Rebreathers are becoming more popular, and if you’re interested in learning to dive RAID, you should definitely start by learning the basics.
RAID stands for Rebreather Association of International Divers. This organization for divers that want to use rebreather tank systems rather than the more traditional SCUBA tanks. The main difference between the more traditional setup and the rebreathers is how the gas and oxygen are used.
While the SCUBA tanks that are used in more traditional diving are open circuit, the rebreather thanks are closed circuit. The oxygen and gas that are used with a closed circuit tank is actually recirculated through the system and there is an absorbent to balance out the carbon dioxide that is produced each time the diver breathes out. With an open circuit, that carbon dioxide is instead released into the water itself.
That release of carbon dioxide is what causes those large bursts of bubbles you’re probably accustomed to seeing when you see a diver underwater.
Those large bubble bursts don’t happen when a diver chooses to dive RAID with a rebreather. Instead, the absorbent, known as the “scrubber,” only a small fraction of the gas and oxygen back into the atmosphere.
There are several advantages to learning how to dive RAID. For one thing, the fact that the tank is reusing the same gas and oxygen means that dive times can be longer. What diver doesn’t want to stay underwater longer?
For another thing, the lack of bubbling makes it easier to take amazing photos when you dive RAID. Many divers who begin with more traditional SCUBA tanks end up moving into rebreathers when they see other divers enjoying these benefits under the water. Because the gas output is minimal, it means the environment is less affected. This translates into an ability for the diver to get closer than ever to the natural wildlife that would otherwise be scared away by the bubble emissions. If you are a nature lover and love to dive to get up close to underwater life – learning how to dive RAID is for you.
When you’re ready to learn to dive RAID, you’ll have to take a class at a local dive center that offers certification through RAID. Be sure to do your research and find a dive center that has a great reputation in the area. Much of the RAID certification is actually done through online learning, so you can get a start right away.