What is 'technical diving'?

Technical diving, or 'tec' diving, has a number of different definitions, but generally refers to diving beyond WRSTC recommended limits.  That can either be measured by depth (diving below 130 feet), or by penetration into caves or wrecks, or by engaging in planned decompression diving.  Technical diving usually involves the use of custom blended gases such as nitrox and trimix.

Who invented technical diving?

Nobody really invented it as such, but it was something that developed during the mid 1990s.  Many of the divers featured on this site played a role in the development of technical diving.  What is now recognised as a separate stratum of the sport was originally only undertaken by mavericks.  The term 'technical diving' is usually attributed to Michael Menduno, editor of the now defunct diving magazine, AquaCorps.

Why are these divers featured?

The thing which links all of the divers featured on this site is the role that they have played bringing technical diving into the mainstream.  In some cases, they were prime movers.  In other cases, they helped refine something that was developing.  In other cases, they simply added the fuel of publicity to what had hitherto been a sport shrouded away from public view.

Is technical diving dangerous?

Technical diving requires special training and equipment.  Done properly, technical diving has a very good safety record overall.  But clearly the whole basis of the sport is undertaking and properly managing risks.  Many diving accidents are caused by divers who try to go deep, or who penetrate caves or wrecks, but do not have the proper equipment, training and experience.  That is an extremely foolish thing to do.