They are seldom, but there are certain times when professionals and recreational divers either want to, or need to, dive alone.
Still, the industry standard says you should scuba dive with a buddy. So, how does PADI's Self Reliant Diver course prepare you for diving solo underwater?
Note: The Self-Reliant Diver Specialty certification may count towards the high-ranking Master Scuba Diver rating in scuba. Check through the PADI A to Z list of Specialties for further information about more than fifty (50) other available courses.
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 most because a 'Specialty Instructor' will be supervising the training.
To begin with, you should never go scuba diving by yourself until, or unless, you have received the proper training to do so and you are using the appropriate safety equipment.
The rigorous instruction combines several theoretical sessions with three (3) scuba training dives in an open water environment.
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 Self Reliant Diver Specialty course you will need to be (all):
Important: Even though PADI scuba certifications do not expire, we recommend reactivating it through a refresher course if you have been away from diving for a while (e.g. longer than six months).
It's important to make it clear that scuba diving with a buddy is the accepted norm for the vast majority of the diving community.
Nonetheless, there are several reasons why experienced divers want to develop their self-reliance skills and independence in diving.
After you have learned how to perform dives without a partner, it usually makes you a stronger diver. Plus, you become less dependent on other divers who may have limited or no experience whatsoever.
But, you'll need to have proper in training self-reliant diving techniques, use the right equipment, and have an appropriate attitude for diving alone.
After accepting the risks that are integral to independent diving, responsible and experienced divers should be qualified to carry out scuba dives without a buddy.
Pro Tip: Scuba lessons help new students learn "what to do if you and your buddy get separated during a dive". As such, self-reliant diving will not be an activity that everyone can handle. At the very least, you'll need to have strong mental discipline when diving alone.
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).
The first part of the theory focuses on the potential risks associated with diving solo. Next, you will learn about the safety equipment needed to dive without a buddy.
After learning how to compensate for some of the common emergency situations in scuba, you will get to practice:
Important: The first dive conducted in the PADI Solo Diver course may be credited as an Adventure Dive towards the Advanced Open Water Diver certification.
You need to be wearing most of the usual scuba gear for the three (3) self-reliant training dives conducted in open water. Other specialist equipment for solo diving usually includes:
Note: Using different underwater torches will be useful as the surroundings become darker and if you will be navigating your way through any dangerous structures (e.g. 10 best wreck dives in the world).
You will need to sign up for a sanctioned course from a reputable training agency, such as the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI).
PADI® standards require you to be certified as Advanced Open Water, at least eighteen (18) years of age, and have a minimum of 100 logged dives before you can take part in the Self-Reliant Diver course.
So now you may be wondering if it's actually illegal to dive solo? In fact, even after you complete the PADI Self Reliant Diver certification, they do not guarantee that you can 'legally' scuba dive without a buddy.
For example, some individual countries and some dive operators may enforce regulations that require 'all' divers to find a dive buddy to accompany them underwater.
We refer to the US Navy decompression dive tables to answer this question. Divers can only stay at forty seven metres (160 feet) for around five minutes before they need to decompress during the ascent.
Divers share a common responsibility to protect and conserve nature. As a result, interacting passively with aquatic animals helps to safeguard the habitats of delicate and sensitive sea life.
After cleaning the gear, there are several kinds of activities that divers should avoid doing. They include:
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 ReActivate® program will help you brush up on the safety procedures and scuba diving fundamentals.
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.
We have qualified instructors and expert dive guides who can teach in several languages, including English, Thai, and Chinese.
The price includes (all):
Important: You will usually be making three (3) scuba training dives in the same day. The PADI and DAN 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.
Most of the information and advice in this section focuses on deep scuba diving activities which we usually conduct from a boat in Thailand.
We also have a list of blog posts about snorkeling - with other popular watersport tourist attractions at the beach resort of Pattaya.
Important: The short video [7:33 seconds] presented by Simply Scuba highlights what to expect in the Self Reliant Diving Specialty course.
So what comes next?
The PADI® Self Reliant Diver course combines really well with several other specialty courses such as, the Equipment Specialist, Delayed Surface Marker Buoy (DSMB) Diver, Underwater Naturalist, and Shipwreck 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.