FATHOM Dive Systems is a design and manufacturing company that focuses on life-support equipment for underwater exploration. FATHOM is the brainchild of Charlie Roberson, a cave diver and active explorer, who initially set out to make equipment for his own exploration. This is our story.
Several years ago, as our dives became increasingly deeper and longer duration, my fellow Karst Underwater Research (KUR) divers and I recognized the need for a new closed-circuit rebreather (CCR) with excellent work-of-breathing and long scrubber duration that would stand up to the rigors of cave exploration. While there were a number of capable CCRs on the market, all had one or more features that either eliminated it from consideration or would require costly modifications to fit our purposes. The last thing we wanted was to spend thousands of dollars on new units only to strip them down and spend thousands more retrofitting them with different parts.
Unable to find an existing unit that met our requirements, I started to design what would eventually become the Fathom CCR. There are no easy decisions when it comes to rebreather design and every choice, every dimension, every o-ring, was debated endlessly with fellow KUR divers. Ultimately, the final decisions were mine and my background as a machinist in the US Navy and Hogarthian/DIR cave diver guided me towards simplicity and functionality.
Several years and dozens of units later, our goal remains the same, to design and produce the most innovative, functional, and reliable equipment for underwater exploration.