Rebreathers used to be only for technical diving, but not any more. New Type R (recreational) rebreathers are lightweight, easy-to-transport and have sophisticated electronics to simplify their use. Why dive a rebreather? You get longer no stop limits, reduced gas consumption because you reuse most of your exhaled gas, and unmatched wildlife encounters because you don’t release annoying bubbles. The PADI Rebreather Diver course introduces you to rebreather diving to a maximum depth of 18 metres/60 feet and lets you experience things you never imagined possible as a scuba diver.
To enroll in the PADI Rebreather Diver course, you must:
Be a PADI Open Water Diver
Be a PADI Enriched Air Diver
Have a minimum of 25 logged dives
Be at least 18 years old
Through self-study and instructor-guided sessions, you’ll learn how rebreathers work and the importance of proper setup and maintenance. Because rebreathers vary significantly, you’ll also study the manufacturer’s literature for the type of rebreather you’ll train on. During six dives, you’ll work on:
Performing proper predive checks
Developing the habit of keeping the loop closed when the mouthpiece is not in your mouth
Doing bubble checks, bailout drills and handling other potential problems
Fine-tuning buoyancy control
Monitoring displays and gauges
Post-dive procedures and disassembly
You’ll want to have your mask, fins and exposure suit. Snorkels are optional, but a collapsible snorkel can be carried in your pocket. You’ll also need a Delayed Surface Marker Buoy (DSMB) and reel. Your PADI Rebreather Instructor will advise you about the Type R rebreather you’ll learn to use.
After certification as a PADI Rebreather Diver, you’ll need to qualify if you want to use a different rebreather model because procedures vary with each model. However, you don’t need to repeat the entire course. Just take a PADI Rebreather Qualifier program that focuses on the knowledge and skills needed to use a different Type R rebreather model.
Your instructor will make sure that all Type R rebreathers used in PADI courses meet requirements, such as being third party tested and that manufacturers ensure their rebreathers meet a comprehensive list of requirements.