Ane Mengshoel

“I love holes!” This phrase reflects the enthusiasm Ane has when it comes to caves and mines. She discovered the beauty of the underwater world in the red sea in 2001, then totally fell in love with the caves in Florida in 2013 and has since then explored several caves and mines in the nordics. She’s an experienced technical diver, who believes in the right tool for the job, such as diving sidemount or rebreather when required. She was the head of the Norwegian Cave Diving Assosication few years ago, establishing a rescue group, and is currently the head of the Norwegian Baromedical Association. Her organizational skills are an important asset to the various diving teams and her energy at the dive sites is contagious. You will probably hear her before you see her, as she loves talking – all the time. If she’s not diving, you’ll probably find her somewhere outdoor, either kayaking, ice skating or just hiking, preferably ending her day with a single malt whisky.

Ane will talk about the discovery of the caves in the Nordic countries, which she is one of the few women actively involved in.

David Čani

I started my “diving life” after a successful career of my youth, which I devoted to competitive swimming, when I scored points in the Czech Republic, but also in international competitions. At the age of sixteen, I started breath-hold diving, in cooperation with leading Czech yogis, and in addition I started training in water rescue, instrument and working diving.

For the next 10 – 15 years I worked hard on my education and skills with the best in the world, such as Martin Stepanek, Kirk Krack, Bret LeMaster, Jitka Hyniova, Jakub Řeháček, Wes Skilles, Paul Heinerth, Brian Kakuk, David Skoual, Silvestr Pěkník and others… I pushed my education to the next level: Freediving Instructor Trainer, Trimix and Rebreather Instructor Trainer, ITT for technical cave diving and Professional-Working Diver APP.

Can diving computers or decompression tables be blindly trusted? 

Edd Stockdale

Edd Stockdale has spent the last decade working in scientific diving and dive safety management for exploration and research projects. Presently he coordinates the Finnish Scientific Diving Academy, at the University of Helsinki, running training programs for marine scientists in all area of diving and developing methodologies integrating new technologies and advanced diving to improve data gathering capabilities as well as working in marine research with various institutions.

In addition he teaches technical programs in mine and rebreather programs through his company Gradient Technical Diving and dive, both for enjoyment and exploration, in the Nordic regions including flooded mines and wrecks.

He is a part of the Finnish wreck exploration team Badewanne, a member of Team Reel Diving and an Ambassador for Divesoft and DAN Europe as well as a member of The Explorers Club.

Project Bergslagen: Exploring the Iconic Mine of Långban,
Diving as a Tool for Science

Mark Powell

Mark had his first experience of diving at the age of 10 when he did a try-dive in a local pool. He was hooked from that point onwards. He learnt to dive in 1987 and has been diving ever since. He has dived in the Red Sea, Costa Rica, Sri Lanka, California, Gulf of Mexico, Middle East, Truk Lagoon, Caribbean and the Mediterranean. However he is most at home in the waters around the UK where there is some of the best wreck diving in the world.

Mark became an instructor in 1994 and has been actively instructing since then. In 2002 Mark set up Dive-Tech, a dedicated technical diving facility, with the intention of providing the highest quality technical diving training. He has been a full time diving instructor since then. Dive-Tech provides technical training at all levels up to and including CCR Advanced Mixed Gas Instructor Trainer. It also provides consultancy services to other diving organisations.

Mark is a TDI/SDI Instructor Trainer Evaluator, Director of Global Development and a member of TDI/SDI’s Global Training Advisor Panel. He also represents TDI/SDI on a number of international standards groups. He is a regular contributor to a number of diving magazines and a regular speaker at Diving conferences around the world.

In 2008 Mark published Deco for Divers, a widely acclaimed overview of the theory and physiology of decompression. This has quickly become the standard text on the subject and is recommended reading by a number of the technical diving agencies. In 2010 Deco for divers was awarded “Publication of the Conference” at the EuroTEK.10 technical diving conference and in 2014 it won the Media Award at TekDive USA. In 2019 Mark followed this up with a new book Technical Diving – An Introduction.

Martin Dokulil

MUDr. Martin Dokulil is a long-time cave diver with extensive experience in rescue operations. He was born in 1976 in Ostrava. He graduated in General Medicine, specializing in Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine and Hyperbaric and Aerospace Medicine. He worked in FNO KARIM. Since 2008, he has been working in the MSK Emergency Medical Service as a dispatch doctor, since 2009 he has been working in the Air Ambulance Service and as a dispatch doctor at the Main Mining Rescue Station Ostrava, where he has been the head doctor since 2018, and he has also been working at the NNOF Hyperbaric Medicine Centre since 2011 and at the Chronic Nord Intensive Care Centre since 2019.

Can diving computers or decompression tables be blindly trusted? 

Martin Strmiska

Ever since I can remember I was obsessed with being in water. I always wanted to know what lies beneath, my parents often say that they couldn’t take me out of the water. For my 15th birthday, my father made my dream come true and we both got certified as scuba di-vers and never looked back. Diving became one of my family’s favorite activities.

One day, after years of being an avid diver, I took my father’s underwater camera for a spin. It started as a way to kill time at decompression stops, but in the end it changed my life. Suddenly a new perspective of underwater world opened up to me. Capturing these amazing moments and adventures I had already experienced as a diver suddenly became my challenge. I quickly started learning more and more about underwater photography, im-proving my skills with each dive.

In 2005 I became a fully professional underwater photographer and journalist for the Ger-man magazine UNTERWASSER. Capturing and presenting underwater experience of all kinds provide me with endless portion of motivation. Years of experience, assignments, discoveries of horizons beyond recreational diving and the opportunity to capture these unique environments inspired me so strongly that I got certified as cave diver, rebreather diver and advanced trimix diver. It enables me to use my experience as a technical diver to explore and photograph locations very few eyes have seen such as wrecks, tunnels and caves.

After years of exploring, wide angle photography is my favorite discipline, as it provides me flexibility and space to showcase the unique character of underwater environment. It ena-bles me to capture the unique relationships between the landscape, fauna and animals co-inhabiting underwater.

Through my writing and images I aspire to give people a taste or maybe even inspiration to get out there and explore the beauties of the big blue and its inhabitants.

Opal mines
Screening of documentary movie “Obsession”.

Phil Short

Phil Short has been a dive industry professional for over 20 years, during which time he has logged over 6000 dives with over 3000 hours on Closed Circuit Rebreathers.

As an educator Phil has trained scientific groups, including US National Parks Service, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and the Archeologists of the Chinese National Museum in Beijing. Search and Rescue Teams, such as the UK Police Strathclyde Underwater Search team, and Media teams from the BBC.

Phil currently acts as a Dive Industry consultant for manufacturers such as VR Technology Ltd, Fourth Element, and is Training Director for IANTD UK.

Karlsruhe. Human tragedy and the search for the Amber Room

František Novomeský

Prof. MUDr. F. Novomeský, PhD., an emeritus professor of forensic medicine, is a renowned figure in Czech and Slovak diving and has actively participated in diving since 1960. He holds instructor credentials in multiple disciplines from the IANTD (International Association of Nitrox and Technical Divers, USA).

With a primary focus on diving medicine, particularly the expert investigation of diving accidents, he has established himself as a pioneer in the field. Prof. Novomeský is a distinguished member of various scientific organizations, including the European Society for Underwater and Hyperbaric Medicine and the Czech Society for Hyperbaric and Aviation Medicine. Furthermore, he holds honorary membership in the Swiss Society for Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine and the Austrian Society for Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine.

He has contributed significantly to the field of diving medicine through numerous scientific publications and has authored three textbooks on the subject.

Diving in hazardous environment: the dark side of professional diving

Miroslav Rozložník

Dr. Miroslav Rozloznik is an environmental physiologist and teacher of hyperbaric medicine and diving physiology at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ostrava, Czechia with more than 20 years of experience in doing research underwater.

Dr. Rozloznik participated in several diving research expeditions including the UnderThePole II expedition, a deep-diving expedition above the polar circle in Greenland. Since 2020 Dr. Rozloznik has been involved in the Hydronaut Project, as a Chief Scientific Officer and as an analog astronaut – Aquanaut. Dr. Rozloznik is also the DAN Europe area director for Slovakia and the owner of Mironaut diving school.

Underwater analog space missions

Veronika Rybárová

MUDr. Veronika Rybárová, M.D., Ph.D., is working as a doctor at the Institute of Forensic Medicine and Medical Expertises, Jessenius Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University, University Hospital in Martin, Slovakia.

Her area of specialization involves conducting forensic investigations of diving accidents. She has completed a scientific residency at the headquarters of DAN Europe (Divers Alert Network) and has been honored with the title of DAN Research Specialist.

MUDr. Rybárová represents the Slovak Republic as a member of the European Diving Technology Committee (EDTC), where she contributes to the advancement of diving technology and safety practices. Furthermore, she actively engages in diving within the IANTD (International Association of Nitrox and Technical Divers, USA) system, demonstrating her passion and dedication to the field.

Forensic analysis of 27 fatal diving accidents
The validity of PDC data in forensic expertise of fatal diving accidents

David Skoumal

Born in 1967, profession – General Practitioner and doctor of Emergency Medical Aid physician, paramedic and diving instructor at the Main Mining Rescue Station in Ostrava Radvanice, formerly member of the committee of the professional society of hyperbaric medicine ČSHLM JEP.

A diver since 1982, when at the age of 15 he completed the Diving School with Honza Jahns, he later became the youngest holder of the Bronze level at the age of 18 years and 1 month. Svazarm instructor and then CMAS **

Member of the ZO ČSS Hranicka karst Olomouc since 1985, where, under the guidance of Mirko Lukáš, Luboš Benýšek and others, my career as a cave diver began. When I entered, the tuning of the first DPV scooters and the assembly of the 4x 20lt equipment for the expedition to Lanzarote was in progress. Expedition Cuba Mexico 1989 – Discovery of the most extensive karst of its time in Cuba – Tanque Azul. After completing the LF in Olomouc, he returned to Ostrava to the Alvin diving club. Together with Silva Pěkník and Dan Hutňan, we join IANTD in 1997, we complete one of the first instructor Nitrox courses with Tomáš Konárek. Subsequently, we tune with Marko Haša and Silva Pěkník Trimix, and in 1998 Marko Haša and I descend the Hranická Abyss to 130m depth. I think that this period dates back to the birth of technical diving in the Czech Republic and, thanks to the connection of our territories, also in Slovakia.

In 2001, Silva and Zbyňek Hrdina and I go to Florida to the executive director of IANTD (International Association of Nitrox and Technical Divers), Tom Mount, and after successfully completing the courses and testing, I become an Instructor Trainer Trainer (ITT) of IANTD for diving with mixtures of Trimix, Nitrox, Technical Cave and Technical Wreck. I help in the development of IANTD in Europe and Egypt by training instructors for mixed and cave diving, subsequently I became a member of the world Board of Advisors of IANTD. Since 1999, together with Silva Pěkník, we have been the founders of a meeting of supporters of technical diving – Techmeeting, which has gradually grown into an international congress. In the summer of 2012, together with Čánis and Pepa Lukeš, we founded our own training organization ASTD.

History of technology vol. II

Andrej Gašpar

UTD recreational and technical instructor. Co-founder of UTD Central Europe dive team. Since 2018 in close cooperation with Martin Strmiska on wide range of wreck, cave and mine diving photo/video projects.

Team leader of 2021 research project in Cetina karst spring, Croatia. Diving activity supervisor and co-author of the Slovak Opal Mines documentary “Obsession” (2022 – 2023).

Opal mines
Screening of documentary movie “Obsession”.

Arne Sieber

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Arne Sieber is specialized in sensor-, dive computer- and rebreather technologies and diving physiology. He is the CEO of Oxygen Scientific GmbH, an Austrian company focusing on O2 sensors and diving technologies.

Previously he was the head of Seabear Diving Technology, which he sold to Johnson Outdoors in 2015. From 2015 to 2017 he was global R&D manager for dive computers for Scubapro. Arne Sieber has been taking part in numerous research projects, among them projects funded by the Austrian Government, the EU, the US Navy or the French Navy.

Some of his outstanding achievements in diving technologies include R&D of the worldwide first mouthpiece mounted head up dive computers in 2012, invention of the O2 sensor validation technology used in the Poseidon rebreathers, design of the Scubapro Galileo HUD or the application of solid state O2 sensors in rebreathers.

Arne Sieber is author of more than 60 scientific journal publications, approximately 200 contributions to scientific conferences and more than 15 patens in the field of diving technologies.

Wireless dive computers for rebreathers

Jan Blaho

As a child, I was a water element, but I only got into diving in Egypt in 2005. During my first dive, a dolphin swam up to us, played with us a bit and swam away after a while. At that moment, I became obsessed with diving, and subsequently I completed several diving courses. In 2010 I became an Advanced EANx Instructor, a Normoxic Trimix diver and a Cave diver. Since the fall of 2012, I have been dedicated to Slovak caves, and subsequently, since 2014, I have become a full member of OSJM (Regional Group of Ján Majka) in the Slovak Karst, the umbrella of Slovak speleological society. After an agreement with other Slovak caving groups, we solve the problems of flooded caves and hot springs, where we have achieved remarkable results in some of them.
Swimming from Mokrej diery (the Wet Hole) to Suchej diery (the Dry Hole) and back.

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