although I'm sure you're fine, I worry...) Aside from deep diving and photography, I guess another category would be "gear heads" who just love the machines. They would be in the minority, but I understand where they're coming from- I actually enjoy the ritual of tearing down my Meg, building it back up, cleaning it, and just fussing with it. It does help me feel confident before a big dive, knowing that I've been over every O ring and connection with my hands and eyes.
These are just my personal opinions. If you don't fit into any of these categories, and really want to dive one anyway, for whatever reason, that's your business. I just want anyone thinking about taking this step to do so with their eyes wide open, so to speak. On average, as far as anyone's been able to determine, there is aproximately one CCR fatality a month in any given year- which is way out of proportion to the estimated number of people diving them. (there is no official database; the best anyone can do is give rough estimates as far as number of active CCR divers). These fatalities tend to land in one of two groups: New CCR divers who make rookie mistakes, and CCR veterans with thousands of dives who skip a step, get complacent, or whatever. Because fatalities almost always lead to a flooded rebreather, and because sodalime is caustic when it gets wet, the units are frequently trashed if they're recoveredand because medical examiners inevitably list the cause of death as "drowning".....we frequently never really know what killed a person. In the few cases where we do get some good information, it usually adds up to diver error- they missed a step in their unit assembly, or pushed the scrubber or 02 sensors too far, stuff like that.
For me, it's all worth it- I almost never dive OC any more.