Diving History leading up to the design and building of the Abyss
diving in the early fifties using home-made scuba because diving equipment
was not available at that time. When one did arrive on the market, I
purchased a Porpoise unit and soon after followed by Siebe Gorman twin hose
When Dragger Dolphin
SCR's became available in S. A. Mike Wescombe-Down and myself did a
rebreather and mixed gas course with Andrew Poole over in Perth.
A very common
inherent fault with most rebreathers I found is that they are bottom heavy,
the breathing bags are at the top, and the valves are at the bottom. The
Dragger company over come this problem by placing four heavy leads, two on
each shoulder which is incorporated in the webbing of the harness.) I cannot
help thinking not much thought was put into the design of this unit.
Rebreathers are heavy enough without having to carry eight pounds of lead on
your shoulders to bring the unit back into balance.
The exhaust valve
bubbles off every three to four breaths making it not much advantage over
the open circuit apparatus. All the above and other issues such as
electronics and salt do not mix, set me on a course to develop a unit which
was balanced, light. low profile (to my knowledge there is no CCR even close
to this profile) and streamlined making it easy for the diver to swim with.
One point with
electronics they will without question sooner or later fail. Hopefully if
maintained regularly the percentage of failing will be minimized and
hopefully the diver will not be using it at the time! I mentioned this
because there have been too many accidents with electronics and battery
After diving for
over half a century it is the first time in my life that I have felt at one
with the ocean. Diving the
Abyss is a dream to use.