Learning To Dive - An Introduction

© 2003 Geoff Allen

Diving is easy and fun, once you know what's going on. Astronauts use Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus (SCUBA) Diving to practice for the weightlessness of space. You can see amazing creatures that you could only see before, usually distorted, through a thick pane of glass in an aquarium. When using SCUBA you can see them unrestrained, in their own environment, free to come and go as they please.

Creatures like the Eastern Blue Groper (which has been declared the New South Wales State Fish by the New South Wales Government), free swimming Common or Weedy Sea Dragons, small and fragile Seahorses, brilliantly coloured and shaped Giant Cuttlefish, strange looking Wobbygong Sharks or the harmless Port Jackson Shark.

This article has been written to assist you by providing some general information. There are just too many topics and too much information to cover everything but it will allow you to start your Recreational SCUBA Diving Course with a little bit of knowledge on what's happening and how things are generally done.

You cannot learn to dive just from this article - but you can get a good idea of what it is all about.

Scuba Diving in Australia

Some general information for you first. SCUBA Diving Courses are designed on the basis of 40 Years of knowledge, experience and equipment design in a sport practiced in every country on earth. This allows you to dive in the safest possible way, both whilst training and throughout your diving career, wherever in the world you wish to dive. And remember, these rules are to protect you, and your diving buddies!

Training Agencies

The majority of Independent Instructors and SCUBA Diving Stores in Australia use the following Training Agencies, which are recognized the world over, to train and certify SCUBA Divers, but are not limited to, the British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC), the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI), the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), Scuba Schools International (SSI) and Scuba Diving International (SDI).

What age do I need to be to start a SCUBA course?

The minimum age to start a SCUBA Course will depend on the Training Agency. There are prerequisites and restrictions with each of the courses listed below; you will need to discuss these at length with your Instructor or Dive Store.

  BSAC is 12 Years old with a BSAC School or 14 Years old with a BSAC Branch for your Ocean or Club Diver Course.
  NAUI is 12 Years old for Junior Certification.
  PADI is 8 Years old for Bubblemaker and Seal Team Programs or 10 Years old for a Junior Certification.
  SSI is 8 Years old for SCUBA Rangers and 12 Years old for Junior Certification.
  SDI is 8 Years Old for Future Buddies programs and 10 Years old for a Junior (Restricted) Open Water Certification.

Dive Instructors

Dive Instructors go through a quite considerable amount of training and assessment, to be allowed the privilege of being able to teach Scuba Diving. And, even then, after passing all the exams and assessments, they have to keep up the learning cycle to be able stay ahead with a very progressive industry. The methods that they are taught make the industry as safe and comfortable as possible, therefore making it more enjoyable for the Student.

Ready To Learn?

So you have decided to take the plunge, literally, and have decided to learn to Scuba Dive, then now is the time to also read through the following sections as well: Main Page, Medical Considerations, Become A Scuba Diver, the day the course arrives, I passed - where do I go from here?

The information contained in this article has been gathered from various places, various sources and the experience and training of the originator. Once again, it is not to be taken as the only way things are or should be done, there are others.