Do you have what it takes? For the average diver, the answer to this question is a resounding No . Many experts estimate that less than one percent of the recreational diving population possesses the knowledge, skills, attitude and judgement needed to cave dive as safely as possible.
Could you be among this group? Although there are few formal prerequisites for Cave Diver training, other than Advanced Diver certification, the fact remains that students who complete training successfully typically have the following in common, in each of these areas of assessment:
Certification to at least The Advanced Open Water Diving A significant number of students who participate successfully in Cave Diver training are divemasters or instructors, or have comparable leadership-level training. Understand that none of the training for these levels of certification is necessarily relevant to cave diving; it is simply that those students who successfully complete Cave Diver courses typically have this level of commitment to diving.
Career Total Successful Cave Diver course participants typically have made and logged at least 100 scuba dives over the past 48 months.
Students who do well in Cave Diver training typically practice and master the buoyancy skills outlined on this page, in confined or open water, within 30 days of the start of the course.
Weighting Using standard recreational diving equipment, prospective Cave Diver students should be able to weight themselves so that, at the end of a dive, with 500 to 1,000 psi in their tanks, they can hover motionless at safety-stop depth, with no air in their BCs.
Body Position Students should also be able to position themselves, by shifting tank and weight system height, so that they can achieve a perfectly horizontal hover. Students can test this by seeing if they can view everything that is going on behind them simply by tucking their chins to their chests.
Cave diving is a physically demanding activities. In an emergency, personal fitness can literally make the difference between life and death. Fitness is also a key factor in reducing the risk of decompression illness. Successful Cave Diver students typically have the following commitment to personal health and fitness.
Diet/Body Mass During a typical day, you have a fairly good feel for not only your total calorie intake, but also your consumption of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Fatty foods, typical of what you find at most fast-food restaurants, are simply not part of your normal diet. You have little difficulty maintaining a body weight that is in proportion to your height, sex and build. Your Body Mass Index, relative to total body mass, is well below that of the all-too-typical recreational diver.
Exercise Your minimum aerobic workout should consist of at least 20 minutes a day, three times a week. At least 30 minutes every day is better. In general, exercise is something you make time for, not something you do when you have time.
Lifestyle Smoke tobacco? Forget cave diving. Substance dependency? Don't even think about it. Like to stay up late and party? Not if you want to dive the next day.
It should go without saying that you should either be able to answer every question on the RSTC Medical History/Exam Form with an unqualified No , or have a signed physician's approval for diving, based on physical exam that meets RSTC/UHMS guidelines and took place within the last twelve months.
How do you stack up against the criteria just presented? If you can honestly say, "Yes, that's me," you may be ready to become a certified Cave Diver.
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