Prior to this meeting the Rebreather Education and Safety Association (RESA) and the Rebreather Training Council (RTC) had been having a robust active discussion about industry-wide rebreather training standards. It seemed sensible therefore to take the opportunity for the two organisations to find a common path forward.
The meeting was first proposed by the National Park Service (NPS), then quickly supported by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Divers Alert Network (DAN), and the American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS).
A number of key experts were involved in the Catalina Island event including Jeff Bozanic, Simon Mitchell and Richard Pyle.
Over the course of four days standards relating to practice, physiology, incidents and equipment evolution relevant to scientific diving with rebreathers were reviewed.
Buddies are not essential for a safe dive. On the contrary, buddies often increase the risk of a dive, either directly through unpredictable or unreliable actions, or indirectly, through an unfounded belief that security is enhanced by numbers alone, regardless of the training or state of mind of the buddy. In most instances, a competent solo diver would be much safer than the average buddy dive.