Blackwater Sub Aqua Club have several active extended range instructors available to run an Extended Range course.
This course is for anyone wishing to bring their diving skills to the next level, beyond that of sports diving, and into the realms of technical diving.
The Extended Range Nitrox Diver course aims to teach divers new skill sets, enabling them to dive to deeper and longer, but also getting them to think about extra equipment needed and physiological challenges such diving entails.
The Extended Range (ER) diver and ER instructor course started last October in Fermoy. The candidates attended a few Saturdays in the Clubhouse of Blackwater Sub Aqua to cover the theory section. Extra workshops were added to complement the 8 theory topics and to give the candidates the opportunity to discuss their decompression strategies, gas requirements and their equipment configuration.
The theory exam reflected the commitment and the enthusiasm of the candidates shown during our meet ups. The high theoretical standard was the perfect steppingstone for the practical part in Portroe. During 4 dives, a minimum 60 minutes, the candidates went through skills and drills.
The 240 minutes is a minimum time required to give the divers the chance to practise all the skills in different scenarios. The surface intervals were used to give feedback so that the diver could implement the feedback on the next dive.
Photo: Courtesy Blackwater Sub Aqua Team
The winter stop was a bit longer than anticipated due to Covid 19 restrictions. Nonetheless Derek Sheedy, Claire Kavanagh, Niall Keating and Denis O’Donnell, stayed dived up as much as they could during this period, and eagerly awaited the opportunity to complete the course.
On Sunday 9th August, the Extended Range candidates put together a plan to complete the course, with the qualifying dive to 50m. Instructors and candidates all met in the clubhouse of Hook Sub Aqua Club in great anticipation. Axcording to Blackwater Sub Aqua Team, the qualifying dive is not a test as such, as at this stage the candidates have proven their competencies. The dive is a normal extended range to the maximum depth of the certificate, on air and 2 decompression gases, with the use of decompression station and extra emergency tanks. On this occasion the candidates were treated to strong currents, that made us dive the beautiful and vast dive site HMS Seabed. Also, a touch of narcosis was freely available, these can be the joys of technical diving.
On behalf of Blackwater Sub Aqua Club, Joost Vanmuysen has congratulated Claire Kavanagh (Hook SAC), Niall Keating (Kilkee SAC), Derek Sheedy (Kilkee Sac) and Denis O’Donnell (Atlantic Dive Club) on becoming an extended range nitrox diver. They have also expressed their thanks to Hook SAC for their hospitality and providing their boot and instructors Declan Curtin (Cork SAC) and Stephane Portrait (Blackwater SAC) for their help and support.