Thailand – Australia – United Kingdom


IART CCR courses in Thailand

Big Blue Tech is proud to announce the release of new programs from IART (international Association of Rebreather Trainers).

IART, the International Association of Rebreather Trainers, was founded in 1997 after Hubert Stieve and Peter Grosserhode recognised that the growth of rebreather technology in recreational diving was not without great safety risks and organizational problems for the established recreational diver training agencies and clubs. Too great was the difference in required knowledge, ability und discipline.

IART quickly established itself as the leading rebreather training agency in Germany – its country of origin – and over the last two years, under the new management of Chris Ullmann and Neil Matthews, the organization has begun to spread rapidly to other lands. Regional Offices now exist for Scandinavia, the UK, Spain, Holland, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong and Thailand. These offices provide support for IART members as far afield as New Zealand and Micronesia and Scotland and Sweden.

IART has the aim, through uncompromising teaching standards, to further the use of Nitrox and Trimix and to make rebreather diving as safe as possible. These aims and the ways to achieve them are continually reviewed and adapted. IART has and will closely follow the future development of rebreathers and continue to make recommendations and promptly adapt its training programmes to keep pace with newly emerging technology.

Courses Available.



Discover technical diving in Thailand

Koh Tao, Thailand

Big Blue Tech hosted a technical diving discovery day for 8 future technical divers during a day long event conducted by TDI Instructor Ash Dunn and PADI TecRec Instructor Matt Rolph and assisted by future BSAC Technical Instructor Ian Jordan.

The purpose of the day was to provide an introduction to technical diving for some of the recent graduates from the islands monthly IDC and MSDT programs at Buddha View, a PADI CDC Centre based on the southern side of Koh Tao. Buddha View PADI Course Director Mark Soworka helped organize the event to give his graduates and interns a greater knowledge of the booming technical diving industry so his candidates would be better educated in the ever changing and growing scuba diving industry.

Big Blue Tech try to help the local diving comunity by creating fun and unique events to help the next generation of diving professionals get the knowledge and experience of the technical diving sport.

The day began with some videos and theory and then progressed into hands on interaction with the equipment the divers would be using that day.

After a lunch break the divers and instructors headed out on our dedicated tech boat “Nauty Buoy” where all the cylinders, backplates and wings were waiting to take the group of 10 divers underwater.

The divers were shown the features and assembly of the typical technical diving gear and then taken for 2 shallow dives around Koh Tao.

Skills like lift bag deployment, bouyancy, gas shut down, out of air and propulsion techniques were demonstrated and practiced.

The students said they all really enjoyed the day and had a great day being shown something different.

We look forward to seeing the gang from Buddha View back again in the future for some more PADI TecRec Diving.



TDI Sidemount Class

Koh Tao, Thailand

Big Blue Tech is proud to announce the graduation of a TDI Sidemount diver conducted by Ash Dunn over a 3 day period.

Sidemount is a scuba diving configuration which has tanks mounted alongside the diver, below the shoulders and along the hips, instead of on the back of the diver. It is a popular configuration with advanced cave divers, as smaller sections of cave can be penetrated and tanks can be changed with greater ease. Sidemount is also growing in popularity with divers who have difficulty handling the heavy double tanks commonly used by cave divers. Shortcomings of this diving style include a greater difficulty in sharing air while diving with team members using backmounted tanks.

Sidemount diving began in England, where it was originally used in partially submerged caves. It was an easier method of transporting diving gear between totally submerged sections of the cave (sumps). Americans began using sidemount in the mid seventies for the same purpose. In the early eighties, Wes Skiles, and other Florida cave divers began to use sidemount to explore cave passages that were too low for conventional back mounted tanks. They quickly found that the British style of sidemount didn’t work well in low passages, and slowly developed a “Florida style” form of sidemount. Today, the British refer to this “Florida style” diving as “American sidemount”.

Most sidemount rigs used to be home-made as there were no commercial production of kits like there were for standard scuba rigs. One of the later “pioneers” of sidemount diving was Bill Rennaker, who started making kits available with sidemount accessories such as a custom butt plate.

Dive Rite released the Transpac which was able to be converted for sidemount diving, and then later followed it up with the Nomad.

Expansion of tec rec sidemount into recreational and open water courses now occurs in several countries globally. Note that sidemount configuration is not just a positional concept only – correctly matching technical (or even recreational) rigs together with sidemount harnesses is different from merely shifting tank postions using standard recreational gear for convenience, (which is not true sidemount). Sidemount may be split into basic sidemount (single tank – left or right positioned, but nominally left), and advanced sidemount (dual redundant tanks and regs, one left post and one right post).

“Recreational” sidemount unmodified rigs should not be used for tec rec activities, particularly in overhead environs. Further, standard reg configurations, split-fins and other recreational equipment is unsuitable for profile manoeuvres, S-drills and other safety skills which necessarily require advanced sidemount configuration. Instruction in sidemount is not just for skilled enjoyment, but for diver safety. This is further explained in a number of international instructional sites.^^

TDI Intro to Tech Class

TDI Intro to Tech Class

Big Blue Tech announce the graduation from a TDI Intro to Tech course by instructor Ash Dunn

The TDI Intro to Tech course is the perfect course for divers who have heard about technical diving and want to find out more about this exciting branch of advanced recreational diving. This course walks students through the special techniques, planning procedures and skills that set technical diving apart from traditional sport diving. It will show them how to improve their dive planning methods, in-water skills and streamline their existing gear configuration, in a non-threatening and fun learning environment.

The specific skills this course will highlight are:

Advanced Buoyancy Control

Gas Management

Situational Awareness


Gear Configuration and Selection

And Many More!

TDI’s Intro to Tech course is a useful stand-alone course for the diver who wants to become a more skilled, more proficient diver regardless of if he intends to move on to technical diving. The course may also be used as an introduction to the TDI Advanced Nitrox course and the TDI Decompression Procedures course. And finally, it is also a good refresher for certified technical divers who may want to refresh their skills or have them re-evaluated by a TDI technical instructor.

Typical Schedule:

Day 1: Theory, technical gear selection and fitting, and tech terminology
Day 2: 2 dives
Day 3: 2 dives


Graduates will be qualified to enroll in technical diving classes such as advanced nitrox and decompression procedures.


Diver Certification. The preferred minimum certification level is NAUI Advanced Diver or higher.
Experience: Documentation of diving experience with a minimum of 50 logged open water dives. Dives shall be varied in environment, depth and activities.


Once you have completed the TDI Intro to Tech Course you may want to continue your exploration of technical diving by taking the TDI advanced nitrox and decompression procedures courses.

Maximum depth for the course: 130 feet.

TDI Sidemount Diver and Instructor Courses Released

Koh Tao, Thailand

Big Blue Tech is happy to announce the release of the TDI (technical diving international) Sidemount Course available to divers and instructors around the world.

This new course replaces the SDI Sidemount which will now be exclusively used for open water applications and not for technical diving combination.

This course is designed to teach certified divers how to safely utilize side-mounted primary cylinders as an alternative to the traditional back-mounted configuration.

This course provides the training required to allow candidates to competently and safely use sidmounted tanks to execute none overhead dives to a maximum depth of 45m. The course follows the advanced nitrox outline. The objective of this course is to train candidates in the proper techniques, equipment requirements and hazards involved in Sidemount diving for recreational and technical scuba. This course is run over 3 full days including academic presentations, equipment configuration workshops, 4 training dives and a final exam.

The other benefit of doing your course with BBT for your sidemount training is that we’re registered DiveRite Nomad Instructors AND Diverite distributors for Thailand. So when it comes to sidemount we have you covered.

All sidemount equipment for our training.

Whats is sidemount?

Side mount diving is increasing in popularity in both overhead and none overhead environments. Sidemount diving originated from the Sump diver across Europe who need to transport gear through dry passages and don the equipment again to pass the next Sump. Cave divers and wreck divers all over the world are now adopting this style of diving to open up access to challenging dive sites and for increased flexibility and comfort when traveling and diving tech.

Check out our website for more info at


On the 21st of May Chris Haslam lead a sidemount course in one of best diving locations in the world,  PNG. The trip included exploring the regions around Port Morseby and Madang. After a short 2hr flight from Cairns, Chris and his student Camilla had safely touched down in Port Moresby.  It was here they spent a couple of days taking in the local culture and exploring the local region such as Bomana War Cemetery, Crystal Rapids, the local markets and the legendary Kokoda Trail. Despite Port Moresby’s rotten international reputation you can have a lot of fun exploring the capital and the regions close by.

Chris’s family has been living in PNG for nearly a decade now and have never looked back. It does take time to adjust to the country but this is what makes it exciting and fun, the initial shock does wear off and it doesn’t take long to realise there is far more beauty to this country then bad.

Papua New Guinea is one of the most culturally diverse countries on Earth, with over 850 indigenous languages and at least as many traditional societies, out of a population of just under seven million. The country is one of the world’s least explored, culturally and geographically, and many undiscovered species of plants and animals are thought to exist in the interior of Papua New Guinea.

After Port Moresby the duo took a 1 hour flight over the lush green highland before arriving in Madang. Madang is a shy little town situated on the east coast of PNG. Perched on a peninsula it is surrounded by picturesque islands girt with colourful coral reefs and clear blue water. The trip included 2 nights accommodation at the Madang Resort International. It was here Camilla completed her SDI sidemount course. The course was straight forward with a relaxed day of theory and equipment configuration. The following day she completed the 2 training dives required for certification. After a few minor buoyancy adjustments Camilla took to sidemount like a fish in water. She is already booking her next sidemount expedtion back to PNG.

PNG ranks among the best diving destinations in the world with irresistible menu of underwater treasures: luscious reefs festooned with huge seafans, warm waters teeming with rainbow-coloured species and bizarre critters, eerie drop-offs that tumble into the abyss, and a host of atmospheric WWII wrecks – not to mention the thrill of diving uncrowded sites.

Big Blue Tech Australia offers tailor made trips to PNG to suit your preferred style of diving and other activities such as kayaking, fishing, surfing, trekking, hot springs and much much more.

Unfortunately you do have to keep your wits about you when travelling PNG. Chris has been diving and travelling PNG for years and is glad Big Blue Tech Australia has started running Tech and recreational dive trips to such an exotic place. Planning for the next trip has already taken place, with a trip running in around 2 months. The final details are still being organised but it will include

diving on a WWII wrecks, fishing, a kayak/snorkel trip, hopefully a touch of surfing, meeting the local villages, visiting the local regions of Port Morseby  and much more. Watch this space for more information on price and a complete itinerary. Please contact if you have any interest in a once in a life time trip like this. We can tailor make the trip to suit all.

Matt Rolph joins Big Blue Tech

Koh Tao, Thailand

Big Blue Tech is proud to announce the recent addition to the Big Blue Tech family in Thailand of Matt Rolph who is a highly experienced technical diving instructor from the UK.

Matt has been on the technical diving scene in Thailand for more than 5 years being one of the original resort based tech operators on Koh Tao. Matt, affectionately refered to as medic matt is also trained emergency medical technician, dive medic and British Army Medic.

When not diving Matt is also a volunteer for the emergency response service on Koh Tao. Matt also brings a PADI – TecRec representation to the team as a PADI Tec Trimix Instructor. One of Matt’s first goals will be to cross-over to TDI and BSAC like the rest of the team but Matt will be focusing on PADI courses as that is where the bulk of his experience stems from.

Those of you who already know Matt will know he’s an intelligent, friendly and honest individual and we’re proud to have him join our team.

Discover Technical Diving

Koh Tao, Thailand

Big Blue Tech took out some eager and lucky divers on an afternoon of discover technical diving in the ocean around Koh Tao Island.

Technical divers are elite scuba divers in a league of their own and tech diving is surely not for everybody.

But if you are a sophisticated and adventurous diver who is looking for a challenge with calculated risks it might be just the thing for you.

However, before you go on a shopping spree and buy all this exciting tech equipment and enroll in a thrilling tech dive course we give you the opportunity to conduct a DISCOVER TECH DIVING program with one of our experienced tech dive instructors.

This day includes theory, equipment introduction and 2 dives around Koh Tao from our dedicated tech boat.


Scuba Technician Course

Koh Tao, Thailand

Big Blue Tech recently completed the training for Janine Tate from her Compressor Operator, Gas Blender, Service Technician and Oxygen Service Technician Course conducted over several days at our technical diving school at the resort on Koh Tao Island.

The compressor operator course trains scuba divers in the s operating and serving of a scuba diving compressor for filling scuba tanks. After that course came the skills for filling scuba tanks with nitrox or enriched air nitrox. This method includes many different skills with partial pressure, continuous flow, oxygen handling and operating.

After all the hot and sweaty compressor work was completed Janine moved on to servicing and cleaning scuba diving regulators and further regulators designed for use with technical diving including oxygen cleaning.

The service technician course introduces students to trouble shooting, stripping and fixing regulators.

Janine, who is already a Divmaster took this training to learn more about the back of shop skills and how to service her own regulator after having poor servicing in the past. Undoubtedly these skills will enhance her employment and her resume/cv in the future.

TDI Advanced Nitrox and TDI Deco Procedures Course

Koh Tao, Thailand

Big Blue Tech celebrates the graudtaion of Arul Sakthi Sankar form his TDI Advanced Nitrox and Decompression Procedures course conducted by TDI Instructor Ash Dunn over 5 days on Koh Tao Island off the coast of Thailand.

The focus of these combined courses is to train students to be successful in technical diving. These classes are taught as if they are a small piece to a much larger picture, not as entry level technical diving. These courses build the foundation for sound technical diving. What you will learn will be utilized in higher level trimix courses.

This is not a course to learn or re-learn fundamental diving skills. Students will be held to a higher level of performance not found in many technical diving courses.

Students are taught and evaluated, not only on skill proficiency, but control, leadership, situational awareness, teamwork, and judgment. Successful students will have a finesse that few divers have. You will finish this class with the confidence, competence, and comfort to be able to complete dives at this level of training prior to receiving a c-card.

This course requires a minimum of 5 days with 10 or more dives and involves a minimum 40 hours of instruction. Expect to dive every day with lectures in the afternoon and evening for each day. The majority of dives will be conducted in shallow water for critical skill evaluation. However, each day will get deeper as the class progresses. The final day is reserved for experience dives that will be at depth with a real decompression obligation.
Course content will include, but not limited to: enriched air Nitrox usage, decompression mixtures, diving physics & physiology, dive tables, advanced decompression theory, oxygen exposure/management, team diving procedures, and contingency planning.

more pictures can be found on our facebook page at