Mission and philosophy of STDA
Generally talking, our target is to help divers to reach the highest fun level during their underwater adventures.
To do this, the only way is to follow the highest level of training, achieving the right bouyancy-trim control and performig well all basic safety drills.
STDA mission is to develop, over the years, a worldwide net of few and highly skilled instructors following the DIR philosophy and openminded towards new useful technology.
To do this, our instructors have to be not only skilled and with good knowledge but also have a strong aptitude for teaching.
The first technical part of the diver is brain and knowledge; if there are many 'bugs' about emergencies management, it's only a matter of time. Sooner or later the 'bugs' will get out and you'll be in problems.
In the 2008 STDA has been the first diving school and then agency to introduce the standard and procedures of the 'flying connection' to the bottom mix & deco bail-out tanks. This standard and procedures have been developed during the years and are part of the holistic rebreather training system of STDA. From 2005 Marco Valenti has started to develop specific decompression procedures with CCR puting them in STDA rebreather programs. The decompression system works in the range of 0-130 mts and actually it seems to have reach the limit.
Only few and selected CCR are considered in STDA training; they must have:
- 2 redundant display with 2 indipendent power supply; in case of a display and HUD, at least a 'stand alone' CCR computer is requested
- manual oxygen injection on exhale conterlung,
- On the Shoulders CounterLungs (OTSC) suggested
- BOV (suggested Golem Gear IQSub BOV type that allows the reverse diluent flush of the loop)
Currently STDA doesn't propose decompression training courses with eCCR rebreathers designed with only one display/electronic and the HUD (in this case at least a stand alone computer is needed), and/or with the oxygen manual valve on the inhale counterlung.
In our opinion:
- support the concept that during a decompression dive the HUD is enough to manage the emergency of the failure of the only one electronic/display is a falsehood, that can only help the manufacturer to keep the rebreather cost lower;
- support the concept that a rebreather with the oxygen manual valve on the inhale counterlung is safe, it's a falsehood
- support that backmounted CL have the same safety level in managing emergency and safety drills than on the shoulder CL it's an other falsehood: this concept has to be very clear to each STDA CCR instructor and has to be explained to CCR diver that chooses the backmounted option
These points are derived from the simple observations of problems and accidents directly and indirectly observed in water during years of training (since 2005) and dives that have highlighted the problems leaving no room for doubts.
This does not exclude that in the future design improvements can lead to reconsider things.
Since the '90, the scuba instructor's figure started to be more and more debased, with many of them who do not work or offer courses at a so low prices that they can not neither cover their costs. The main agencies are responsible of this situation, having the only target to earn, selling certifications and renewal instructor fees... do training is an other thing.
Considering the potential risks, the situation has simply no sense.
STDA is interested in training divers that look before to safety and quality of the training than costs.