Ben Reymenants owner and founder Blue Label Diving
Most people who meet Ben Reymenants’s take an instant liking to him. He is friendly and calm has the world of knowledge about technical diving, rebreathers and dive medics which he cannot wait to share with you. In 2020 Ben also became an ERDI Instructor which was because of the famous cave rescue in Chang Rai Thailand in 2018 where the 12 kids and coach got Lost.
Ben his strength
Most technical divers that have been in this industry for more than 20 years are now bound to a desk and if they are lucky teach or dive twice a year. Ben his major advantage and strength he is in the water 300 days per year. Besides teaching he keeps on exploring caves and reefs to deeper depths then the average tech diver does and he keeps on doing technical diving courses himself, like the ERDI Instructor course, to keep himself educated.
Why Ben started diving
His passion for diving began in 1982 with inspiration from the classic James Bond movie, ‘For Your Eyes Only’ where divers salvage a computer hidden in a shipwreck. Disappointingly, diving remained a high-priced pipe dream until he had made enough cash at age 18 to enrol in a dive course with a local CMAS club. After 2 months of pool sessions, theory classes and lake dives he received the prestigious 1 star diver rating. Further inspired by watching the film “Le Grande Blue” multiple times, he became fascinated by the idea of becoming a deep mixed gas support diver. Soon after taking a holiday to the Canary islands, far away from the murky 12 degree waters of Belgium, Ben decided this was the place to get started.
Ben Reymenants and tech diving
After settling in the capital of Tenerife, siestas turned into daily solo diving sessions, exploring slowly increasing depths – 60m and beyond. In that same year, Ben Reymenants’s training led him to become a Divemaster and soon after an Instructor. In his quest to use more distant sites, he attained his boat captain’s license. In a small fishing town whilst working for a French-speaking dive shop, he met a fellow Belgian, Phillipe, who regaled him with tales of helium-based mixes and nitrox decompression gasses used in Egypt, allowing safe passage past the 100m mark, and more importantly, safe return from depth. No arm twisting was required: a month later Ben started work in El Gouna, an idyllic resort town near Hurghada in Egypt. A new technical wing was purchased to carry multiple tanks. Every day, when guests aboard the boats he staffed sat to lunch, Ben slipped silently away to explore the abyss. Two months later Ben Reymenants was certified as an Extended Range Instructor and Trimix diver. He was now 23 years old.
Where did Ben dive and his love for deep diving
The next step came in the form of a Trimix instructor course. href=”https://www.bluelabeldiving.com/diving-locations/technical-diving-indonesia/bali-nusa-lembongan/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Bali. Re-enervated, Ben returned to Egypt, re-sat his Trimix instructor course and became the manager of Divers’ Lodge in Hurghada, a technical diving facility. The lodge held him still for four years before he discovered the blue hole in Dahab, and then became the deepest diver in the Blue hole and the first diver to pass the 200m mark in open ocean. Ben left Egypt after a few tragic losses and, after a short stint in Mexico, he moved to Thailand, where six months working liveaboard boats in the Similan Islands was punctuated by his Instructor Trainer course in Sydney Australia.
In order to further the physics and physiology aspect of his technical diving career, Ben walked a slightly different path for some time: he took up a volunteer position at his local recompression chamber in Phuket, learning the intricacies of decompression theory. He was flown to Mexico and Belize as a consultant in the trade before settling once again in Thailand as regional manager of the network, treating 300 cases of decompression sickness over 10 years. All the while the technical diving training continued.
Worldwide experience and languages
Ben has been diving in Philippines, Taiwan, Mexico, Italy, PNG, Fiji, Maldives, Taiwan, Bonaire, Egypt, Tenerife, Thailand, France, Sri Lanka, Malta, Norway, Russia, Australia, Indonesia and Scotland to name a few. Ben can teach all tech courses in 5 different languages fluently – DUTCH, ENGLISH, FRENCH, SPANISH AND GERMAN. Besides these he speaks Arabic and Thai as well. He is a technical Diving instructor Trainer for PADI, SSI, TDI and RAID for all levels and his highest level is IT for CCR Cave Level IV mixed gas. Ben’s CCR expertise are the JJ CCR, Triton, Megalodon, The Pathfinder and the Poseidon MKVI and 7 (MKVI down to 60 meters).
Cave Rescue Chang Rai 2018
Ben was very close involved with the cave rescue in Thailand in 2018. After 3 days when the kids got trapped Ben was called by a liaison of the Thai Navy seals and was asked to help. A few hours later he was on the flight. Him and his partner Maksym Polejaka laid most of the line during the most horrific and dangerous conditions. You an read the rest here.
The company’s passion is contagious and every week they receive job applications of diving professionals wanting to join their ranks. Ben Reymenants is test subject for Poseidon, has written several TDI and SSI manuals and is sponsored by Xdeep, Fourth Element, , Halcyon, Underwater Light Dude, Ammonite, Apeks and Shearwater.
Besides Recreational Tech diving, Ben is also involved in certain “off shore” diving work like Hard Helmet Kirby Morgan and Bell Diving. His last project, which lasted for several months from 2014 to present is for the Tarbella Dam in Pakistan. This is does with his business partner with a company called ACET Offshore