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Commander Chris Ameye

'With a UKSF Military diving background and considerable industry experience gained over many years at DIVEX, Paul Haynes is one of UK's leading military diving experts and is at the forefront of both military & civilian diving technology.  His portfolio is impressive and includes the provision of rebreather diving equipment to SF forces worldwide and the introduction of Clearance Diver's Life Support Equipment (CDLSE) to the Royal Navy, the most advanced electronic mixture gas re-breather in the world.  As a practitioner he is first class and leads in this specialist field, equally at ease presenting to senior military and government organisations or teaching operators at the coal face.  Highly polished, he stands out from the rest, and remains one of UK's most experienced and talented rebreather diver / instructor trainer today'.

Commander Chris Ameye Royal Navy
Former UK MoD Superintendent of Diving - responsibility for UK Armed Forces diving

Royal Australian Navy

The Royal Australian Navy has recently procured the Divex Stealth Mixed Gas Rebreather.  Part of the introduction into service was a train the trainer course lead by Paul Haynes. I have been a military diver since 1976, in that time I have been involved in a number of new equipment acquisitions, not only is the Stealth the best diving set I have ever used, but the delivery of the training by Paul was outstanding.
His previous military service enabled him to quickly assimilate with the Clearance Divers on the course.   It was obvious to me from day-one that he processed very high levels of knowledge of the equipment, and the theory of mixed gas rebreathers, this knowledge was based on many years of practical experience, and in our world that is critically important.  In my 37 years as a military diver I have to say that the course delivered my Paul was one of the best I have experienced.  I am looking forward to managing the introduction of the Stealth into the Clearance Diving Course.

P.F Darcey, CSM
Course Implementation Officer
RAN Diving School
HMAS Penguin

John R. Clarke, Ph.D.

'I wanted you to know that our recent biomedical testing using the Divex Shadow Excursion went wonderfully. The rig performed exactly as advertised. But perhaps more importantly, Paul Haynes provided consummate training and assistance. His background, knowledge, and demeanor was exactly what was needed to give both Naval Experimental Diving Unit (NEDU) and the military test divers the utmost confidence in the product.

Having seen MANY other equipment reps in action through the years, I was amazed at Paul's smooth, confident performance. Although the Navy's contractor regulations prevented him from diving with the students, as he is accustomed, he quickly adjusted, providing outstanding training and monitoring of the divers from topside.

The highest honor bestowed upon him was when the NEDU Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Senior Chief diving supervisor made Paul the rig supervisor during open water dives. That was a well deserved and appropriate action that I doubt has ever been given to a manufacturer's representative by the U.S. Diving Navy.

Again, kudos to Divex for sending us such a well suited training and technical representative. Please pass along to Paul our thanks for a job well done!'

John R. Clarke, Ph.D.

Scientific Director, Navy Experimental Diving Unit
US Navy

CCR Inspiration Training - 2013

My friend Eric and I were looking at CCR training.  I came across Paul’s website during a googling session on technical diving training.  Impressive first impression, intimidating: on my door step: Royal Marine Commando, extensive maritime special operations, we’re not speaking about the holiday laid back dive instructor.  Being part of a local diving club and the industry, following this first research, I came across even more intimidating stories.  And that’s only the civilian ones.

I bravely sent him an email.  Got an answer from Paul: he was in Sidney speaking at an international technical diving conference, after what he was going to Chuuk Lagoon with Rod Macdonald.  No doubt then, I was speaking to the right guy.

We organised a chat at his place and the only surprise of the training, no one really wants surprise when it’s about rebreather training, was a good one: Paul is very accessible.

We started with an in detail technical review of our units.  My day job involves engineering with o-ring and pressure, a rebreather is all about those two (and a voltage measurement); I would have picked up hesitation, technical uncertainty.  There’s been none, Paul knows his subject and is, as one would expect with such a background, rigorous.

Followed a very interactive theoretical course, illustrated of personal anecdotes, the one that would fit in a book.

Next was the real deal: getting wet.  Swimming pool session first, then heading to the Scotland west coast, the great Lochaline Dive Center.  Progressive evolution starting with an “easy” shore dive from the post office all the way to: access a remote beach in front of the Shuna with the 4x4 pickup, get a tow from fellow divers, Paul did the swim, Dive the Shuna, underwater back to shore practising skills warned by wireless text messages, 101min dive time.

I would redo the dives just for the intensity, the fun we had!

Extensive technical and practical knowledge, great human contact we could not have asked for more.  Patience as well: Paul supported a week of English spoken with a French accent (I’m not French).  Or is that the reason why we spent so much time under the water?

Thanks again Paul, next steps in 2014!


Andy Dowsland, BSAC Inspiration CCR instructor, reports on his CCR Instructor Workshop experienc

"I trained on a rebreather in 2006 after about 14 years of open circuit diving as far as Trimix level.  I took to it well and had a really busy diving year clocking up 66 rebreather dives in the first year alone.  Having qualified on CCR, an aim as Diving Officer in my club was to integrate it within the club, educate non-CCR divers about the unit and try to avoid technical clique effect.

After 30 hours on the unit I registered with BSAC to be able to do rebreather try dives in the pool and did a rebreather awareness session with follow up try dives for those interested.  This was received well within the club and contributed to increased safety due to removing the mystery surrounding CCR and how to manage and dive with CCR divers.

Being enthusiastic about CCR, I wanted to be able to teach it too.  Having approached the CCR coaching team at the NEC dive show in 2007 a date was finally set in 2008.  By the time the weekend arrived in September I had about 140 hours rebreather experience and had my fair share of ‘moments’ of experience to share.  Fortunately the season on the East coast of Yorkshire had been busy and enabled us to get dived up in the sea, with many dives in the 40 to 50m range on trimix.

I had booked onto the weekend with my buddy Brian Smith and we spent a stressful few weeks with our heads in the APD and BSAC CCR manuals revising, also practicing skills.  This diving experience and preparation paid dividends on the work shop weekend.

Dr Donald Thomas

Paul was an invited speaker at a recent British Hyperbaric Association Annual Scientific Meeting. He spoke to a medical audience about aspects of the training that recreational divers receive, particularly that relating to medical problems encountered in diving. His clear and interesting talk, accompanied by a well put together presentation, was much appreciated by the audience. A quiet and unassuming manner belies the depth of his knowledge and experience. We enjoyed working with Paul, and invited him back to speak at a later local meeting.

Dr Donald Thomas
Consultant in Anaesthesia and Hyperbaric MedicineNHS Grampian

Rod Macdonald

'I have dived with Paul Haynes for many years researching, tracking and diving long lost shipwrecks around Scotland. Paul is a genuine all rounder. His technical knowledge and sea craft make him an asset to have both on the land and at sea. His tough Royal Marine/Special Forces background and discipline allows him to meet every challenge head on and surmount it. Paul gets the job done and along the way has been the first to dive many long lost virgin shipwrecks with me.

Rod Macdonald
wreck researcher and author of:
Into the Abyss, Dive Scapa Flow, Dive Scotland's Greatest Wrecks,Dive England's Greatest Wrecks, The Darkness Below

Michael Menduno

I feel fortunate to have done my basic closed circuit rebreather training with Paul Haynes. He is one of the best instructors that I have had bar none. Paul brings both a breath and depth of knowledge and experience to his teaching as a result of his 20 plus years of rebreather diving and trainer of military, law enforcement and technical divers. His lectures were substantive and thorough, and he often added additional information based on personal experience of diving and designing rebreathers to provide a deeper understanding to the subject. He also brought his knowledge and experience to our in-water time from showing me practical solutions to configuration issues or an optimum way of performing a given technique. Paul is safety-oriented, always professional, thoughtful, patient, respectful, personable, and astute. He sets a high bar in his class and inspired me to meet it and give my best effort. He created a strong bond of trust and confidence in our working together and I knew he always had my back. I always felt confident in the water with him. He is also a great guy to spend a week with in the field! We worked hard but also had a lot of fun.

Michael Menduno (M2)
May 2012

David Smith

'Paul has an excellent knowledge of military diving from both a safety and operational perspective. Paul is thorough and precise in the application of this knowledge and is an invaluable asset to any diving project. We highly recommend him.'

David Smith
Managing Director
National Hyperbaric Centre
Aberdeen, Scotland, UK

Mr Han Sang Hoon

Recently the RoK Navy purchased Divex Stealth SC rebreather and Paul Haynes was appointed the primary instructor for End-User training.  As the Divex Korea agent I had a chance to participate in the training and I couldn't help but notice how knowledgeable Paul was.  From the in-class training to the wet chamber test diving, sheltered and open water diving during the month of January, the coldest season of the year in Korea, there was nothing Paul wouldn't do.

With my background as a technical diving instructor and supplying the best equipments to the Navy, It was not just me, but all the End-Users who are the best members of the RoK Navy, all agreed that Paul  is the best trainer / instructor anyone could imagine.

Paul you certainly exceeded my expectations and I am glad and proud that I have a chance to recommend you.

Mr Han Sang Hoon
A founding member of TDI/SDI Korea (TDI/SDI #4196)

Gary Petrie

As a student I have often been disappointed by the quality of my recreational diving instructors and the course content they deliver. For this reason, I decided that my technical training instructor would be someone who I had complete faith in, had forgotten more than I would ever know and most importantly, did the type of diving I wanted to do on a regular basis. From the first time I called Paul to discuss my training requirements I knew that he ticked all of these boxes and more! He takes the certifying bodies course syllabus, ensures that he covers every part of it but presents it the “Paul Haynes way” by adding additional material and examples from his personal experience to make it come to life. If you want an easy ride to collect the certification card then go somewhere else. If you want to be challenged both mentally and physically, expand your comfort zone and become a better diver then give Paul a shout – you will not be disappointed!

Gary Petrie
Reservoir Sampling & Analysis Business Development Manager
Oilphase-DBR Schlumberger Testing (Europe & Africa)

Dave Sydenham

'Not only is Paul a great Instructor but also a superb Instructor Trainer. An accomplished all-rounder who excels in instruction at all levels whether it is beginner recreational diving or teaching others to become mixed gas or rebreather instructors, Paul inspires confidence in all his students. A real down to earth approachable guy who clearly enjoys his own diving and his energy and enthusiasm shines through in his teaching. His vast and enviable experience and attention to detail make his training second to none. Having had the pleasure to work with Paul on a number of Instructor and Technical courses, I can highly recommend him as one of the best of the best.'

Dave Sydenham
BSAC National Instructor #233

Niall Crichton

'I've had the privilege of working with Paul for almost a decade, and have witnessed first hand his extraordinary involvement in Commercial, Defence and Recreational Diving projects. These range from Sub-surface Marine Engineering Research and Development, to a vast assortment of practical In-water training courses through to Instructor Trainer level.  Indeed as a former Student of Paul’s I can offer my highest recommendation to his consistent professionalism and expertise. Time and again Paul has proved to be a conscientious and passionate instructor who implements a positive can-do attitude, his attention to detail is unsurpassed from planning risk assessment through to final de-brief. Paul’s Haynes extraordinary experience and unique style of instruction within the subsurface world surely places him as a top choice to encompass all of your in-water training requirements.'

Niall Crichton BSAC
BSAC / PSAI CCR Instructor
Account Manager UK
Wilhemsen Ships Service Ltd

Stevie Adams

'I first met Paul on a BSAC Advanced Instructor Training Course a few years ago, I was unaware of his background at that time, but I do remember being highly impressed by his Organisational and Dive Skills, and it was no surprise to discover he had a Military background.  Our paths crossed again during the BSAC First Class Diver Exam and again Paul was head and shoulders over all the other Candidates and his Exam Pass was well deserved. Since then I have Worked and Dived with Paul on several Expeditions and never fail to be impressed by his depth of knowledge and skills.

Paul is a founder Member of Tec Divers, a BSAC Branch formed to promote Safer Expedition and Recreational Technical Diving, and has brought some thought provoking, innovative and progressive ideas from his Military and Commercial Background which will be trialed recreationally to make Technical Diving as safe as possible.  When I first met Paul it was very clear he worked for DIVEX, he took every opportunity to promote the Company, from his DIVEX branded Clothing down to ensuring the Company logo was seen in every Expedition Photograph taken, it was inspiring to see someone actively and enthusiastically supporting his Company whenever possible

Paul has a ‘can-do’ attitude, and his direct no nonsense approach to Recreational Mixed Gas Diving has made him many friends, his opinion and advice is sought by many people and he is widely respected for his approachability, knowledge and honesty.'

Stevie Adams
BSAC First Class Diver, Advanced InstructorAdvanced Mixed Gas CCR Diver, Wreck Researcher

Review of Paul Haynes ScotSAC conference lecture 2009

'We were delighted when Paul said he could present at our dive conference and having read his résumé I was nervous about meeting him! This is because I am a typical ‘club diver’ as apposed to a ‘technical diver’ and most people attending the conference like me do most of our dives are to a maximum of 30m depth. Paul however trains Navy divers and is well known in the Eyemouth area for his participation in some more technical diving that goes on. I needn’t have worried as he is very easy going and just as comfortable with us sport divers as he was with the other well known speakers who contributed at our conference. He is obviously a very enthusiastic instructor as well as having a wide knowledge about everything to do with diving. His talk rounded off our day nicely. It was packed with information on how re-breathers are used by the forces and how they and their use has evolved over the years. He gave us some insight into another side of the diving world and we learned about some of the modern versions of the old underwater chariots not to mention underwater ribs! In the future we might all be using rebreathers and we obviously owe a lot to the testing and development done by navy divers just as we do now with open circuit systems and dive tables we use now. I am looking forward to attending another one of his talks in the future and meeting him again.'

Sandy McPherson
2009 Scottish Sub-Aqua Club Conference Organiser

Simon Carter

'Paul has an effective teaching style making mandatory coursework easy to understand with the added benefit of real world 'What if' scenarios and ways to manage them.

Paul's realistic teaching of 'Not if, but when’ something goes wrong, here is an effective solution' promotes confidence even before the actual dive sessions.  Under the water Paul's "hands-off" approach allowed my buddy and I to get on with the dive's required elements while knowing if assistance was required it would be given immediately.  As an example, during our Advanced Nitrox with Deco Procedures course my buddy was unhappy with his stage (freeflow starting during the gas switch). Due to our training we were able to switch to our 'Lost Gas' scenario without drama.  Paul was attentive throughout this episode and was close at hand to donate one of his stages (as compatible gas mixes had been set up during the dive plan) allowing a return to the original planned deco schedule.

Since we completed our Advanced Nitrox and Deco Procedures course both my buddy and I have booked on with Paul for our entry Trimix course. As it is our lives on the line, I believe no recommendation can be higher than a diver continuing their technical training with the same instructor.'

Simon Carter
PSAI Advance Nitrox and Decompression Diver


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Stealth and Shadow Underwater Breathing Apparatus images courtesy of Divex Ltd.