Report by Rod Abbotson, DSAT Tec Trimix Instructor Trainer
Looking down into the abyss, perched on the edge of cliff at 75m , we simultaneously wrote on our slates “We need to come back with a different mix”. This was the final dive of a Tec Trimix course I was running in 2007.
My student was Dorit Yoseph, an Israeli school teacher.
After building her depth experience she returned to Aqaba to explore further down this cliff to 104m. The site now became known as “Dorit’s Deep”. That dive revealed a huge bluff protruding out into the black at 95m, dropping down vertically on three sides covered in fan corals of many colours.
In June 2008 Dorit and myself explored down to 131m on the south side of the bluff.
We spent the lengthy final stops drinking fruit juice and snacking on bananas. When Dorit returned to Israel she was surprised to find that she was the deepest Israeli Diver for both male and female divers.
She came to Aqaba this October and we completed a series of warm up dives building up depth. As I was intending to use a Pelagian DCCCR Rebreather for the dive she also needed to be familiar with my kit and prepared for emergencies so we went through many scenarios that could happen at depth and practised what we would do including controlled buoyant lifts on each other with all the equipment we would be carrying at depth. During this period we built up the rest of the support team led by Chris Bowmer who I had trained in 2005.
The day finally arrived and we prepared and checked all the kit. On the boat the support team helped us kit up finishing in the water when extra tanks were attached. Final deco gas was staged in a sandy area below the boat. Safety divers accompanied us to the descent point where we left them and headed down. The viz was fantastic as we descended over the cliff at 75m and down to the bluff at 95m after which we entered the twilight zone and the water below became inky black, we descended down the side of the bluff to 144m then turned the dive starting the long ascent! So on the 16th October 2009 we achieved a depth of 144 msw. We extended our deco at the last stop by a further 20mins, rested at the surface while team members removed our kit and provided hot sweet tea, once on board the boat we stayed on oxygen for 30 mins as a further safety precaution.
This goes to show that the DSAT Tec Trimix divers can extend their limits to the pinnacles of technical diving providing they build up their experience gradually and with patience. Dorit was pleased to also consolidate her record as the deepest Israeli Diver and I had successfully proved that the Pelagian DCCCR unit was easily capable of making such dives.