SDI Diver News

You’re Invited to Meet the Agency

What can SDI™-TDI™-ERDi™ do for you…?

You're Invited to Meet the TeamInternational Training’s agencies, SDI™-TDI™-ERDi™ will be at the Tacoma Dive & Travel Show from April 21st through the 22nd. We have so many exciting things that we want to talk to all Pro Members, Associate Members and non-members alike about. Be sure to meet with Shawn Harrison, Regional Manager for the northwest at booth #101 and say, “Hello.” We would love to hear from you!

For more information on what SDI™-TDI™-ERDi™ can do for you as a diver or a professional member, come see us at 12pm on Sunday, April 22 where we will have a presentation called, “Meet the Agency.” A lot of exciting changes have been made at International Training including our HQ move to Florida, a new website and the launch of TDI™ programs online.

Come and see what your next step in scuba training may be based on your interests and needs. Looking for a deep diver course? Interested in rebreathers? Do you run a dive team with your local fire department? Want to advance your career in scuba as a professional? We may have what you are looking for in the recreational realm, technical side of scuba and/or in public safety diving and training.

We are excited to be attending the Tacoma Dive & Travel Show from April 21st through the 22nd and hope to see you there. Contact Shawn Harrison at (888) 779-9073 or email for more information.

To learn more about the training options available visit today

Show hours are:

Friday April 20, Industry Only & Exhibitor Pack-in begins at 8 am with an Industry Social at 6 pm

Sat. April 21 from 10 am to 5 pm and Sun April 22 from 10 am to 4 pm

For 50% off your admission, print out this discount offer.

For a full schedule of events, please visit

Need a Dive Buddy?

Why not create one!?

Need a Dive BuddyIf like Santana’s infamous song you find yourself humming …”I aint got nobody that I can depend on…no tengo a nadie”… this is not a good place to be for a diver. You need to launch a plan to get a Dive Buddy…right now!

Chances are you have half heartedly tried to recruit a friend to your favorite past time, SCUBA. You may have had some luck and some failures.

Here’s a plan: invite your friends to go diving, NOT just go take a class on it. Have them come along on a trip and actually be part of the fun. Arrange for their involvement, a spot on the boat, on the beach or water’s edge. Maybe, just maybe, if the opportunity lends itself, arrange for them to snorkel above the dive group so they can see firsthand what you are up to. Chances are that if you contact your local SDI™ facility and ask them if you can bring a friend down to a pool session to have them splash around and maybe try SCUBA, they will be more than happy to accommodate you.

One thing is for sure: if you don’t ask, you won’t get! So quit humming already… you are starting to scare the person beside you…don’t look now!

Simply contact for the facility nearest you or give a call 207.729.4201.

Is Being a Dive Instructor Something You Enjoy?

Then becoming an Instructor Trainer MUST be at the Top of your Bucket List!

Becoming and InstructorBeing an ITW can be heaven-sent for most Instructors, giving them the ability to often combine travel adventures with training

Isn’t it time you started taking your dive career in that direction?

Are you ready for the challenge? Are you ready for an IT? We have selected the following dates for the ITW which will be held in Jensen Beach, Florida; April 23rd-30th.

Just 30 miles north of Palm Beach you will find the new TDI HQ. With the Gulfstream in our backyard, the diving is good and warm year-round!

Become an SDI TrainerWe are extremely pleased with our move, and now it is time to continue business as usual with our 1st ITW located in our new office at Jensen Beach. We know many people are eager to further their professional levels in education as a leader in scuba and enjoy the Florida sun at the same time.

For more information, please contact Cris Merz ( at HQ or your Regional Manager for details.

Visit for general information or call us at 207.729.4201

Do You Know SUDS? …You Should!

All of us at SDI™, TDI™ and ERDI™ ask you to please learn more and get involved!

Soldiers Undertaking Disabled Scuba (SUDS) at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) in Bethesda, MD is designed to help improve the lives of injured service members returning from Iraq & Afghanistan. By training the warriors in a challenging & rewarding activity it can help facilitate the rehabilitation process & promote mobility. Offering this venue provides the service member with a sport they can enjoy throughout their life. SUDS is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization & a chapter of Disabled Sports USA.

Suds Diving

The SUDS organization has been training wounded warriors to dive as part of their rehabilitation since February 2007.

During this time SUDS has worked with over 200 injured veterans. The scuba instructors are American Red Cross volunteers and active or former military and all the training utilizes SDI™ & TDI™ training certifications.

The SUDS group runs several trips per year to complete the injured veteran’s scuba certification to a variety of great warm water locations.

In December 2011 they ran a trip to Turks and Caicos with six injured veterans from across the country to do continuing education. So far in 2012 SUDS has run its 5th trip to Rincon, PR where four men from WRNMMC (Walter Reed National Military Medical Center ) in Bethesda, MD and two men from the NMCSD (Navy Medical Center ) San Diego participated working towards their Rescue Diver certifications.

SUDS Diving Scuba

The SUDS program continues to offer open water certifications at WRNNMC at Bethesda to our American heroes, and several of these men and women move on to advanced certification.

Follow SUDS on Facebook, Twitter and join the SUDS Newsletter by visiting their web site.

While you are at see how you can help. Divers like you are needed to help Heroes like these!

To learn more about SDI™ please visit

SDI™ Introduces “HOW TO” on YOUTUBE

Just one more time…QUIET ON THE SET!… TAKE # 187535498496498749

YouTube Scuba DivingIf you have recently visited our NEW and we believe BETTER and IMPROVED you have seen a myriad of new features that lead to GREAT opportunities. So since our Pro Members and Facilities have been fielding questions from Associate Members just like you, we decided to make using the site even easier than before. Although we have already built an extensive help section on the website, we recognize that videos are easier to follow for many, while reading is best for others; now you both can have it your way – hold the lettuce!

Visit and check out our first shot.

We will be developing multiple videos over the coming weeks, so keep checking back to see what has been updated.

Here are a few videos we are currently working on for Associate Members and site visitors:

  1. How to create a user account
  2. How to recover your username and password
  3. How to get started with my eLearning course – both by using an access code and without using an access code
  4. How to adjust my settings when using IE 8 or 9 to use the site
  5. How to get a replacement card
  6. How to verify my dive credentials
  7. How to send feedback to the site
  8. How to find a dive center
  9. How to sign up for an additional eLearning course
  10. How do I update my profile
  11. How do I affiliate or un-affiliate with a Dive Center

Let us hear back from you at and tell us what you would like to see next. After all, by now you must realize….special orders don’t upset us!

TDI™/ SDI™ at the London International Dive Show (LIDS)

Do not miss this provocative and thought provoking discussion

Solo Diving – Coming of age

London International Dive ShowSDI™ was the first agency to launch a Solo diving course and to emphasize the importance of Self Reliance. Although still a controversial topic, many other agencies are now following SDI’s lead and launching courses aimed at creating more self-reliant divers. Don’t miss TDI™ / SDI™ Instructor Trainer Mark Powell’s perceptive take on the subject. If you are an instructor, photographer or just dive with a variety of buddies, you will want to hear what Mark has to say on this topic.

LIDS will be held on the 31st March – 1st April at the Excel Centre, London.

For more information visit

For more about SDI™ programs, and to schedule your own Solo Course, please visit

Your UWJ Magazine is Ready!

Underwater Journal - ScubaUWJ Issue 23 is ready for download. If you’re not yet a subscriber, simply sign in and create an account with your email address (takes about 3 minutes and it’s FREE).

Your winter issue of The Underwater Journal has some great features – from finding the little stuff with photog Mike Bartick to Capt. Gary Mace’s gripping story about decompression sickness. We’re starting 2012 with something for everyone. This issue covers it all: gear, photography, marine life, advanced diving and adventure travel.

Steve Lewis gives us another pragmatic view in his column Nitrox, Voodoo Gas No More, but Still Misunderstood. His discussion focuses on the details of using this gas that many of us don’t fully understand.

Jump into the icy waters of the Antarctic Peninsula with Eco-photo Explorers Mike Salvarezza and Christopher Weaver. Learn and look at South Florida’s amazing wrecks from our Editor. And be sure to catch the DAN Column, Dive Safety Essentials, and get your dive year started off on a safe track.

There’s so much more to enjoy and learn, get your FREE magazine today. Don’t forget, UWJ is iPad compatible to download and save in iBooks.

This is YOUR MAGAZINE with lots of benefits. We appreciate your support and encouragement! Enjoy, and please let us know what you think.

Underwater Journal is the official publication of SDI/TDI/ERDI

Time to Schedule your SDI™ Nitrox Course

For some of us, winter is upon us; for others, plans are underway to far off destinations. In either case this means completing that course we started sometime ago, stowing away the dive gear and breaking out the tropical picture show during these extra cold months. But does it have to mean we stop learning new things about diving? No.

There are many locations that will go right on diving through the winter, and in some cases, your diving will even increase. For the rest of us whose waters are great if you like ice skating but not if you want to dive (of course they are good for an SDI Ice Diving course), we still have some options to keep engaged in diving. One great course to take is nitrox. Nitrox is one of those courses that everyone should take for several reasons. Safety is a key concern in diving and anything that can be done to increase safety should be. What nitrox does is increases the amount of oxygen you breathe which decreases the amount of nitrogen you breathe; this in turn decreases the nitrogen uptake into your body, provided you dive nitrox according to air computers or tables. Each year we get a little older and our bodies do not process things as they used to. The way our muscles and tissues process nitrogen are no exception to that rule. Don’t be concerned! There is a solution…

SDI Computer Nitrox Course

Longer Bottom Times. Shorter Surface Intervals. These are among the many benefits of diving Nitrox — a mixture of nitrogen and oxygen in which the concentration of oxygen is greater than that found in air. You’ve no doubt heard of Nitrox, and you probably know divers who use it. You also know that using Nitrox safely requires special training and certification.

Traditionally, becoming a Nitrox Diver required long hours in the classroom, learning how to work obscure formulas and use complex dive tables. No more. Through SDI’s on-line training program, you can complete most of the required academic study in the comfort and convenience of your home or office. As with all SDI programs, you’ll learn to dive Nitrox the modern way, using Nitrox-programmable dive computers instead of arcane formulas and complicated tables.

When you are done with the self-study portion of the course, you will meet with your SDI instructor to review your final exam (academic review) and to take part in a brief, practical application session. Here you will get hands-on experience with oxygen analyzers and Nitrox computers. Your instructor may even provide you with the opportunity to make one or more Nitrox dives. When you have completed the academic review and practical application sessions, your SDI Dive Center will order your permanent certification card. What could be easier? Nitrox opens a world of possibilities, leading to better, more enjoyable diving. What are you waiting for? Get Started Now!

Iceberg Scuba Diving

Diving 10,000 Year Old Ice

There is a very old dive site that has just been floating around waiting to be discovered…

Iceberg Scuba DivingAsk the average scuba diver what they think of when someone mentions ice diving and chances are good they’ll tell you about diving under the winter ice cover of a freshwater lake. But did you know you can dive ice in the summer too?

Every year it is estimated that as many as 50,000 icebergs calve off the glaciers of Greenland to start their long journey south driven by ocean currents. A few hundred travel down the North Atlantic coast of America and make it as far as the island province of Newfoundland. The most famous got in the way of the Titanic 100 years ago (April 1912); and the stream of berg’s since that historic collision has grown stronger in recent years thanks to global climate change.

The process of carving goes on year-round but the best time to see Newfoundland (or Atlantic) icebergs “in person” is in the summer, and one of the best places to find ones that are “safe” to dive is Conception Bay, near that Canadian province’s capital city of St. John’s.

“Safe” of course is an entirely relative term in all types of diving but most certainly in this particular flavor of adventure-diving. An iceberg is a dynamic entity; constantly moving, shifting, stressing and straining. Rolling and splitting are two of the constant threats presented by a huge chunk of frozen fresh water floating in a slightly warmer flow of salt water – and gradually melting away. Of course, these events can be disastrous for anyone close by, whether on the surface or underwater. Because of this and other factors, diveable bergs are bergs that are grounded. These are sometimes called Ice Islands.

Iceberg ScubaGrounding? Let me explain. There is no such thing as an average Newfoundland iceberg. Some are the size of a football stadium, and some look as small as a garden shed (see table), but what they all share is that approximately ninety percent of their bulk is “hidden” underwater. What we see floating is just the tip of the iceberg (sorry; couldn’t resist the pun). As air temperatures effect it – making it melt and crack due to changes in surface temperatures and internal pressure – a free-floating berg is always at risk of turning over or calving off mini-bergs of its own.

You might say that the berg is constantly changing its buoyancy and trim! Only when that hidden portion of the berg bottoms out on the ocean floor is there ANY opportunity to partially manage these risks.

However, few icebergs are held fast for long. As their bulk and mass gradually lessens, buoyancy changes and ever-present currents and tides will tend to push it along, often dragging its way through the seabed. Many berg divers check out this Ice Scour or Gouging – given depth limits – before getting close to the body of the berg. This is an indication of how long the berg has been grounded, and in some part, how it has behaved during its time as an ice island. Also, since the seabed in Newfoundland is home to all manners of cold-water creatures, the gouge often uncovers hidden critters and can attract larger predators to an open feast — take a camera!

Once a berg is confirmed to be grounded, divers usually submerge at a safe distance and swim toward the iceberg. This is one of the most unique experiences. Remember, an iceberg is fresh-water, perhaps more than 10,000 years old. It is pure and unsullied by mankind. As a diver closes in on its walls – which incidentally have the appearance of a multi-hued abstract sculpture – she will pass through the meltwater zone, where seawater and freshwater mix. Her buoyancy will change and she will experience passing through a distinct halocline. Also, the quality of sunlight or daylight will change, and it is not unusual for the visibility around a berg to be “virtually limitless.” The ice itself seems to glow from transmitted sunlight and the berg’s walls will shimmer with countless shades of blue from pale aqua to deep violet.

It will be, all in all, an unforgettable experience.

Size CategoryHeightLength
GrowlerLess than 1 metre (3.3 ft)Less than 5 metres (16 ft)
Bergy Bit1–5 metres (3.3–16 ft)5–15 metres (16–49 ft)
Small5–15 metres (16–49 ft)15–60 metres (49–200 ft)
Medium15–45 metres (49–148 ft)60–120 metres (200–390 ft)
Large45–75 metres (148–246 ft)120–200 metres (390–660 ft)
Very LargeOver 75 metres (246 ft)Over 200 metres (660 ft)

Data supplied by International Ice Patrol

Iceberg Diving


Often an iceberg will be surrounded by small chunks of calved ice (Growlers or smaller). If possible, collect one or two of these and use them in your cold drinks (in Newfoundland, this might be an after dive drink of Screech). When berg ice melts, it makes a fizzing sound called “Bergie Seltzer.” This sound is caused by escaping air originally trapped and then compressed as prehistoric snow layers became glacial ice.


Iceberg diving is great for advanced divers, equipped and experienced in cold-water diving since even in summer, the water temperatures at depth in Newfoundland hover only a few degrees above freezing. Divers with a sense of adventure and a yen for something out of the ordinary are also recommended.

There are several SDI/TDI instructors working in Newfoundland; to find out more about adventure diving, contact them through our website or call us 207.729.4201

REMEMBER no dives outside your comfort and training should be undertaken without proper instruction and guaidance!