Technical Diving

Technical diving is the term used to describe all diving methods that exceed the limits imposed on depth and immersion time for recreational scuba diving.
Technical DivingTechnical Diving

What is Technical Diving

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) defines technical diving as any diving that goes beyond the depth and/or time specifications for recreational scuba.

Technical diving almost always requires one or more mandatory decompression “stops” upon ascent, during which the diver may change breathing gas mixtures at least once.

Three types of equipment for technical diving

Diving equipment - light

Light / scuba equipment is portable and easy to use giving freedom of movement while limiting access to breathing gas. It is optimal for dives where bottom conditions are clear. 

Scuba equipment is used for inspections, sampling, search and rescue, and documentation. 

Diver with medium equipment, including diving hose for surface air

Diving equipment - medium

Medium equipment is optimal for more extensive research work that requires a longer exposure under water.

The diver is connected to the surface via a diving hose and communication cable. This allows for unlimited breathing gas and a way to communicate with the surface through voice and video. This enables researchers to monitor the work of the diver without having to dive themselves.

Ideal for lighter work on the bottom, such as inspections, sampling, documentation, and simpler work with tools.

Heavy diver getting ready to dive
Commercial diver getting ready to dive

Diving equipment - heavy / commercial diving

In the commercial diving category, the diver is fitted with a diving helmet for extra security.

The diver receives the breathing mixture through a diving hose “umbilical” and has unlimited access to breathing gas.

To aid in commercial dives, a diving support vessel is equipped with a diving supervisor room, a large high-pressure gas storage, a high-pressure compressor, gas mixer, and a decompression chamber.

Ideal for work with heavier tools such as drills, air or hydraulic tools, mammoth suction, or heavy lifting with a crane. The heavier equipment also provides the opportunity for clearer audio and video recording in 4K HD.

How technical diving works

Technical diving often involves using special gas mixtures, as opposed to compressed air, for breathing. The type of gas mixture used is determined by the diver’s planned depth or length of time the diver intends to spend underwater.

While the recommended maximum depth for conventional scuba diving is 40 meters (130 feet), technical divers may work in the range of 50 to 100 meters (170 to 350 feet), occasionally going even deeper.

One of RWMTs technical divers together with Rear Admiral Amílcar Villavicencio Palaciosis, Executive Director for Latin America and the Caribbean.

About the images
RWMT work with nation states, government agencies and institutions on sensitive and often classified operations. Also, the tools we use are constantly being evaluated and changes depending on the nature of the operation. Because of this, we have sometimes chosen to show example images of the tools we use, rather than images from actual projects.

Used for

Search and rescue operations
Underwater work
Documenting (video and sound recording)

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