Why Dive in There
A hundred different divers will give more than 150 different reasons to take up cavern diving. Diving in some of the most awe-inspiring spots in the world; refining skills like buoyancy and trim to a fine art, earning a certification for a highly respected recreational specialty, or using it as a steppingstone towards the extraordinary challenge of becoming a fully certified cave diver are all on the list.
However, all agree that cavern diver is a special waypoint on their journey. One that pushed them to becoming a better, more comfortable, and more accomplished diver.
But of course, you’ll have your own reasons… All we can guarantee is that earning a Cavern Diver certification with RAID will grow your comfort zone and be more fun on scuba than anything you’ve tried before.
Who Can Enroll?
Students for this RAID specialty must have been a certified scuba diver for a minimum of three months and have logged at least 25 dives or twenty hours of underwater time beyond RAID OW20. * They must be 18 or older.
If any planned dives will take students to 18 metres (60 feet) or beyond, RAID Deep 40 or RAID Explorer 30 or equivalent certifications from a recognized agency will be required. And finally, students enrolled in this program must be certified as a sidemount diver or twinset diver if using that kit configuration for the course.
What To Expect
A unique experience in an environment that relatively few divers have visited. This course is intended primarily to open the excitement and beauty of overhead diving to non-technical divers. Recreational cavern divers stay close to the entrance of the cave and can get back to open water in a “straight line” and can always see natural light, so that in the case of an emergency, swim towards the light and safety.
A typical Cavern Diver program will consist of an academic review, an equipment configuration workshop and dryland drills (which is a chance to practice skills such as using a cavern reel and spools, etc. on dryland), and skills development dives in a pool or confined water conditions before entering the Cavern Zone—an area in the overhead where the primary light source is daylight. All dives will be conducted in conditions where the starting visibility is a minimum of 10 meters / 30 feet, and primary lights must have a manufacturer’s recommended burn time that is a minimum of one hour more than the duration of planned dives.
As an entry level overhead course, RAID‘s Cavern Diver allows penetration into a cavern up to 60 meters / 200 feet from the surface, and all activities must stay within the light zone.
A typical cavern course will have a minimum of at least three hours of kit configuration, dive briefings, and land drills to show an understanding of the skills that will be demonstrated in the water. And then enough time in confined water to show mastery of those skills.
This is followed by a minimum of four dives in the overhead environment, totalling at least four hours in the cavern zone.
As is the case with ALL RAID programs, students will be asked to evaluate their program and comfort performing the individual skills prior to the earned certs being issued. This step helps RAID maintain the high-quality of its instruction and helps to make sure students leave the class happy with their progress.
* NOTE: Because of the fragile nature of the cavern environment, no student may be allowed to enter the overhead until he/she has demonstrated control of buoyancy (hover within plus or minus 50 centimeters / 20 inches) and mastery of non-silt propulsion techniques and backwards kick. These limitations should present no problems for graduates from RAID OW20 programs, but not all agencies focus on these skills for entry-level divers, and graduates from less comprehensive training programs may benefit from a taking a RAID Performance Diver class prior to enrolling in Cavern Diver. If in doubt, please speak to a RAID dive centre.
Cavern Diver can be completed by students configured in traditional recreational gear (with a minimum of extra equipment for safety and comfort), but it’s open to qualified students using sidemount or twinsets. (Naturally, these students must be properly certified according to RGDS.)
Many students use a single cylinder (with or without H or Y valve) with a volume at least 11.1 liters/80 cubic feet cylinder is highly recommended.
(For twinset and sidemount refer to appropriate configuration guidelines in the equipment section of the RGDS.)
Additional required cavern specific equipment per student (unless noted):
RAID‘s new program is a bona fide stand-alone skills development specialty designed to introduce student’s to the overhead environment. However, it is a very useful <first step> towards becoming a RAID Cave 1 and Cave 2 diver.
1. To register as a RAID diver, please visit the link provided below and follow registration instructions.
2. Visit our FREe-Learning centre to read the course material, then purchase the course if you wish.
3. Locate your nearest dive center and get in touch to begin your adventure with RAID today!
Be unafRAID and get started today!
⭐ When purchasing a course online, access to the course manuals, quizzes and exam are included. Practical training is provided by your local RAID Dive Centre and Instructor.