We’ve all seen it in the movies. The main character splashes into the water, a cool looking mouthpiece gripped in their teeth, and they proceed to escape, do battle, or otherwise enjoy the benefits of a scuba system without the requisite scuba gear. To say that it’s a dream for divers to be less encumbered when underwater is an understatement. There is a whole minimalist sub-culture in recreational diving, dedicated to minimalizing the amount of gear they need to safely dive. So what’s brought all this on? The Triton Artificial Gill.
Back in 2014, I re-posted an online article about this project, and even contacted the creator for more details (spoiler alert: no response). I had questions about little things like breathing volume, pressure, oxygen toxicity, and so on that I wanted answers for. Why? Because if he’d solved these issues, it was going to be the biggest thing in underwater sports and work since the creation of dive tables. Now, a few years later, I’m seeing this project pop up again, but this time its true colours seem to have been revealed. It’s a borderline scam, if not a complete scam.
What it now appears to be is not the tiniest rebreather ever, but something else entirely. According to new information, the system uses a combination of filters and LIQUID OXYGEN CARTRIDGES. Now, I appreciate them coming cleaner about what they’re up to, but I really don’t think they’ve appreciated what people would do with this sort of thing. You know, like try to use it like scuba gear, go down too deep (past 2-6m, the MOD for 100% O2) and suffer a oxygen toxicity hit. In short, in my opinion, this isn’t a safe device to release onto an untrained public. That said, it still seems incredibly dodgy to me, and my money is on that this will eventually pan out to be a scam.
So, in the end, it’s a case of supporter beware. There are a lot of shady things out there or half-baked technologies that are trying to get your money. As divers, we’re already on the hook for hundreds of dollars worth of training and into the thousands for gear depending on your activity level and type of diving that you do. So be skeptical, as more experienced divers to check something out before you invest, and dive safely.