RAID‘s new program has been written specifically to work as a stand-alone “recreational specialty” and mild overhead course to meet demand from users who do not want to commit to the equipment requirements of a full-blown technical program. It’s 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.” They must always see natural light, so that in the case of an emergency, it’s possible for them to swim towards the light and safety. However, the course is detailed enough to be a valuable steppingstone to RAID‘s popular Cave 1 introduction to cave diving program if that’s part of the student’s future plans. But quite apart from that it does meet RAID‘s basic skills-based philosophy and teaches valuable lessons useful in all types of diving outside an overhead environment.
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. 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 also open to qualified students using sidemount or twinsets. (Naturally, these students must be properly certified according to the RGDS.)
RAID‘s focus in 2023 will be on launching more programs aimed at the broader recreational market, and we view this brand-new program as a perfect fit for the promise we made to our divers and professional members.
A link to the full diver-level standards follow this introduction to the new course, but its key points are: Students must have at least twenty hours underwater time logged, be 18 or older, and have been certified for at least three months. Prerequisite certs included RAID Deep 40 or RAID Explorer 30 or equivalent from a recognized agency if planned dives will take the student to 30 meters or beyond.
Take a look at the current standards for this RAID course here>>>