CCR diving differs greatly from open circuit diving. When open circuit divers exhale, they release all the expired gas which floats to the surface of the water. Conversely, CCR units recycle expired gas, adding in oxygen and scrubbing carbon dioxide from the system. As a result, CCRs have incredibly efficient gas usage with little to no gas released from the system during a dive. In addition, the unit allows for control over the fraction of oxygen in your inspired gas which decreases ongassing of inert gases.
The Lindberg Lab incorporated CCR diving into their program over ten years ago, and Doug continues to train new CCR scientific divers. Data gathered while diving on CCRs is used to support projects such as the effects of habitat quality, fish behavior, and fishing pressure on grouper populations.
The trial began with the group discussing tradeoffs in logistics, operational efficiency, safety and research design planning. Next, the FAU Harbor Branch team set up CCR units and performed a “dry dive” where the units were controlled both manually and automatically through the primary handset. After becoming comfortable on the CCR units, the team was able to splash in the local springs and dive. This event was the first of many to come to both strengthen diving and data collection skillsets as well as build relationships with other research institutions throughout Florida.
See our photo album from the trip on our Flickr album. Many thanks to Bill Lindberg and Doug Marcinek for hosting this fun and educational CCR trial!