Whether purpose-sunk as an artificial reef for scuba divers, or lost as the result of an accident, wrecks are fascinating windows to the past. Ships, airplanes and even cars are fascinating to explore and usually teem with aquatic life. Each wreck dive offers a chance for discovery, potentially unlocking a mystery or spying something others have missed. The PADI Wreck Diver Specialty course is popular because it offers rewarding adventures while observing responsible wreck diving practices. If you’re at least 15 years old and have earned a PADI Adventure Diver certification or higher, you can enroll in the Wreck Diver Specialty course.
There are many different types of wrecks, some of which are protected by laws that guard their historical and cultural significance. Your training starts by reviewing guidelines for researching and respecting wrecks. During four dives you’ll learn: Safety considerations for navigating and exploring wrecks. Surveying and mapping a wreck. Using penetration lines and reels to guide exploration. Techniques to avoid kicking up silt or disturbing the wreck and its inhabitants. You may be able to get college credit for the Wreck Diver course – ask your instructor. Also, the first dive of this PADI Specialty Diver course may credit as an Adventure Dive toward your Advanced Open Water Diver certification – ask your instructor about earning credit.
You’ll need your basic scuba equipment, plus a dive light to see into the wreck, a slate and underwater compass for mapping and navigation, and a line and reel for practicing wreck penetration. Your PADI Instructor or local dive center staff may suggest other gear appropriate for wreck diving in your area.