Making waves with Shearwater

Transcript – Making waves with Shearwater

Roland Leyte
Director of Diving
Royal Canadian Navy

I was a program manager at Director of Navy Requirements. But 25 years before that I was a Canadian Armed Forces diver. And I realized that we had the best decompression dive tables in the world, but we didn't have a decompression dive computer for every diver. Problem is you can't buy something that doesn't exist.

So I researched it in Canada and found Shearwater as the top decompression dive computer maker in Canada. Basically gave them the proposal that I had worked with a lot of Innovation Solutions Canada programs before. And that I wanted them to develop the Canadian Armed Forces dive computer.

Dylan Winchester
Business Development Manager
Shearwater Research

Shearwater was founded in 2004 and we've gone from a very small manufacturer of niche rebreather control electronics all the way to today, when we're a global supplier of scuba diving computers to divers all over the world.

Initially when we started with ISC they brought us together with the Canadian Navy, who had a dive table that they wanted to transform into a computer algorithm.

Mitch Burton
Senior Engineer
Shearwater Research

The military has been doing all their diving without computers for many years. And so it's an adaptation of the commercial product for military use.

The benefit of getting the funding from ISC was to put us together with the end customer, which gave us a lot better communication and sped up that testing process to a point where we've already delivered dive computers to the Navy and they're already using them in the service.

It's something that didn't exist before Innovation Solutions Canada and Shearwater basically joined with us. Glad to see that it came out this year and that we're issuing it to all the Canadian Armed Forces divers. It does make diving a lot safer. We're letting divers use technology and getting away from some of the old rules and regulations that we used to have because we didn't have a computer.

Participating in the program definitely gave us a competitive advantage because we're years ahead of where we would have been otherwise. The fact that we have a dive computer that's being used by the Canadian Navy is a huge plus for us. It gives us conversations to have with other navies all over the world. And there are actually a lot of other navies who use the DCIEM algorithm. Several countries in Europe rely on this information because they know that it's tested and proven to be safe for working divers.

Shearwater dive computers can now market it to the world saying that we have the safest dive tables in the world already into our Canadian Armed Forces dive computer.

Very happy on the fact that it was my pet project and now before I retire I actually get to see it being used in Canadian Forces.

Lieutenant-Commander Roland Leyte was project manager and director of Navy requirements when he leveraged the Innovative Solutions Canada program to help develop a safe and reliable diving computer. A long time diver himself, he wanted to provide every Armed Force diver with a wearable device that integrated the Navy’s decompression dive tables.  The Innovative Solutions Canada program allowed the Navy to work with Canadian company Shearwater to do just that. The Shearwater decompression dive computer is now being used by every Canadian Armed Forces’ divers, significantly improving their safety while on duty.

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