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Pushing The Envelope- History of Technical Diving Equipment Exhibit


We have something extra special planned for TEKDiveUSA.2018. This year will feature an exhibit of techncial diving history with equipment from US divers who pushed the envelope. At its heart, the “Technical Diving Revolution” (1987-1996) was about our genomic disposition to explore coupled with emerging new technologies that enabled us to visit underwater realms not previously accessible by humans. These included mixed gas, decompression computing, high pressure cylinders, long distance diver propulsion vehicles (DPVs), decompression habitats and eventually closed circuit rebreathers.

Some of the featured highlights of Pushing The Envelope include:
• One of famed cave explorer Sheck Exley’s favorite drysuits, an original Goodman Belly Bag (first cave diving BC, 1975) and a copy of Dr. X (Sheck’s decompression s/w).
• Jarrod Jablonski’s Halcyon PVR-BASC (passive, variable-ratio, biased addition, semi-closed) rebreather aka “The Fridge” and Gavin ‘Zeus’ scooter used at WKPP expeditions.
• Gary Gentile’s original DUI CF-200 dry suit (DUI gave him a new one)
• Leon Scamahorn’s first MEG rebreather and Porpoise Pack
• Richard Pyle’s Cis-Lunar Development Laboratories Mk4 rebreather
• Martin Parker’s original 1997 AP Diving Buddy Inspiration rebreather with Fiberglass case
• Peter Readey’s first PRISM “semi-closed” rebreather
• Paul Heinerth’s AquaZepp scooter similar to used at Wakulla Project 1987
• Kevin Gurr’s Quatek, the first downloadable nitrox computer
• Lamar Hires’ original Bridge, the first production nitrox computer,
• Bill Hogarth Main’s Seatec Pillow (one of two early BCs made for cave diving-1977) and the first back plate made by Greg Flanagan (1980)
• Eric Hutchinson’s first sidemount rig and hand drawn map
• Brian Carney’s Dräger Atlantis semi-closed rebreather (TDI developed the first training course)
• An early Gordon Smith pre-Classic KISS rebreather from Jetsam Technologies
• Rare pieces of early kit from Larry Green, Wayne Kinard & John Chatterton
• Ed Uditis’s Electrolung Serial #10 and Farallon scooter and much more.

Shooting Shipwrecks- TEKDiveUSA.2018

Pete Mesley have travelled the world shooting shipwrecks. He will take you on an underwater photographic tour of different techniques for photographing these wrecks and the unique ways they look at lighting, composition, and working with models - to achieve some amazingly different results.


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Join Nathalie Lasselin on a photographic and video journey through cave diving in China.

Nathalie Lasselin

Navigating Between Physiological Benefit and Harm in Diving

Many practices have been offered with the promise of improving the physiological safety of diving. While some do, others have the potential to both hurt and harm. The adage "the dose makes the poison" frequently applies to diving physiology. This presentation by Neal Pollock will consider issues and strategies to help in navigating between risk and hazard and to optimize safety. 

TEKDiveUSA.2018 Raffle

During the TEKDiveUSA.2018 Gala Dinner  there will be a charity auction and raffle held. Proceeds go in part to the TEKDiveUSA technical diving scholarship fund with a goal of inspiring and empowering the next generation of technical divers. The TEKDiveUSA Technical Diving Scholarship's mission is to cultivate the next generation of safe, experienced technical divers by providing a solid foundation of quality training, a fundamental understanding of technical equipment, a breadth of experience and the financial assistance to do so.

About the Scholarship

Founded in 2016, the TEKDiveUSA Technical Diving Scholarship will provide internships, mentorships and training and educational opportunities. The TEKDiveUSA  is a proud supporter  of cave research and scientific diving to help all divers better understand the underwater environment. The first of the 2016 scholarships was awarded to a young scientist working in cave research, Lauren Ballou from Texas A&M University at Galveston. A brief overview of her project can be found here. In addition students from 20 different universities were offered educational opportunities with TEKDiveUSA. The first of many opportunities for 2018 TEKDiveUSA scholars will include a GUE Fundies class.


Some of the  incredible prizes  for the TEKDiveUSA.2018 raffle include but are not limited to a KISS Sidewinder Rebreather, An Ursuit drysuit, A Ratio Computers iX3M [Pro] Tech+, A week of diving and accomodations at Buddy Dive Resort in Bonaire, X-Core Vest and New Xerotherm Set from Fourth Element, TL3500P Supreme plus combo pack from BigBlue Dive Lights, ScubaForce 1st and 2nd stage, 40" hose, 6" hp hose and ScubaForce SPG, along with a cold water stage rigging kit for an AL40 and diving equipment and other prizes donated by our TEKDiveUSA sponsors, exhibitors and supporters. Buy your tickets here on our registration page. 



Systema Sac Actun and Systema Dos Ojos- TEKDiveUSA.2018

On January 10th 2018 a team of divers in Quintana Roo,Mexico discovered the connection between Systema Sac Actun and Systema Dos Ojos, making Systema Sac Actun the longest underwater cave system in the world. The team consisted of Robbie Schmittner, the team leader  who incidentally had been searching for the connection for the past 14 years, explorer and underwater videographer Marty O'Farrell, Explorers Jim Josiak and Sev Regehr. Team member, Marty O'Farrell will be at TEKDiveUSA.2018 to talk about the connection. 

Management of decompression illness in the field: update on an ever present threat for technical divers


Decompression dives by definition "push" the limits of the diver's adopted decompression algorithm. Accurate data on the incidence of decompression illness (DCI) in technical diving are lacking, but there is anecdotal evidence that mild forms are relatively common in repetitive multiday decompression diving. The basic principles of diagnosis and first aid treatment of DCI are relatively well understood by technical divers, but there are often tensions between "textbook approaches" and pragmatic solutions to real-world problems on technical diving expeditions. The issue of field management of DCI was recently reviewed by a committee of international experts and the key results of that review will be published in Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine in March 2018. TEKDive USA will be the first public discussion of them. This presentation will summarize the committee's findings, framed in a way to be relevant to technical divers and the particular challenges of technical diving expeditions. In-water recompression, will be covered in a separate presentation by Dr David Doolette who was a member of the committee.


TEKDiveUSA.2018 will feature a panel discussion by some of the brightest minds in scientific diving and medical research. They represent a variety of backgrounds and interests that should make for a lively discussion of developments in safety management and diving research. Join Dr. Simon Mitchell, Dr. Neal Pollock,  Dr. David DooletteDoug Ebersole MDAndrew Pitkin MD, Moderated by Dr. Dawn Kernagis   April 27th-29th, 2018 in Orlando, Florida at TEKDiveUSA.2018


In-water recompression: expert diving medicine committee opinion

In June 2017 a committee of diving medicine experts revised guidelines for the prehospital management of decompression illness. This committee noted that recompression and hyperbaric oxygen administered in a recompression chamber is acknowledged as the gold standard of care for decompression illness. However, the committee recognized the reality that divers trained in underwater oxygen breathing – including technical divers – are diving in locations remote from recompression chambers. He committee stated that in locations without ready access to a suitable hyperbaric chamber facility, and if symptoms are significant or progressing, in-water recompression using oxygen to a maximum depth of 30 fsw is an option. This is only appropriate where groups of divers (including the “patient”) have prior relevant training that imparts an understanding of related risks and facilitates a collective acceptance of responsibility for the decision to proceed. The committee expanded on some of the qualifications in the preceding statement, and added that in-water recompression should not be conducted if there is hearing loss, vertigo, vomiting, an altered level of consciousness, shock, respiratory distress, or a degree of physical incapacitation that makes a return underwater unsafe. Also, in-water recompression may not result in complete resolution of decompression illness, and signs or symptoms may recur. Any injured diver completing an in-water recompression procedure should be discussed with or reviewed by a diving medicine physician at the earliest possible opportunity. Data does not exist to establish the benefits of in-water recompression compared to the widely supported first aid of surface oxygen and transport to the nearest recompression chamber. This talk will review the evidence that this committee used to reach their cautious, qualified endorsement of in-water recompression in some circumstances.

3D Photogrammetry – The Future of Deep Water Archaeology

Since the beginning of time, humans have wondered what lies beneath the ocean. As technology has moved on we have been able to go deeper or stay down longer, but the time available at depth on deep water archaeological sites is limited by Physics and Physiology. Our ability to document what lies on these deep sites has been limited to a few photographs, or some video, but it has not been realistically possible to properly research and document these sites. With the advent of digital photogrammetry it is now possible for us to scan a wreck site and bring back high resolution digital 3D models that are accurately scaled and can be used to show exactly what lies beneath. John Kendall is a GUE Tech and Cave instructor and for several years has been involved with GUE's projects across the world. He will be presenting some of the findings of these projects as well as talking about how Photogrammetry works, and how it can be useful for divers.







Inside The Minds Of Millennial Tech Divers- TEKDiveUSA.2018

Talk with a panel of professional explorers, underwater archeologists, tech instructors, manufacturers and photographers about how they’ve progressed from a young age and made a career in the dive industry.  Hear about what inspired them to keep moving up in technical diving and the different paths that got them started. The Panel will discuss ideas on how to inspire the next generation of divers, internships, scholarship opportunities and mentoring. Hear about how to start technical diving, and the best way of getting younger divers interested in not just diving but advanced diving.  It is possible to do it at a young age and the panel is excited to share their stories and experience to help others take the first steps into a world we all are passionate about.

Get to know the panelists by clicking on their profiles below.

Scott Sanders

HMS Hampshire- TEKDiveUSA.2018

Join Rod Macdonald for this fascinating wreck diving presentation at TEKDiveUSA.2018. On 5 June 1916, the 10,850-ton British armoured cruiser Hampshire, carrying the UK Secretary of State for War, Lord Kitchener and his staff on a secret mission from Scapa Flow to Archangel in the White Sea of northern Russia, struck a German mine laid…
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Where Explorers Go, Lawyers Follow

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Join attorney David Concannon as he examines legal hits and misses from the courtroom to cave diving, recent trends in litigation involving technical diving, case studies and tips for avoiding seeing him sitting opposite you or beside you at the defense table.  David has represented clients in the diving industry for two decades, he has not lost a trial in 23 years, and he is actively involved in accident analysis and investigation.  He will candidly share insights that will help you avoid becoming either a defendant or a statistic, in a warm and friendly environment that is open to friends and enemies alike.

There is a problem with checklists in technical diving- TEKDiveUSA.2018

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Join Gareth Lock for this TEKDiveUSA.2018 presentation. Checklists have been proven to improve safety and reduce incidents and accidents in a variety of high risk domains including aviation, healthcare and the nuclear industry. However, the design, uptake and usage of checklists is not great when it comes to the diving industry, leading to an associated reduction in safety. This engaging and challenging presentation will highlight why checklists are doomed to failure in technical diving unless their real purpose is understood and explaining why relying on them to solve the safety problem is flawed. Notwithstanding this, Gareth will identify ways in which checklist use and their effectiveness can be improved by taking a systems view to their design and deployment.

Releasing accident information: The conflict between learning from experience and the threat of litigation.

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This presentation by David Concannon and Gareth Lock will look at the significant challenges involved in resolving the conflict between the litigious nature of society, which protects information and seeks to assign fault, and the need to share detailed and context rich information to show how and why incidents and accidents occurred so that risk can be managed effectively. The session will address both sides of the issue, with each presenter making their case and offering solutions. Next, the floor will be opened for questions. There is unlikely to be a clear answer but rather the aim is to generate discourse and mature discussion on the ways we can learn from individuals’ and systemic failures.

Hypoxia: insights into a silent killer- TEKDiveUSA.2018

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Join Dr. Simon Mitchell  and Dr Nick Gant for this TEKDiveUSA.2018 presentation. When divers start using mixed gases for deep diving, and / or rebreathers, we almost inevitably create opportunities for mistakes that might lead to us inspiring a gas that contains insufficient oxygen to maintain normal body oxygenation. Examples include operation of a rebreather with the oxygen cylinder turned off, or mistakenly using an hypoxic bottom gas during shallow decompression on open circuit. The result of such mistakes is progressive reduction of oxygen levels in the blood (hypoxia). Hypoxia is an insidious condition. It often gives little warning of onset, particularly if there are other distractions. Unlike hypercapnia, which usually produces unpleasant symptoms, a diver can easily pass through a stage of confusion and lapse into unconsciousness with little or no sense that anything is wrong. We have recently been conducting experiments in which human subjects are intentionally rendered very hypoxic whilst trying to perform a mental task, and the video records of these events are educational viewing for divers. In this presentation we will discuss how hypoxia can occur in diving, and how failure to recognize its onset is common. We will illustrate these principles  with video and results of our recent experiments. Finally, we will discuss the safety and usefulness of intentional "dry hypoxia experiences" that have occasionally been advocated for divers, and why we don't think these are a good idea. 



Immersion Pulmonary Edema – What We Know and What We Don’t- TEKDiveUSA.2018

Join Douglas Ebersole, MD, Cardiology Consultant at Divers Alert Network and Interventional Cardiologist at Watson Clinic LLP Lakeland, Florida for this special TEKDiveUSA.2018 presentation.  Immersion pulmonary edema is a life threatening condition that affects both surface swimmers and divers and frequently occurs in otherwise healthy, or even athletic, individuals. Symptoms can present suddenly at any point during a dive and include shortness of breath, confusion, loss of consciousness, and even death. The precise incidence is unknown, because fatal cases can be mistaken for drowning. Most information about this condition comes from survivors, some of whom have recurrent episodes. This presentation will discuss the incidence, signs and symptoms, therapy, and prognosis for this condition in a case presentation format.


Recovering the Past -The use of technical diving to honor the lost of WWII

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Join Brett Seymour, underwater photographer and Deputy Chief of the National Park Service Submerged Resources Center, as he presents on a recent expedition to the famed B-24 Liberator “Tulsamerican” lost during mission to occupied Poland on December 17, 1944. Brett’s photographic talk will highlight an international team of archeologist and technical divers as they carry out a US Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) mission to recover three lost airmen aboard the downed B-24 off the coast of Croatia.  

Safety Warning

WARNING: Scuba diving is an inherently dangerous sport that can result in serious injury or death if you do not receive the proper training and practice safe diving techniques. The ideas, topics and material presented at TEKDiveUSA are those of the presentor, and TEKDiveUSA LLC does not endorse, support, advocate or accept liability for any of said material / content.

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