Deep Technical Wreck Diving in Thailand
Koh Tao, Thailand
Big Blue Tech recently completed a TDI Advanced Wreck Diver course for Lin Wang and Darees Meril and a TDI Advanced Wreck Instructor course for Rodney Gibbs by TDI Advanced Wreck Instructor Trainer Ben Reymenants duing a 4 day technical wreck diving workshop and underwater training session on Koh Tao Island off the coast of Thailand.
Shipwrecks have always attracted divers. Many divers enjoy the history that shipwrecks bring. While others enjoy watching the marine life that are attracted to shipwrecks.
For what ever your reasons, shipwrecks are fraught with danger. Many people compare them to haunted houses with dangers around every corner. The equipment and procedures required to dive shipwrecks is also just as complicated. Divers must master the use of this equipment and procedures to ensure safe wreck penetration diving.
The entry level wreck diving courses have been so “streamlined” that they lack quite a bit of essential information. We will build the basic skills needed for divers to safely penetrate shipwrecks using doubles and a guideline. You will learn topics such as gas management, running and retrieving guideline, team positioning on the guideline, lost visibility procedures, and failures associated with wreck penetration. During this course, we will present many failure scenarios in a controlled environment. These types of scenarios are designed to embed the urgency and seriousness that failures require in real environments.
In technical penetration diving, there are broadly two approaches. The conventional approach involves the use of continuous guidelines laid from a wreck reel, tied just outside of the entrance point, just inside the entrance point, and at regular intervals inside (to mitigate the risk of a cut line, or a “line trap”. In deeper penetrations, two reels are used, so that in the event of a total loss of visibility where the diver loses contact with the primary line or the primary line gets cut, the secondary line can be anchored and then used as a reference point to sweep for the primary line.
An alternative approach, popularised by deep wreck divers in the American Northeast, is referred to as “progressive penetration”. Progressive penetration eschews the use of reels, but the diver makes several successive penetrations, each successively deeper than the last, memorising the layout for both the inward and outward journeys. As a diving technique, progressive penetration is not taught by any of the mainstream diver training agencies.
Divers engaging in penetration diving are conventionally taught to carry three lights – a primary light and two backup lights – thereby virtually eliminating the risk of completely losing light inside the wreck. Nonetheless, total loss of visibility due to a silt-out remains a risk.