Are Rebreathers Safe?
At Rebreather Forum 3 held in 2012, statistics were presented which suggest closed-circuit rebreather diving is five to ten times higher risk than open circuit scuba. Some of the statistical increase may be due to rebreathers enabling divers to attempt extreme dive profiles which are themselves inherently higher risk than dive profiles attempted on open circuit. Many experts were of the opinion a lack of experience, along with inadequate and poor quality training, was a widespread problem in the rebreather community.
Subsequently, The Rebreather Education & Safety Association was formed. RESA is not a training agency; RESA is a consortium of rebreather manufacturers, dive training agencies, and knowledgeable individuals who have established recommendations for a student to learn how to properly use their rebreather. RESA guidelines were published in 2018 to help address findings of inadequate training and rapid progression of training that are too often apparent in dive accidents. All major training agencies have updated their training standards and policies to align with the RESA guidelines. While it's too early to correlate the effect of these changes, recently there does appear to be a significant reduction in rebreather related fatalities.
No rebreather is foolproof, and the fact remains that compared to open circuit there is a disproportionate number of rebreather fatalities, many of which have ultimately been attributed to diver error. Your safety while diving is controlled by you, not by your rebreather. Open circuit divers must always know their SPG reading, and CCR divers must...