Why should I complete the PADI Tec 40 course when I already have the completed the PADI Deep Speciality?
What are the prerequisites?
To complete the PADI Tec 40 course in addition to being a deep qualified diver you will need to have:
- Completed 10 dives deeper than 30m.
- Be qualified to dive with enriched air and have dived at least ten times on enriched air below 18m.
- Be a PADI Advanced Open Water diver or equivalent from another agency.
What will I learn?
Whilst studying for the PADI Tec 40 course, you will learn how to use dive decompression software to plan your dives, which will include decompression dives with no more than 10 minutes total decompression time.
You will learn how to use a single decompression gas with up to 50% oxygen. This gas will add conservatism to your decompression profile. You will start to use technical scuba equipment, twinset or side mount setup.
The training is for divers who...
Want to extend their learning
Want to learn to dive with technical equipment
Want to use up to 50% enriched air
Want to dive beyond recreational limits
There are five goals in the Tec 40 course
- To qualify you to make a gas switch, extended no-decompression dives, decompression stop dives, using enriched air and oxygen to 40 meters, using technical diving equipment and procedures required to manage the risks involved.
- To train you in the motor skills required for technical diving.
- To assure you understand and acknowledge the hazards and risks involved with the above types of technical diving, as well as the limits to training received in the course.
- To train you to prepare for and to respond to reasonably foreseeable emergencies that may occur in this type of diving.
- To provide the foundational skills for further training in technical diving.
Is this the natural progression for me as a diver?
The PADI Tec 40 course is technical diving but it is not about deep dives and long decompression stops. It is not necessary to be a Tec diver to enjoy diving, nor should you think of it as an inevitable step in a diver’s growth. You can enjoy diving for years without ever making a technical dive but this step allows you to start expanding your recreational limits
There are some new terms to learn
- Back gas - the gas in your twinset; usually the lowest oxygen blend you have which is used on the deepest part of your dive.
- Deco - Short for “decompression”
- Missed Deco - Skip a required decompression stop, due to error or emergency.
- DCI/DCS - Decompression sickness/illness
- Hang - Decompression stop or stops
- Hyperoxic gas - A gas blend with more than 21% oxygen
- Hypoxic gas - A gas blend with less than 21% oxygen
- MOD - Maximum Operating Depth — the maximum acceptable depth at which you can breathe a gas (based on oxygen partial pressure).
- O2 software - Computer software used for creating custom dive tables.
- Stage - Stage bottle filled with higher O2 for decompression stops
- A Third - Saving one-third of gas for emergencies
- Turn pressure - The pressure at which you end the dive, or turn toward the exit
Developing as a "Tec Diver"
The course is interesting and builds on the foundations you already have as a diver. You learn to be a responsible Tec diver and demonstrate the characteristics every Tec diver should have:
- Self-Sufficiency : The responsible Tec diver plans and executes each dive as though it’ll be necessary to make the dive and handle all emergencies alone.
- Team Player: Although self sufficient, the responsible Tec diver, dives as part of a team. When you Tec dive, you need to think of yourself as a team player contributing to a team effort.
- Disciplined: Technical diving has too little leeway for cutting corners, bending rules, disregarding dive plans, omitting safety equipment or exceeding the limits of your training and equipment.
- Wary: One of the best ways to come back from every technical dive is to assume that everything can and will go wrong, and then have contingency plans for when it does.
- Physically Fit: Responsible technical divers exercise regularly, eat properly, see their physician regularly and maintain the fitness level they need for the dives they make.
- Accepts Responsibility: To be a responsible technical diver, you need to accept responsibility for your personal safety, while accepting and acknowledging the risks and demands Tec diving imposes.
The PADI Tec 40 training course includes
- Equipment: You also learn about the equipment and how it works & what to do when it goes wrong. You learn where to store your spares and how to access them.
- Gas planning: Equivalent air depths, maximum blend depths, partial pressures, maximum operating depths, gas consumption, gas supply and reserves and oxygen toxicity.
- Team diving: Dealing with emergencies, gas sharing, shut downs, and S drills.
Training Dive One
For dive one you will:
- Complete an entry, buoyancy/weight check and descend. As you descend you will complete a descent check. Whilst neutrally buoyant, you hover for one minute.
- You have to simulate a regulator free flow valve shutdown drill, within 30 seconds and a manifold leak isolator shutdown, again within 30 seconds.
Before the second dive you learn about using a stage/decompression cylinder. You learn how to rig these, how to set them up and how to prepare them for use. You do some additional theory on decompression stops, gas switching and extended no stop diving. Decompression software and they introduce a new mnemonic to learn “A Good Diver’s Main Objective Is To Live.”
- Good – G – Gas management
- Diver’s – D – Decompression
- Main – M – Mission
- Objective – O – Oxygen
- Is – I – Inert gas narcosis
- To – T – Thermal exposure
- Live – L – Logistics
You also learn how to NOTOX gas switch:
- N – Note your name and the maximum depth on the cylinder labels
- O – Observe the actual depth and compare it to the maximum depth
- T – Turn on the valve. Check the cylinder pressure.
- O – Orient the second stage by pulling it from the retaining bands, and tracing the hose from the first stage to the second so there’s no doubt you have the right one. Test purge the regulator and then switch to the new gas
- X – examine your teammates — follow the hose from their mouths to the cylinders and confirm that they’re not deeper than the maximum depth labelled.
Training Dive Two
- On this dive, at 15 minutes of bottom time, you are required to write your SPG reading on your slate.
- You also put on, remove and put back your stage/deco cylinder
- You also stage and retrieve a deco cylinder and complete a NO TOX gas switch.
- Complete a gas shut down — close and reopen both regulator valves and isolator valve, switch your second stages to make sure you stay with the open valve.
- Complete a surface air consumption swim and deploy a lift bag.
Training Dive Three
- On this dive you have to, on reaching the SPG pressure designated by your instructor, record your bottom time and depth on your slate.
- Complete a 3minute hover and also stage, retrieve and replace stages without stopping.
- Complete the removal and replacement of stage/deco cylinders with no mask on.
- You also have to deal with an out of air problem by completing a long hose gas share and swim.
- Simulated deco part of the dive, you have to complete a midwater NO TOX gas switch, and measure your surface air consumption for ten min in midwater “deco stop”.
Training Dive Four
Now you get to put everything you have learned together and demonstrate that you are able to plan the dive following the "A Good Diver’s Main Objective Is To Live" procedure, and perform predive checks following the "Being Wary Reduces All Failures" procedure.
- Done and Doff your cylinders at the surface and complete a managed descent at a controlled speed.
- Complete bubble and decent checks.
- Simulate out of air scenarios by donating and receiving air on a long hose.
- Stage cylinders, collect them and clip them back on.
- Complete shut down drills, this time in 45 seconds.
- Finally, put up a DSMB and on the line completed a NO TOX switch.
- Complete assigned decompression stops, breathing from the deco cylinder, and recording required information for subsequent decompression SAC rate calculations.
Why Should I Complete the PADI Tec 40 Course?
Try something new! Dive for longer & be a safer diver!
"When was the last time you tried something for the first time?" - Patrick Voorma
Written By: Amy-Sarah Lottering