Quote Originally Posted by LandonL  View Original Post
Rebreathers are banned as of September 2014, see the news post on the Dive Aqaba website.

Latest Diving News from Jordan

A quick google search turned up some results from back in 2011 when apparently the Jordanian Navy banned them for what must have been a short while. Maybe someone else can give us some more information on why they decided to ban them again?

History of CCR in Jordan

2007 Introduced a Dolphin SCR and started using and training others to use the unit. No problems occurred.
2008 Started using Pelagian DCCCR no problems occurred
2009 The Navy visited us and said we could not use either unit without special permission. We obtained permission from them and no further problems occurred until January 2011 when ALL dive centre received a letter saying that ALL types of rebreather we not allowed and you will be arrested if you are found using one or owning one. (Last bit strange as they had the serial numbers and data sheets etc for my units!)

In February 2011 I was asked by the palace in Jordan to help with the Deep Flight Super Falcon project and train up a safety team in case the mini sub got trapped at up to 100m depth. They said we could use CCR, the palace purchased there own unit so I could train staff on the unit. (That unit is still at the Royal yachts palace with all their other toys)

In April/May 2011 we provided support for the project also supported by Navy personnel. After which I obtained verbal permission to use and train people on the unit again with Dive Aqaba and also permission to invite other CCR divers to dive here with me with any unit. I had a lot of different CCR divers over that summer.
At end of July 2011 we also had navy support when we were asked to complete a project for the deepest dive in Jordan (167m) which the palace and others had gained sponsorship for after the original organisers had run off with half the sponsorship money and left them in the lurch!

2011/12 I was using CCRs on a government USAID sponsored project to clean the deep reef of old nets ropes and fishing lines that had been spotted by the Deep Flight minisub.

All this time we had no problems with CCR or others bringing their units.

In February 2014 we had a group out from the UK with 5 Inspos amongst them and they dived with us for two weeks, I notified the Navy in advance to make sure it would be OK and again no problems occurred, I even had a permission letter from the Navy in case anyone said anything. In 2013 I sold the two Dolphin SCR units I had on e bay as the demand was dropping and spares becoming scarce.

Then this mid September (2014) I had another CCR guest out with his unit..he was doing an OC warm up dive and I was using the last hour on my scrubber up on a shallow wreck dive here, that way we would both be on the same scrubber use from the following day.

When we returned with our boat navy personnel boarded the boat and took photos of my unit which was stripped and packed away in a box (ready for a scrubber change and clean up etc), they would not let us unload the unit...I said that I needed to take it back to the centre for maintenance, they then agreed and told me not to use it for the time being.
The following day a single Navy person came and asked us to build up the unit so he could see how it worked. We did this then stripped it down again. We were told to not use in for now and they would come back in three days.
Later that day the palace collected there unit from my dive centre and took it back to the palace.

For a few days they didn't turn up, I had to travel to Dahab, Egypt the following weekend to help with a PADI IE, when I returned 3 days later I was told that a group of 3 plains cloths officers from the intelligence department and a Navy guy turned up, they had insisted the unit was built up again so they could see it in operation. After that they confiscated the unit including the tanks etc.

After two weeks of negotiation they refused to return the unit to me, I suggest that they release the unit to the palace here so I could use it there for training palace diving guests and diving staff, they refused saying if that was needed they could use their unit and I could show them how it works!

I had a customer who had traveled from the US to take a course with me and arrived two days before all this started! They agreed to release the unit to her as long as she took it out of the country. She was leaving on a flight early the following morning, they brought the unit to the dive centre at 11.30pm that night..we stripped cleaned and packed it. They then took the bag it was packed in and brought it to the airport when she was about to board the flight observed the bag checked onto the plane and stayed until the flight had left. (I will now travel to the US to complete this customers course early next year)

After all this the navy apologized to us and said it was out of their hands and was the intelligence departments decision. The palace personnel just shrugged there shoulders and said they could do nothing to help.

So that was that, 7 years of pioneering rebreathers here with a lot of hard work and training. We are still allowed to use OC for the time being so now I find I am back to old days doing deep air a lot as can't justify the high cost of Helium here ($400 for a J) just for fun dives and exploring.

The back history on the whole thing seems to stem from the peace agreement with Israel brokered in the early 90's. According to a UN friend of mine, as part of the deal conditions were put on what was allowed here for diving etc...to prevent us from "attacking" Israel....that list was, no inflatable boats, no rebreathers, no full face masks, no underwater communication equipment, no DPVs of any type, no SLR UW Cameras in housing or large video systems (you can get small compact ones in under the radar!) basically anything other than basic recreational dive kit.

I think that the ISIS thing in Iraq & Syria also has indirect causation on this..as everywhere in the world they have stepped up security..so at the lower echelons they need to be seen to be doing something...so tightening on diving security could be one of those things.

Ironically I can run courses on the CCRs from Israel or Egypt in Dahab which is what I will do in the future. I only teach on the Pelagian to all levels to 100m (330ft), but now it will be difficult to keep the hours up on the unit...

I hope that elsewhere in the world members and other CCR users do not incur similar problems...I feel like someone has taken my Ferrari away and I have to use my small Fiat on the racetrack!

cheers
Rod