The advantages and disadvantages of closed circuit rebreather
The benefits of the closed circuit rebreather :
Rebreather diving has many advantages over open-circuit diving.
- Silence: This is the first benefit that comes to mind. Indeed, diving without bubble allows you not to scare the marine fauna and it’s a real asset for the approach and the observation, especially for the underwater photographers and videographers. We can observe behaviors that are usually impossible to see in scuba diving.
Using a rebreather is really the world of silence described by Commander Cousteau.
- Increased autonomy: This is the second significant advantage of using a rebreather.This type of dive provides a great autonomy of operation and no matter what depth you are diving at. We are no longer hurried, by the pressure of the bottle that is getting closer and faster towards the reserve. Using a rebreather, we’ve got time.
Who has not dreamed of doing 50 minutes at 30m deep without having any extension bearings? The recycler allows it.
- Decompression optimization: This is the third advantage of the rebreather. The gas breathed in the loop is constantly changing according to the depth. We breathe an optimized mix at any moment of the dive. This is a huge advantage when it comes to decompression times, which are greatly diminished. It’s also a huge advantage in terms of safety (which does not exclude the risk of accidents)
- Hot and humid air : It’s a lot more confortable, especially in cold water. The chemical reaction that allows it to capture the CO2 emitted by the body creates heat and water vapor. For the greatest fullfillmentof our lungs.
The disadvantages of rebreather :
Yep, there are some disadvantages compared to conventional open circuit diving.
To my mind, they are quite small considering the benefits offered.
- Investment: The first disadvantage is the rebreather’s investment cost and training t, which will vary depending on the chosen machine and options.
It takes between 6000 and 10 000 € to purchase one.
- The size : If you dont’ want to dive heavy, forget about it Eventhought these machines are getting smaller and smaller, such as the rEvo or the Innerspace’s Pathfinder the size is bigger than when using an OC ( open circuit ), especially because of the bail out blocks.
This weight will dramaticaly affect your ease and stability underwater, especially at the beginning.
The preparation : rig your block for around 5 minutes, but preparing your recycler requires a bit more time. Eventhought it doesn’t take hours, the preparation of the recycler for the dive requires attention and time. Around 15 and 20 minutes . The machine’s preparation implies a bunch of tests ( waterproofing, cellules control, gaz analysis, etc….) None of these tests should be neglited ! If a test isn’t concluant, don’t go to the next one before solving the problem.
Rebreatherdiving requires a bit more time, attention and efforts than regular, open circuit hobby diving. The divers who are always late and quickly rig their blocks on the boat while cruising aren’t the type of people that are able to go rebreather diving.
- The lost of ballast lung : I put it in the drawback section, but personaly, as a photographer, I don’t think it is a real one ! Maybe thanks to experience. Of course the perfect stabilisation is a lot harder to get, but once stabilised, you won’t more an inch.