In this article, we meet Chris Heitkemper and learn more about her influence in the technical diving industry. Heitkemper was interviewed by a member of PADI staff, and this article was originally published on the TecRec blog on January 31, 2013.

What are your PADI/TecRec certifications?

  • PADI Course Director
  • Tec Deep Instructor Trainer
  • Trimix Instructor Trainer
  • Sidemount Instructor Trainer
  • Self-Sufficient Diver Instructor Trainer
  • Trimix Gas Blender Instructor Trainer

What is your background and current involvement in diving?

I started to work as an Instructor in 1996 in Thailand. In 1998, I moved to Malta and became a Course Director in 2001. Since 2004, I have been working as an Instructor Examiner. When at home in Malta, I teach Technical and Trimix courses for students and instructors. Recently, I got into sidemount diving as well, which is another exciting way to dive.

Chris TMx

How did you get into tec diving?

It gave me the opportunity to dive different exciting sites. Malta offers more than 20 wrecks below recreational limits, so it is an ideal place for technical diving.

Do have any specialized areas of interest?

Definitely deep wreck diving. It is wonderful to dive wrecks hardly anybody has seen before. There is so much history to be discovered.

What do think the greatest challenges are in this kind of diving?

Evaluating the dive conditions. Usually, visibility is awesome in Malta; however, currents can be strong. You need to respect the environment. 

Italian E-boat

What are the most important attributes of a tec diver for the type of diving you do?

Being methodical and patient.

What are the most likely mistakes a tec diver can make in your kind of diving?

Being over-confident, trying to accomplish too much too quickly.

How do you prepare for a demanding technical dive?

By making sure equipment is complete and functioning. Visualizing the entire dive is another great way to prepare.

What were your best tec diving experiences?

Diving a WWI wreck and being surrounded by abundant marine life, such as barracudas, groupers, rays and even a sunfish.


 What influences your selection of dive gear?

Simplicity, practicability and performance. Ideally, the equipment becomes part of your body.

What kind of person do you want diving on the same team as you?

The ideal tec diver should be prudent, reliable and skillful.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of getting into tec diving?

Make sure you select equipment wisely and accept the responsibilities of a tec dver. Once you are qualified, keep learning and push limits slowly.

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