From the very start of a diver’s education, it’s taught that the buddy system is paramount to all else – and that’s true, but in some situations, for some divers, it’s very useful to have the equipment and skills to be a self-reliant diver and be able to dive independently without a buddy.
If you’re an experienced diver who is at least 18 years old, certified to Advanced Open Water Diver level or above and have a minimum of 100 dives in your logbook, and want to further your skills you can complete the PADI Self Reliant Diver Specialty course. This course isn’t for everyone – you will need a commitment to learn and a high level of mental discipline to follow self-reliant diving techniques; those who complete the course though, not only gain the confidence and ability to dive alone but refine their skills and boost their confidence when diving as part of a group or in a buddy team.
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Before diving into the course, you’ll complete a skills check with your PADI Self-Reliant Diver Instructor to ensure you have the underlying skills needed before building on them. During the course you’ll get familiar with have a few bits of extra equipment including a second computer or timer device, slate, surface marker buoy and of course a stage/ pony bottle – essential if a diver is to self-rescue in an emergency situation. You’ll learn how to handle emergencies alone, without relying on a buddy and your training includes proper dive planning and calculating air consumption rates.
There are three training dives which focus on gathering information for the air consumption calculations, simulated emergency situations where a switch to a redundant air supply is needed, swimming without a mask, use of DSMB and navigating to various points. Once the practical sessions are complete there is a small final exam to complete prior to successful completion and certification.
If you’re up for the challenge and perhaps want to be able to focus on your photography while you dive, without the feeling of holding up a buddy who prefers to keep moving – learn how to dive independently, safely with your Euro-Divers Team.