Re: Its not just dive computers
"...The really scary stuff was rebreathers. These are bits of kit that take the air you breath out, scrub the CO2, add the oxygen back in, and let you breath it again. Advantages are much smaller tanks of compressed oxygen rather than air (8o% nitrogen), and no stream of noisy bubbles to scare the fish. The disadvantage is that if the oxygen replenishment fails you die before you realise there is anything amiss. One horror story among many: a device that reset itself to "off" when it got knocked..."
I wondered how long it'd take to get to the scare stories of rebreathers.
I dive a Closed Circuit Rebreather (CCR) manufactured by a company called JJ.
They can be more dangerous but if you use them properly, get properly trained, and use your brain then they are actually, in many ways, safer than open-circuit breathing for lots of reasons, but here's a few:
I can stay down MUCH longer on a CCR - in some cases, hours. That means if I have a problem, I am not panicking that I have to sort it before my much more limited time on open circuit is over.
I always get the optimum gas mix for the depth I am at (dynamically), so my decompression times are always optimised and I feel fewer ill effects than on open circuit.
They have multiple failsafes and backups (two independent computers - one of which is a coloured HUD right in front of my eye), 3 oxygen cells and in my case an open circuit bailout - at the flick of a lever I am off the rebreather.
Yes, they can kill you interesting and quite sudden ways if you're not careful, but they are actually safer than open circuit in many ways (for one thing, the sheer cost alone puts off part-time or holiday divers). The level you have to get to in training and certification before even considering them is a very high bar.