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TDI Cave Surveying Diver

The TDI Cave Survey Diver Course is designed to give the trained cave diver the minimum knowledge and basic fundamental skills of how to survey in the unique underwater cave environment. The intention of this program is to encourage a standardization of cave surveying on all projects; encourage the use of cave maps in dive planning while increasing the diver’s awareness and knowledge of the surrounding environment. Safe techniques, procedures and skill perfection associated with surveying in cave diving is emphasized.

Who this course is for:

  • The certified TDI Full Cave Diver (or equivalent) interested in learning how to survey underwater caves

Course prerequisites:

  • Minimum age 18
  • Certified as a TDI Full Cave Diver or equivalent
  • Proof of at least 25 non-training cave dives

What you can expect to learn:

The following topics must be covered during this course:

  • Decompression theory and its application to survey diving
  • Gas matching procedures/management
  • Accident analysis
  • Equipment considerations
    • Compass readings
    • Compass errors
    • Streamlining
  • Body posture and buoyancy control
  • Survey techniques
    • Sketching
    • Tie-off stations
    • Vertical surveying
    • Large chambers
    • Extended passages
    • Radial surveys
  • Review of problem solving
    • Emergency procedures
  • Survey process
    • Data collection, verification and preparation
  • Symbolism
  • Cartography
    • Single line maps
    • High grade maps
  • Cave environment/conservation
  • Land owner relations
  • Local access requirements

Required skill performance and graduation requirements

The student must complete the following in-water skills during the survey cave dives:

  • Demonstrate adequate pre-dive planning
  • Equipment check and S-drill should be second nature with each dive
  • Demonstrate proper use of guideline and reels
  • Students are to critique their own dives while the instructor supervises this process
  • The maximum depth for this course is 40 metres/130 feet

Note: A continuous guideline to open water must be maintained on all cave dives

Note: A reckless or cavalier attitude may constitute grounds for denying certification, regardless of technical ability

What’s in it for you?

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

  • Penetration is limited to one-third air rule, or more conservative air-plan at the instructor’s discretion
  • 39 metres/130 feet maximum depth
  • 6 metres/20 feet minimum starting visibility
  • No equipment removal in the cave
  • Students are encouraged to gain experience before attempting to plan and execute complex cave dives
  • Perform safety and decompression stops appropriate or necessary

TDI Cave Survey Diver minimum requirements:

  • Complete all land drills and cave dive requirements safely and efficiently
  • Demonstrate mature and sound judgment, concerning dive planning and execution
  • Maintain an appropriate level of awareness and respect for the cave environment
  • Log all dives
  • Receive the recommendation for certification by the instructor

How to take this course!

pdf Course Standards & Procedures

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