DAN’s Dr. Neal Pollock Explains
From May 18-20, 2012, experts from around the world are gathering in Orlando, Fla. to examine the state of rebreather use and to develop protocols and recommendations to improve user safety. Co-sponsored in part by DAN, PADI and the American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS), the Rebreather Forum 3 (RF3) is a three-day program featuring rebreather specialists, experts, manufacturers, training and education leaders, scientists and dive safety researchers. The weekend is open to anyone with an interest in rebreather diving and technology, and several registration options are available.
“The main aim of RF3 is to evaluate the state of the art,” stated Dr. Neal Pollock, DAN research director and one of the organizers behind RF3. “In a nutshell, the theme of RF3 is to improve understanding, which we hope will translate to improved safety across the board. We can always do things better. So it is a rationality check to see if we can make things safer.
We’re therefore going to assess the current situation regarding manufacturing, testing, training and diving protocols to check that we are doing this as safely as we can, and highlight areas that need improving so that we can move forward. Hence we’ve convened this conference to put a lot of opinions into the room, rather than relying on a set of interpretations from one particular organization or company. Doing it this way allows us to pull together all the different views and we then assess the results through one lens.
The training agencies all say we are doing it right, so therefore why do we still have a number of fatalities every year? At RF3 we intend to be as honest as we can about issues and address every one of them. This may sound to some divers that we are suggesting current standards are dangerous. We are not. Our ethos is more along the lines of ‘how can we do it better and safer?’
So why will RF3 be useful to the industry? When you understand where something is failing; be it manufacturing, training or diving protocols, then everyone benefits from knowing how failures can occur. Then we can see and evaluate how to successfully improve performance.”
You can be part of this important peer review; check out the agenda and book your tickets to the most significant rebreather conference this decade.