I’m not sure if I want to scuba dive.

You can try diving first. This first session can be a one-off experience with no commitment to carry on.

Do I have to be a good swimmer?

Some swimming ability is required. You need to have basic swim skills and be able to comfortably maintain yourself in the water. Your PADI Instructor will assess this by having you swim 200 metres/yards (or 300 metres/yards in mask, fins and snorkel) (here is no time limit for this, and you may use any swimming strokes you want) and float and tread water for 10 minutes, again using any methods you want.

I have some physical challenges. Am I allowed to dive?

Any individual who can meet the performance requirements of the course qualifies for certification. There are many adaptive techniques that allow individuals with physical challenges to meet these requirements. People with paraplegia, amputations and other challenges commonly earn the PADI Open Water Diver certification and individuals with more significant physical challenges participate in diving.

Do I need to be fit?

You do need good general health. There is a medical questionnaire and if you answer “yes” to any question then you will need to see a doctor first and in some cases a doctor certified for diving medicals. We recommend Dr Mark Downs although other doctors are available so get in touch for if you have any questions.

Can you dive with a learning disability?

There are lots of different people who dive. To achieve a certification in open water diving you must meet all performance requirements and you need to pass an exam. If you are dyslexic (and have been formally assessed) we can make alternative arrangements for your written exam such as reading and scribing for you. You may find online learning more accessible or you might prefer tuition for the theory side of the course. If you would like to try scuba diving first and see what sort of theory is involved then get in touch and we can have a chat about the requirements and how we can support you to meet them.

What if I can’t “pass” the course?

The course fees are for the tuition and coaching that go towards achieving the course certification; they do not buy you the certification. We will only sign off divers who have met all the performance requirements as your safety is the priority.  If you need additional practice time, such as an additional day in the water, we will arrange an extra day for you but please note this is an additional charge of £100 a day.  On the Open Water course, if you achieve the skills on the first two dives then we will sign you off for PADI Scuba Diver, meaning you can dive to 12m under the supervision of a PADI professional. This will allow you to build further experience underwater before completing the last dives of the Open Water Course.

I’m not sure I want to learn in the UK.

We may not have the blue water of abroad but there are many reasons to learn in the UK. It might be worth reading our blog post. If you are sure you do not want to complete the open water dives here then you can complete part of your training here and complete it overseas. We can also offer the open water dives in Portugal in partnership with other dive schools.

Can you offer a discount?

Unfortunately not. The course costs reflect the costs that are involved in running the course with suitable support and materials. We offer additional coaching time and keep our ratios low to ensure you have the best possible start to your diving. Cutting costs would involve increasing student numbers in classes and we would prefer for course fees to be a little higher but to be able to offer a far more personalised learning experience.

I don’t have any kit

You don’t need any. We can provide kit for your courses. If you’d like to get any kit once you’ve qualified then we can provide advice. We receive no commission so you can rest assured we recommend what is suitable for you.

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dive@oceandiver.co.uk   07711266476