Training is required and you must be certified in order to rent or buy scuba equipment or services.

There are lots of different certification agencies. In the USA alone, we have PADI, SSI, NAUI and YMCA to name just a few. These agencies have different ways of doing things, some are good, and some maybe not.

The largest certification agency is PADI, who certify more divers than all the other agencies put together. Because of this they have a reputation for certifying a lot of bad divers. I really believe that all the agencies have the same percentages of bad divers, but because PADI is so much larger, it has more bad divers. Of course, it also has more good divers as well.

PADI uses lots of modern audio-visual training – and all their classes are taught at dive shops for a fee. PADI is very much a profit making concern.

PADI have a system of progressive classes, and extra specialties if you want to do them. I’ll over simplify it but basically it goes like this:-

Open Water The minimum training to dive without killing yourself.
Advanced Open Water

Just really doing some extra dives with skills (choose three of these)...
Deep Dive
Dry Suit Dive
Night Dive
Wreck Dive
Drift Dive
Underwater Navigation Dive
Multi Level and Computer Dive
Search and Recovery Dive
Peak Performance Buoyancy Dive
Underwater Photography Dive

Rescue Diver Anything from preventing accidents, through panic attacks, to search and recovery of unconscious divers on the bottom while rescue breathing.
Master Diver Rescue plus several specialties, e.g. Wreck, Night, Deep or Nitrox.
Divemaster Professional Grade – Able to lead dives or assist Instructors
Instructor Teaches to the PADI specifications & signs the C-card


In more hostile waters like England, the British Sub Aqua Club (BSAC) have different certification program.

BSAC training is done at a dive club – where each club has an Instructor and a Dive Officer.
BSAC divers think PADI divers are a bunch of wimps.

At the end of the day, any certification agency will give you a "C-card" or certification card. This is what you will show anywhere to buy equipment or services.

Because of this, it really does not matter who issues your card. What is important is that you like the way things are done where you received your training, and you trust & understand your instructor.

Choosing the right instructor is the most important thing. The choice of instructor is more important than choosing a particular dive shop or training agency. To me SAFETY is the first priority and having FUN is close behind. So if you find a scuba instructor you like - go with them.

We are learning to dive for fun. The classes should be fun. We are not training to be Military or Commercial divers. Some instructors need to ‘lighten up" a bit.

I did my Divemaster Certification with Dave Reynolds, formerly of Aqua Adventures. Thanks Dave.



   My Role in Training.


As a Divemaster, I have worked with quite a few students. It has been great fun working with them, and I have had the honor to meet some super people this way.


victim1.jpg (380708 bytes) victim2.jpg (362711 bytes) victim3.jpg (382042 bytes) victim4.jpg (340488 bytes)
Dave  & Dwayne
Oh great !
Good job
Me on Oxygen
dandd.jpg (403391 bytes) 1.jpg (66065 bytes) celebrate.jpg (103537 bytes)
Dave & Dwayne Dave & Sarah Celebration



   Continue Your Education.