GUE’s Technical Diver Level 1 course is designed to prepare divers for the rigors of technical diving and to familiarize them with the use of different breathing and decompression mixtures. Additional course outcomes include: cultivating, integrating, and expanding the essential skills required for safe technical diving; problem identification and resolution; the use of double tanks/cylinders and the potential failure problems associated with them; the use of Nitrox for accelerated and general decompression strategies; the use of Helium to minimize narcosis; and the applications of single decompression stage diving, with respect to decompression procedures.
Applicants for a Tech 1 course must:
- Submit a completed registration form, a medical history, and a liability release to GUE Headquarters.
- Be physically and mentally fit.
- Hold insurance that will cover diving emergencies such as hyperbaric treatment, e.g. DAN Master-level insurance or equivalent.
- Be a nonsmoker.
- Obtain a physician’s prior written authorization for the use of prescription drugs, except for birth control, or for any prior medical condition that may pose a risk while diving.
- Be a minimum of 18 years of age.
- Have earned a GUE Fundamentals “Technical” pass.
- Have a minimum of 100 logged dives beyond open water certification.
The Tech 1 course is normally conducted over a six days, requires nine dives and a minimum 40 hours of instruction, encompassing classroom, land drills and in-water work.
Tech 1 Specific Training Standards
- Student-to-instructor ratio is not to exceed 6:1 during land drill or surface exercises; ratios cannot exceed 3:1 during any in-water training.
- Maximum depth of 170 feet/51 meters.
- Dives should not be planned to incur more than 30 minutes of decompression time as established by GUE’s DecoPlanner.
- No overhead diving except by active GUE Cave 2 Level instructors while teaching in the cave environment.
- Students participating in a Tech 1 course conducted in a cave must be at least GUE Cave 2 divers.
GUE training materials and recommended reading as determined by the course study packet received via online download after GUE course registration.
- Introduction: GUE organization and course overview (objectives, limits, expectations)
- History of technical diving
- Situational awareness
- Dive planning and gas management
- Building a solid dive plan
- Gas requirements
- Gas strategies
- Breathing gas dynamics
- Physics review
- Oxygen toxicity
- Narcosis and CO2
- Gas density
- GUE standard gasses
- Physics and physiology
- Dissolved gas theories
- Bubble control models
- Decompression illness
- Practical decompression
- Using decompression gasses
- Decompression strategies
- Contingency managements
- Reel and guideline use
- Dive team formation, communication and protocols
- Manifold operation and failures
- Decompression bottle and switching procedures
- Decompression cylinder failure protocols
Required Dive Skills and Drills
- Demonstrate proficiency in safe diving techniques; this would include pre-dive preparations, inwater activity, and post-dive assessment.
- Demonstrate awareness of team member location and concern for safety, responding quickly to visual indications and dive partner needs.
- Demonstrate a safe and responsible demeanor throughout all training.
- Demonstrate proficiency in underwater communication.
- Demonstrate basic proficiency managing a GUE equipment configuration.
- Demonstrate safe ascent and descent procedures.
- Must be able to swim at least 400 yards/375 meters in less than 14 minutes without stopping. This test should be conducted in a swimsuit and, where necessary, appropriate thermal protection.
- Must be able to swim a distance of at least 60 feet/18 meters on a breath hold while submerged.
- Demonstrate proficiency in gas failure procedures, including valve manipulation, gas sharing, and regulator switching as appropriate.
- Demonstrate proficiency in surface marker buoy deployment.
- Demonstrate proficiency in switching to a backup mask.
- Demonstrate familiarity with required course equipment.
- Demonstrate proficiency in managing gas sharing scenarios, to include a prolonged gas sharing event.
- Comfortably demonstrate at least three propulsion techniques that would be appropriate in delicate and/or silty environments; one of these kicks must be the backward kick.
- Demonstrate reasonable proficiency with a single decompression cylinder.
- Demonstrate proficiency with effective decompression techniques, including depth and time management.
- Demonstrate dive rescue techniques, including effective management of an unconscious diver.
- Demonstrate good buoyancy and trim, i.e. approximate reference is a maximum of 20 degrees off horizontal while remaining within 3 feet/1 meter of a target depth.
- Demonstrate the ability to manage a failed decompression cylinder using available team resources.
GUE base configuration as outlined in Appendix A, plus:
- GUE double tank configuration
- Primary and backup lights
- One decompression cylinder
- Small argon regulator and bottle where appropriate
- One primary reel per team
Prior to the commencement of class, students should consult with a GUE representative to verify equipment requirements and appropriateness of any selected equipment.