Have you ever wondered why you need a license for you to legally drive a car? And why your driver’s license has some restrictions on what type of car you are allowed to drive. Same goes with scuba diving. But instead of a license, we call it scuba certification and that certification is bounded with some restrictions depending on the level.
The Reason behind Scuba Certification
There’s no doubt that the sport of scuba diving has its own inherent dangers as you will be exposed to an environment that we humans are not adopted to. Submerging yourself underwater exposes you to the effects of pressure and other hazards that you may encounter like marine life. But is it really dangerous to go scuba diving? The answer is no. In fact, there are more accidents in the road, a thousand times more, compared to accidents related to scuba diving. The secret to this is the science behind the sport where you will build up your knowledge while understanding different theories, principles and mastery of various diving skills. You also have to take note that different certification levels require a specific knowledge and skills development. So, the higher your certification level, the higher knowledge and skills on scuba diving is required.
Although the science of scuba diving existed years before, the concept of scuba diver certification started when two divers from a respected Oceanographic Institute died while doing underwater research. From then on, diver training programs were developed and only successful participants were allowed to dive in open water conditions.
Since then, diver certification programs have spread throughout the world with International Certification Agencies responsible for issuing diver licenses, or should we say certification cards. Today, you can choose from a long list of Certification Agencies like CMAS, SSI, BSAC and PADI to name a few and all of them are geared towards spreading the sport of recreational diving.
Becoming a Certified Scuba Diver
In general, your first step in becoming a certified scuba diver is to enroll in the Open Water Scuba Diver Certification Course where you will be taught on the basic principles and theories of scuba diving, as well as learning some underwater skills. However, as a certified open water diver, you are bounded with limitations such as your maximum depth is set at 20 meters (60 feet). After several logged dives where you have already gained some experience, you can take the Advanced Open Water Diver Certification where you will be trained for an advanced skill like deep diving up to 30 meters (100 feet), night diving, underwater navigation and search and recovery.
The Rescue Diver Certification Course is designed to train in managing situations like panic diver, diver in distress, conscious and unconscious diver both at surface and underwater. In addressing these situations, you will be taught in various water rescue skills, basic life support, first aid and CPR.
The system of Diver Certification does not stop until recreational diving. In fact, most if not all Certification Agencies are offering their prestigious Professional Diver Certification programs where the first step of becoming a dive pro is the Divemaster. If you want to take your professional diving carrier to the next level, becoming a Dive Instructor is like a dream come true where you can have the luxury of earning by teaching the sport you love and enjoy doing.
To sum it all up: Never ever dive without a certification and remember ALWAYS to dive within your limits, as set by your certification level. For more details on the different certification levels, you can read our related article on Scuba Diving Certification and this will become handy if you are in Costa Rica or planning to do your scuba certification in Central America.
For information on where to get certified in Costa Rica click here: Scuba Diving Certification Options in Costa Rica
Video courtesy from WatchMojo.com