Saturday, 16 February 2019


What is EUROTEK? Well, to be honest, in its 6th event and its 10th year I don’t think I need to explain the format and history again, but, with a new venue and a new dinner format it was certain to be a different event than previous.

I should probably start off by saying that this blog will not be as detailed as previous ones due to the fact I didn’t go to the event stag, this year I had my little buddy with me (which depending on who you talked to, they either loved or hated).  But Roz was kind enough to make her a VIP.
Note:  Prior to most talks I spoke to the speaker (where possible) and always the event staff, neither of which had an issue with my guest.  I sat next to an entrance and if there was a murmur I quietly walked out. I always apologised to fellow attendees, all of which laughed and said don’t worry, as did the speakers post talk. However, unfortunately that did not stop me being asked to leave during the Thailand Cave Rescue talk.

This year saw EUROTEK move from the ICC across the road to The Repositoryotherwise known as The Rep.  During previous events, some of the talks were held in halls outside of the main arena, which could mean a short walk, whereas this year all of the talks were in the same arena.  I also liked the fact that the exhibiters were located around the entire venue, rather than (primarily) the exhibitor hall.  The move I believe was due to a price increase at the ICC, however, regardless of the reason the new venue was far better in my opinion.  As expected there was food and drink (alcohol) available inside the venue but there is a number of outlets nearby as well as the cafĂ© in the adjacent library.  My only gripe, the lack of access to the baby changing and disabled toilets.

This year there were 37 talks, rather than the usual 40, but this was due to the Thailand Cave Rescue talk which according to most, was the highlight of the weekend.  But as usual, the hardest decision was always which ones to attend.  

The official list of talks including a summary of the talk and a link to the speakers’ bio can be found here.  The direct link to all the speakers’ bios can be found here.  

As usual there was a vast array of exhibitors including, but not limited to, AP DivingApeksOtter Drysuits (2010 EUROTEK special award for outstanding contribution to the Industry), SantiFourth Element (2012 EUROTEK award for outstanding contribution to the diving industry), CDGProtus CCRMax Show (Miflex Hoses and Kubi dry gloves), Sea and Sea (including SDI/TDI), HugyfotDivetechBonexDive RiteUnderworld TulumBSACVMSBig Blue Dive LightsSeaCraftShearwaterX-CCR, all of which showcased new products without the hard sell.

Day One
Having attended in 2012 and 2016, I couldn’t miss this year, even if it meant bringing my buddy. I arrived early to catch up with old friends, look and someof the exhibitors before the talks and collect my delegate bag and t-shirt. Unfortunately one of the boxes from Fourth Element hadn’t arrived which meant no large t-shirts.  However these did arrive by 1400 so I collected ‘most’ of my goodies later on during the day.  I say most, as my daughter’s Tekling top had not arrived, and at the time of writing still hasn’t despite assurances.  One to chase when I’m back home and in the country.

Narcosis & Preconditioning in Diving: Latest Research by  Professor Tino Balestra
Discover the latest DAN research into narcosis and the factors that predispose its onset.
On this talk bubbles were discussed and the effect they have on DCI, Narcosis, PFOs, Cutis Marmorata, when vibrated (to simulate travelling on RHIBS), Heat (tested in a sauna) and what happens when given oxygen. He also linked DAN research papers and books into the talk which was very interesting, although some may disagree……
Getting the shot - Advanced Lighting Techniques by Jason Brown
Master off-camera lighting in challenging conditions, working with models and how to get published.
No disrespect to Jason as he is a friend of mine and the designer of, but this wasn’t my first choice talk.  I had hoped to go to Changing concepts in decompression by JP Imbertbut unfortunately, even 10 minutes before the auditorium was full and people were being turned away.  Jason discussed lighting types (natural and artificial), and then broke artificial down into torch, strobe, video and remote, discussing the pros and cons of each.  He discussed storyboards, setting up, shooting, aperture settings etc…  The list went on.  A great talk if you’re into cameras and photography.  

Immersion Pulmonary Oedmaby Dr Doug Ebersole 
Understanding this poorly understood and potentially fatal condition.
This presentation started with case reports from a range of diving experiences; recreational diving, technical diving, warm water and cold water diving.  It covered signs and symptoms, mechanisms such equipment malfunction, predisposing factorsand treatment.  

Hypoxia: Insights into a silent killer by Professor Simon Mitchell
How hypoxia can occur in diving, and how failure to recognize its onset is common.
Forever, one of the most interesting speakers and a EUROTEK regular, Professor Simon Mitchell delivered an excellent presentation on Hypoxia.  Unsurprisingly the auditorium was nearly full.
Thailand Cave Rescue by Rick Stanton & Dr Richard Harris 
The truth behind the Thailand cave rescue. Followed by an interactive Q&A session with the core dive team on stage.

Slightly different to most years, this last slot did not have 4 individual presentations, it just had the one. Most likely due to the attention given to the rescue by the world’s media earlier last year.  It was also the only place in the world where all cave rescue team have been together since the event.

We were asked to take no media during the talk so nothing has been written up out of respect.

Day Two
Unlike previous years, I opted not to attend the previous evening’s dinner due to childcare issues so I arrived fairly fresh headed, unlike some…..

Professional diving film productions by Stratis Kas 
Balancing efficiency and safety in professional diving film productions, how to ‘bring home’ the best results.
This presentation started off dramatically before discussing his team, the safety aspects involved with filming, logistics, weather, storyboards and crew.

The talk ended with a showing of his latest film, Echoes of Silence.

Diving Emergencies by Dr Craig Holdstock (of DDRC)
What happens when you call the National Diving Accident helpline and how to avoid it.
A must for me as a military diving supervisor, who has had to make ‘the call’.  Discussed was:
·      What happens if you make the call. Following the process through start to finish.
·      How to reduce chances of making the call.
·      Case studies.
·      Chamber locations.
·      DDRC; what it does.
·      And finally, the types of DCI.

Technical Diving on TV by Andy Torbet 
The popular British TV presenter and all round tech diver talks about deep diving and filming for television.
Andy started off by discussing himself and his military background, which TBH is very similar to me (but that’s where the similarities end), and how he got his break by making a short cave film which he sold.  He discussed recreating the very first cave dive in hard hats and umbilical’s, The One Show, and a variety of projects which include Dive Odyssey with Gemma Smith, his recent Suunto 360 Cave Film and his dive on the Britannic.  He also discussed the difficulties when filming, the heat or cold, waiting around, various takes etc…

But as usual, not everyone was interested.
The Divers Dilemma by Gareth Lock
Managing the balance between risk, reward and the external pressures divers face.
Anyone who has ever listed to Gareth will know all about his talks.  If you haven’t, then you can start off by looking at his Human Factors Full or Micro Classes.

If anyone is also interested, he also has a book being published.

Temp sticks under the spotlight by Professor Simon Mitchell 
Discussion of the current state of CO2 monitoring in rebreathers and how it can affect you.

Exactly as expected!

This year I tried to focus on medical, physiology, biology and data/safety presentations rather than exploration but as usual either the conference is too short or there’s too much on, you simply can’t see it all.

There was also plenty of equipment to look at, and some of it was showcased here before anywhere else in the world.  

If you’re interested in EUROTEK 2018 the dates aren’t yet released however you can be one of the first to know by liking the EUROTEK Facebook page here.    

The boring bit!
All opinions expressed in my articles are my own and may differ to other instructor’s and agency guidelines; by no means are they wrong and I would not wish to disrepute any of them. This article is for information only and should not replace proper training.

Safe diving!

Timothy Gort
BSAC, PADI & SDI/TDI diver training
l Mob: 07968148261 l Email:


2018 has been a rollercoaster of highs and lows for rectotec, starting off with the biggest high of them all, the arrival of my baby daughter.  I’ve also been posted within the Army which has seen me move from Surrey to North Devon. It’s a painful commute but at least I’m closer to the coast.

In terms of teaching I’ve taught a number of BSAC Sports DiverDive Leader, Boat Handling (including qualifying instructors) and Trimix courses, TDI AN/DP and AN/Helitrox courses.  As usual I’ve also been working as an Instructor Trainer on BSAC Instructor Courses (IFC through to exams) and am now fully qualified to run the courses as well as teach on them.  

In terms of other projects, I’ve been working on some of the new BSAC training materials, as usual I was presenting on the TEKDeck Stage at the NEC Dive Show and I’m also one of the first First Response Training International (FRTI) instructors within the UK.  I was also part of a team of divers who placed a memorial plaque on the wreck of tthe Glenart Castle at a depth of 75m on the centenary of its sinking. And at the time of writing I am producing an article for SCUBA Magazine. 

Or watch the video on Vimeo here.

In terms of conferences I attended the usual two; the annual Joint Service Diving Safety Conference and bi-annual EuroTEK.  But unfortunately, this year I was unable to be a Safety Diver at TekCamp (despite being asked) as I was in Scapa Flow. 

And then in terms of my usual diving I did a week’s Trimix diving with Jack Ingle in Malta, a week on Valhalla in Scapa, and the usual south coast and inland sites.

Unfortunately though, I’ve not managed to do as much as I’ve wanted, mainly due to the new baby. So, I’ve no complaints.  I’ve only managed to publish one blog, although I’ve a dozen in draft format, I’ve still got Malta & Scapa videos to produce and I’ve been unable to commit to more courses than I care to admit.  It probably won’t get much better in early 2019 as I may be away/overseas for most of the first 6 months.  However, by the time this article is published a number of website updates should have been done.

Looking upwards into 2019 however I’ve still got a deal on PADI Enriched Air Diver (Nitrox) courses for the first 5 students to enable me to complete my PADI Tec 45/50 Instructor upgrade; the cost, £60.  I also plan to start my TDI Normixic Trimix instructor with Mark Powell.  

If you’re interested in any courses in 2019 then get in touch.

Safe diving.

The boring bit!
All opinions expressed in my articles are my own and may differ to other instructor’s and agency guidelines; by no means are they wrong and I would not wish to disrepute any of them.  This article is for information only and should not replace proper training.

Safe diving!

Timothy Gort
BSAC, PADI & SDI/TDI diver training
l Mob: 07968148261 l Email: