SDI Shallow Water Diver

SDI Shallow Water Diver

This entry-level certification course is designed to give students the necessary skills to safely conduct open water dives in conditions similar to their training using the shallow water scuba system without the direct supervision of an instructor. This course is specific to a shallow water scuba system, and is not intended to train participants in the use of conventional scuba diving equipment. Therefore, use of conventional scuba diving equipment, by participants, during this program is strictly prohibited.


Who this course is for:

  • An individual that has a need to conduct shallow dives primarily for work such as boat hull cleaning or looking for golf balls

Course prerequisites:

  • Minimum age 18, 10 with parental consent
  • Students between the ages of 10 through 14 may obtain a SDI Junior Shallow Water Scuba Diver Certification if the following conditions are met: students are to train and dive under the direct supervision of a parent, guardian, or active leadership level diver
  • When a junior shallow water scuba diver reaches the age of 15 , they can upgrade to an SDI Shallow Water Scuba Diver certification

What you can expect to learn:

The SDI Shallow Water Diver course takes an in-depth look at all of the following and more:

  • History of diving
  • Aquatic environment
    • Vision
    • Light
    • Sound
    • Heat loss
    • Tides
    • Currents
    • Waves
    • Surge
    • Marine life injuries
  • Physics and physiology
    • Buoyancy
    • Pressure
    • Boyle’s law
    • Air spaces
    • Breathing air under pressure
  • Scuba equipment
    • Mask, fins, and snorkel
    • Exposure Protection
    • Buoyancy compensator device (BCD)
    • Regulator
    • Cylinders
    • Weight systems
    • Underwater instruments
    • Accessories
  • Planning your dive
    • Diver fitness and overexertion
    • Buddy system
    • First aid

Some of the required skills you will have to demonstrate include:

  • Swimming evaluation
    • Distance swim of 200 metres, non-stop, using any stroke or 300 metres, non-stop, using mask, snorkel and fins
    • Survival swim/float of 10 minutes
  • Scuba skills
    • Assembly and disassembly of equipment
    • Weight system adjustment with proper weighting SDI Instructor Manual
    • Removal and replacement of weight system on the surface
    • Removal and replacement of weight system at depth
  • Pre-dive check of self and buddy
  • Partial mask clear at depth
  • Full mask clear at depth
  • Breathing and swimming underwater without a mask
  • Buoyancy compensator device (BCD) use:
    • Inflation and deflation (oral/auto) at the surface
    • Inflation and deflation (auto) at depth
    • Removal and replacement at surface
  • Buoyancy control
    • Hovering
    • Controlled ascents
    • Controlled descents
    • Not exceeding the planned depth of the dive or 9 metres / 30 feet, whichever is greater
  • Regulator use
    • Breathing, clearing, and recovery at the surface
    • Breathing, clearing, and recovery at depth
    • Alternate air source use; air sharing with a buddy while making a controlled ascent
  • Underwater swimming; proper use of fins
  • Entries and exits
    • Controlled seated entry
    • Back-roll entry
    • Giant stride entry
    • Shallow water exit
    • Deep water exit
  • Snorkel use
    • Adjustment
    • Clearing; blast method
  • Use of gauges
  • Underwater communications
  • Rescue techniques
    • Tired diver tows
    • Cramp relief
  • Out-of-air emergencies: simulated swimming ascent ending with establishing positive buoyancy upon reaching the surface

What’s in it for you?

Upon successful completion of this course, graduates may engage in diving activities without direct supervision of the SDI Instructor* so long as the following limits are adhered to:

  • The diving activities approximate those of training
  • The areas of activities approximate those of training
  • Environmental conditions approximate those of training

*Note: Junior divers (ages 10-14) must participate in shallow water diving activities with a parent, guardian, or dive professional.

SDI Shallow Water Diver minimum requirements:

  • Demonstrate mature and sound judgment concerning dive planning and execution SDI
  • Satisfactorily complete the SDI Open Water Scuba Diver Knowledge Quest or equivalent SDI electronic / online learning exam. Instructors my use additional exams that can be found on the SDI Open Water Scuba Diver Instructor Resource CD
  • Complete all open water requirements safely and efficiently

pdf Course Standards & Procedures

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