What is Technical Diving?

Technical diving is a form of scuba diving that exceeds the scope of recreational diving. Technical dives may be defined as being either decompression dives to depths greater than 40 meters, or decompression dives in an overhead environment with no direct access to the surface and/or natural light. Such environments may include fresh and saltwater caves, the interior of shipwrecks and to a certain extend, ice. In many cases, technical dives also include planned decompression carried out over a number of stages during a controlled ascent to the surface at the end of the dive. Technical dives may alternatively be defined as dives where the diver cannot safely ascend directly to the surface either due to a mandatory decompression stop (virtual ceiling), or a physical ceiling.
This form of diving implies a much larger reliance on redundant equipment and training since the diver must stay underwater until it is safe to ascend or the diver has left the overhead environment.
Different types of Technical Diving are:
• Deep diving - diving into greater depths than 40m (Virtual Ceiling)
• Cave diving - diving into a cave system (Physical Ceiling)
• Wreck diving - diving inside a shipwreck (Physical Ceiling)
• Ice diving - diving under ice (Physical Ceiling)

All gases become toxic with pressure and breathing normal air at depth causes a progressively increasing amount of impairment due to Nitrogen toxicity called "Nitrogen Narcosis", which usually becomes serious at depths of 40 metres or greater. Breathing air at depth greater than 60 metres also increases a risk for Oxygen toxicity. If not monitor properly, Oxygen toxicity could become fatal. For advanced Technical Diving Helium based mixes (Trimix, Heliair, Heliox), are used to reach greater depth below 60 metres, to 100 metres and more. Helium is a gas that can sustain tremendous pressure without being toxic, and mixed adequately it will reduce the potential toxicity of the other gases in the breathing mix.
A diver at the end of a long or deep dive may need to do thoses "Decompression Stops" to avoid decompression sickness, also known as the "Bends". Metabolically inert gases in the diver's breathing gas, such as nitrogen and helium, are absorbed into body tissues when breathed under high pressure during the deep phase of the dive. These dissolved gases in the diver body must slowly be released from body tissues by pausing or "doing stops" at shallow depths during the ascent to the surface. Divers usually use enriched oxygen breathing mixtures known as Nitrox, or pure oxygen during decompression stops to reduce the time needed for the stop or to reduce the risk of a bend.

Again all these factors increase the level of risk and training required for technical diving far beyond that required for recreational diving. Technical diving is not for everybody, and divers interested in technical diving should seek adequate training and dive within their personal limits.
How long has Technical Diving been around?

Most people would agree that cave diving is a form of technical diving. Cave diving developed in the late 1960s and 1970s, developing into a discipline largely like it is today by the mid 1980s. In the early 1990s, several groups of divers around the world began experimenting with technologies for deep diving (beyond recreational limits) to explore both caves and wrecks. These communities united and emerged as “technical diving” or “tec diving” with the publication of aquaCorps (no longer in print), which dedicated itself to this type of diving. Since then, tec diving continues to develop both in scope and in its technologies.
The TecRec program debuted in 2000 with PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) and DSAT (Diving Science And Technology). Although TecRec is not the first tec diving program (cave diver training has been around for decades), it repeatedly receives accolades for its merits.
Long-established as world leaders of recreational diving, PADI has finally taken a giant stride into technical diving. From their first cautious acceptance of Nitrox in the mid-90's, PADI & DSAT are now offering a complete range of technical diving courses, called the TEC REC program. From the "Discover Tec" experience, all the way to an extended depth Trimix course, the world's leading issuer of diving certifications has thrown its educational and marketing muscle into the fight for this growing segment of the diving market. Run in conjunction with the technical diving branch of the media production company, Diving Science and Technology (DSAT), these programs provide the techniques and procedures necessary for diving beyond recreational diving limits. The well-produced suite of student materials, including manuals, videos and slates, allows the course to follow the same performance-based instructional system familiar from PADI's recreational courses:
• TecRec courses are integrated into an instructionally valid, seamless course flow that takes you from beginning tec diver to one qualified to the outer reaches of sport diving using different gas mixes.
• Each level introduces you to new gear, planning and procedures appropriate to extend your diving limits.
• The Tec Diver course is an integrated sequence of three subcourses: Tec 40, Tec 45 and Tec 50. You can complete them continuously, or you can complete each level separately with a time span between them. This gives you learning efficiency, instructional integrity and schedule flexibility.
DSAT TecRec courses provide the techniques and procedures necessary for diving beyond recreational dive limits. These are some of the most intensive, yet exhilarating, courses you'll find.
Technical diving isn't for everyone but if this type of diving appeals to you and you're willing to accept the risks, responsibilities and obligations, you'll find it one of the most rewarding dive experiences you'll ever have.
General Prerequisites:
TecRec prerequisites vary (see individual course descriptions), but the following applies to anyone interested in technical diving: You must be:
• 18 years or older
• A mature, responsible person who will follow the required procedures and requirements strictly and faithfully
• Medically fit for tec diving (physician’s signature required)
• Willing to accept the added risks that tec diving presents
• An experienced diver with at least 100 logged dives
• Certified as a PADI Enriched Air Diver and PADI Deep Diver or equivalent (for this program equivalency is proof of training in recreational deep diving 18 meters/60 feet to 40 meters/130 feet consisting of at least four dives and training in nitrogen narcosis considerations, contingency/emergency decompression, making safety stops and air supply management OR, have a minimum of 20 logged dives deeper than 30 meters/100 feet.)
1-2-Dive.Teck is offering you two locations to choose from, for your Tec Rec training in Indonesia: one in Bali and one in North Lombok.

In Bali you will be based in Sanur, and do your training dives all around the island, giving you the opportunity to visit the island as well. Usual dive locations are:
1 - Nusa Lembongan
2 - Nusa Penida
3 - USS. Liberty, WWII Wreck, Tulamben
4 - Tulamben Wall
5 - Pulau Menjangan
Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Penida & Pulau Menjangan are 3 islands around Bali. Each of them have several dives sites adapted for Technical Deep Air diving.
In North Lombok you will be based on a lovely tiny island called Gili Trawangan, from which the dive sites are accessible only by 10 to 30 minutes boat rides. However there are less sites too choose from while doing your courses, and you might dive few times on the same spot. Usual dive locations are:
1 - Japanese WWII Wreck, North Lombok
2 - Shark Base, Gili Trawangan
3 - Takat Tunang, North Lombok
4 - Takat Dong Yeng, North Lombok

1-2-Dive.Teck have created a Facebook group very informative, with plenty information about technical diving, called: I Love Deco Diving. If you are already on Facebook, please feel free to join us on our Facebook Group.
We know that everybody loves freebies, so we decided to put online several documents, texts and publications related to Technical Diving, and Scuba Diving in general. It is free for download, there are tons of very usefull information for novice Tec Divers and for expert Teckies. So please, do not hesitate to download. Thanx.

Technical and Scuba Diving Glossary - by 1-2-Dive.Teck.

Effects of Gas Pressure at Depth - Nitrogen Narcosis, CO and CO2 Toxicity, Oxygen Toxicity, and Shallow-Water Blackout.

Decompression Practice - by Robert W. Hamilton and Ed Thalmann.

Clearing Up The Confusion About Deep Stops - by Erik C. Baker, P.E.

Introduction to Decompression Illness - By Stuart Walker.

In-water Recompression as an Emergency Field Treatment of Decompression Illness - by Richard L. Pyle and David A. Youngblood.

Beyond The Blue - Technical Diving Magazine (20Mb).

Pacific Wrecks - XRAY Diving Magazine, N.29 (17Mb)

© Pictures Foued Kaddachi
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