At the 2015 DEMA show in Orlando, Florida, Mike Young, the proprietor of Kiss Rebreathers, was stationed at his product booth when Joshua Hotaling approached him with a request for aid in developing a special sidemount rebreather. Joshua, a veteran of the Marine Corps, tragically lost both of his legs on May 13, 2011, during the Afghanistan war, when he accidentally stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED). After a prolonged period of recovery, Joshua found solace in SCUBA diving as a form of therapy. Against all odds, he later achieved proficiency in technical diving despite his overwhelming disabilities.
During the subsequent hours, the two engaged in a discussion about potential ideas and concepts to assist Joshua in his quest to further develop his technical diving abilities. Mike assured Joshua that upon his arrival at the manufacturing facility in Arkansas, he would begin the development of inventive concepts for an optimized, sidemount rebreather with improved design, streamlined features, and enhanced efficiency, tailored to Joshua’s specific needs.