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Question
Posted : August 10, 2007
When and why was Surface Orientated Mixed Gas banned in the North Sea?
When and why was Surface O2 also banned in the North Sea?
Given that both diving procedures are practised widely in other diving theatres, particularly the GOM, do the UC still teach these disciplines as part of the curriculum on Part 1 and Mixed Gas courses?


Answer
Posted : August 23, 2007
I do not know where you get your information from but you better check your source. Surface orientated mixed gas and surface decompression are not banned in the North Sea or anywhere else as far as I know. We have just found better and safer ways of diving than putting divers at extreme risks or crippling them.

Under the current legislation 50 metres is the limit for surface orientated diving in the North Sea sectors and has been for many years. Deeper than this and you have to use a closed bell. There have been surface orientated mixed gas divers above 50 metres however the market for this is limited. Deep air diving has been limited after surveys done in the early eighties it therefore becomes more cost effective and safer to use saturation at these depths. In shallow depths down to 30 metres surface supplied nitrox is also used which eliminates the need for surface decompression.

From this you can see these techniques have not been banned they have been superseded by safer more cost effective ones.
Answer provided by Alf Leadbitter, The Underwater Centre

Alf Leadbitter
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