There are a few types of diving that PADI instructs divers to avoid. For the sake of a divers life, PADI, through its basic certification course, steers divers away from doing certain activities while diving, such as deep diving and shipwreck diving.
The good news is, PADI provides special training courses for these potentially dangerous situations. I’ll name a few of the special certifications PADI offers.
When getting your open water certification, instructors tell you to avoid diving below 60 feet. Otherwise, you’ll risk suffering nitrogen poisoning and decompression sickness. However, the deep diving certification teaches how to safely perform a dive down to 130 feet. The course goes over how to compensate for less available light, how to conserve your air (the air in your tank compresses the deeper you go), and how to properly do a decompression stop.
Night diving can cause vertigo, a condition that occurs when you can’t tell which direction is which. Night dives also have no light coming from the surface, so the proper use of flashlights and extensive navigation techniques will be taught. Why dive at night? Mostly to view the nocturnal aquatic life of a body of water. A lot of different animal come out when the moon is full. With this certification, you can see them.
Cavern Diving and Wreck Diving
Cavern exploring by untrained divers is the leading cause of accidental death in this sport. The diver loses his way, becomes lost, and before anyone has the chance to find him, he’s ran out of air and drown. The same goes for wreck exploration. However, caverns and boat wrecks don’t have to be so dangerous. A trained PADI instructor can teach a diver how to use the proper equipment and techniques to make a wreck dive safe, as well as how to control your buoyancy when space is limited. Most importantly, the course will go over how to keep track of the entrance point.
Want to freeze? Then ice diving may be the certification you want to get. Ice diving, for obvious reasons, is quite dangerous. Not only do divers risk hypothermia, but they can drown if the hole where the dive began is lost or freezes over. This course teaches divers how to keep track of the entrance point, how to avoid hypothermia, and how to respond to and give first aid to a diver suffering from hypothermia. Through this training, you can observe aquatic life unique to the high altitude lakes.
Drift diving is very unique when compared to conventional diving. Drift diving is diving in a flowing river, such as the Colorado river, where the current will carry you along. The course instructs students how to use drift equipment like floats, lines, and reels as well as how to keep track of the diving boat responsible for picking you up.
Drysuits will be required by any diver wishing to dive in high altitude or arctic waters. Drysuits require special training because they replace the BCD. The drysuit controls your buoyancy. A drysuit, as the name implies, keeps you dry even when submersed in water, and is much more efficient at conserving body heat.
There are many other certifications that PADI offers, such as wildlife identification, altitude diving, enriched air diver, and search and rescue diving, just to name a few. Each require reading, classroom hours, and 2-4 dives apiece to achieve. Check out the PADI website to view them all. When a diver receives 5 of these certifications, he can receive the advanced open water diver certification. This certification takes you one step closer to obtaining the prestigious master diver title.
This leads us right into our final category, professions in diving.