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Night Diving Specialty Course

Night dives are safer when you know how to navigate in dark water and a lot more enjoyable if you know where to find nocturnal creatures that become active after sunset.

This guide explains how to make three (3) scuba training dives at night-time with an instructor and get certified as a PADI Night Diving Specialist - and you can do it in two (2) nights.

PADI Night Diver Course | Table of Contents

Important: The Night Diver Specialty certification may count towards the PADI Master Scuba Diver Rating. Check our PADI® Specialty Courses List for further details on more than thirty other specialties (listed from A to Z).

What is the Meaning of Specialty Diver?

In simple terms, a Specialty Diver is someone with enhanced scuba diving abilities beyond entry level certifications (e.g. Discover Programs, Scuba Diver, Open Water Diver).

Signing up for specialist scuba courses is the ideal path to take if you want to learn new techniques and experience different kinds of underwater exploration.

Furthermore, you will get the best opportunity to acquire superior knowledge and skills in the diving activities that interest you the most because a 'Specialty Instructor' will be supervising the training.

Scuba Diving in the Darkness

Early evening sunsets are stunning in Thailand - albeit a little brief! Dark skies start setting in around 6:30pm and that's when Pattaya divers journey out to sea for night diving adventures.

In most cases, you will be exploring a familiar daylight dive site. But, as darkness falls, the reefs and wrecks take on a whole new perspective at dusk.

Under the glow of your dive light, 'eerie critters' become more active at nightfall. So, being underwater at twilight will make you feel like you're in a different world.

Age, Depth, and Prerequisite Certification

There are minimum age requirements and maximum depth limits for all the specialties that require scuba training dives in open water.

As a result, before you can enrol in the PADI Night Diver Specialty course you will need to be (all):

Number of Nights: Two (2) (minimum)

Scuba Training Dives: Three (3)

Maximum Depth: Twelve (12) Metres (*recommended)

Important: PADI scuba certifications do not expire. Even so, we suggest that you take part in a refresher course if you've been inactive from diving for a while (e.g. longer than six months).

Benefits of Becoming a Night Diver Specialist

So, what are some common reasons for taking the PADI Night Diver course? Night diving is really popular with divers who enjoy seeing nocturnal organisms and different creatures at familiar dive sites.

That said, some beginners may feel a little nervous about dipping below the surface in the dark. For some, the fear of deep dark water is too frightening to overcome.

But, after making your first night dive with an instructor, watching the surroundings take on their new life is about as exciting as it gets.

How to Get the PADI Night Diver Specialty Certification in Thailand.This specialty course prepares scuba divers to go diving after sundown. Some of the best sites for night dives in Thailand include:

It's important to understand that the techniques and procedures used when entering and exiting the water when it's dark may vary at different locations.

Note: The PADI® Pelagic Magic Diver Distinctive Specialty course (also called blackwater diving) provides 'tethered' scuba divers an opportunity to see tiny marine organisms migrate through the water column up to the surface in complete darkness.

Digital Learning Programs for Self-Study

In general, it is much easier for divers with a busy schedule to choose the online learning option to start scuba lessons.

Being able to complete the independent study portion of a multiple day course offers you some flexibility and convenience.

As long as you have a computer or a mobile device, you will be able to study the knowledge development portion at your own pace (online or offline).

Night Diver eLearning: Up to Four (4) Hours

If you sign up for PADI eLearning® you can complete Night Diver self-study assignments online for around 4,500 THB.

Following that, you would need to contact the dive shop to perform the required scuba training dives with a PADI Instructor to finish the course.

PADI Night Diver: What Skills Will You Learn?

You need to participate in the instructor-led knowledge development sessions by completing all knowledge reviews from the Night Diver student manual.

Here's why...

Of course, you will learn how to enter and exit deeper water in a safe and effective manner while wearing scuba gear in limited visibility (often from a custom-built dive boat).

Besides that, you will also learn about:

  • How to plan and organise scuba diving activities in darkness when natural daylight has ended.
  • The importance of having good buoyancy control and being able to navigate underwater in blackwater environments.
  • Specialised scuba equipment and using underwater light systems for effective communication.
  • Safety procedures and special techniques for descending and ascending in dimly lit water. This includes being head-up while using an ascent line for reference and marking your safety stop.
  • Why passive interaction with aquatic life and what sea life animals become active in the darkness.

Note: Did you successfully complete the elective Night Dive from the Adventures in Diving Program? If so, an instructor may count it as being the first training dive of the certification requirements in this particular specialty course.

Dive Gear and Specialist Equipment

You need to wear proper dive gear for the scuba training dives conducted in open water. Other specialist equipment for night dives can include thicker wetsuits (maybe a dry suit), hood or beanie, and neoprene gloves can help you stay more comfortable.

In some cases, you may also use:

Note: Divers use underwater torch lights as the surroundings become darker and for navigation through complex structures (e.g. the top ten wreck dives in the world).

FAQ Section and Medical Questionnaire Form

Can Open Water Divers Go Night Diving?

Yes they can. But, beginners are more likely to enjoy it more - and feel safer - if they have proper training when making the first night dive.

What Do You Need for Night Diving?

All night divers should be carrying two (2) dive lights as a minimum. You use the primary light to illuminate the area in front as you move through the water.

The second is usually a small backup flashlight device in case you have a problem with the primary (e.g. a failed bulb).

Can I Touch Organisms When I'm Underwater?

Divers share a common responsibility for protecting and conserving nature. Thus, interacting passively with creatures underwater helps to safeguard the habitats of delicate and sensitive marine life.

When Should You Do a Scuba Refresher?

Suppose you don't go diving for more than six months. There is a simple way to refresh the knowledge and skills that you already learned.

After a long period of inactivity, taking the PADI Scuba Review Program will help you brush up on the safety procedures and scuba diving fundamentals.

Medical Requirements: Free Download

You must be in good physical and mental health and be medically fit for recreational scuba diving. You can review the Diver Medical Participant Questionnaire Online to check whether you need to be evaluated by a physician.

It is not appropriate to ask dive staff (e.g. divemasters, instructors) for medical advice or clearance to go diving. Instead, you can contact the Divers Alert Network (DAN) if you have questions about your medical fitness to dive.

Price for PADI Night Diver Specialty Course in Thailand 11,500 THB*

We have qualified instructors and expert dive guides who can teach in several languages, including English, Thai, and Chinese.

The price includes (all):

Blue Check MarkBoat trips (with free soft drinks served on board)

Blue Check MarkProfessional tuition from a "Private Scuba" Instructor

Blue Check MarkFree rental of required diving equipment (including a dive computer)

Blue Check MarkPADI Night Diving Specialty Manual and Certification Card

Blue Check MarkHotel transfers within Pattaya City limits

Important: You will usually be making two (2) scuba training dives in the same day. The PADI flying after diving guidelines say you need to wait a minimum of eighteen (18) hours after the second dive before you go to altitude. Please send an email to our team if you need further information.

YouTube Video and Knowledge Base for Night Divers

Most of the information and advice in this section focuses on scuba activities conducted from a dive boat in Thailand.

We also have a list of blog articles about snorkeling and other popular watersport tourist attractions at the beach resort of Pattaya.

Scuba Diving Help Guides

Note: The short video [1:31 seconds] presented by PADI highlights what to expect when taking the Night Diver Specialty course and how protocols and procedures vary at some sites around the world.

What Comes after the Night Diver Specialty?

Diving in the night-time, or in limited visibility, brings new challenges for inexperienced divers. Yet, it can be an amazing experience.

Nocturnal creatures and underwater organisms become a lot more active when there is no bright sunshine, including:

So what comes next? Your certification links to almost all other scuba certifications, including the best ten Specialty Courses offered by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI).

Even so, the PADI® Night Diver course combines really well with several other specialties, such as AWARE Shark Conservation, Boat Diver, Delayed Surface Marker Buoy (DSMB) Diver, Multilevel Diver, and Wreck Diver.

Note: All course prices for diving are subject to change and assume that all prerequisites have been met to start the training. Click here to contact the team at Private Scuba in Thailand to make a booking or send an enquiry.

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