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Depth Limits for SSI OW Cert?

Discussion in 'SSI: Scuba Schools International' started by SULLIVAN2049, Mar 15, 2010.

  1. SULLIVAN2049

    SULLIVAN2049 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Owensboro Kentucky
    Hi All,

    I have a question concerning depth limits for the different certifications and agencies. I had gone into this thinking that 40' for SSI and 60' for PADI was the initial dive limits from research on the internet although it wasn't very clear. I had really been stressing about this because I was taking SSI OW and thought I would really be limited on my depth. I just finished my classroom work and test for the Open Water certification and the question was about depth and that SSI was good to 130' but recommended staying at 100' for recreational divers. SO after I pass my open water class and get my SSI OW card, does that mean I can dive 60, 80, 90, feet as far as my certification goes? Thanks in advance for everyones input. John
  2. izibo

    izibo Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: USA
    There really aren't limits, per say. More strong "suggestions." Even the PADI open water 60' limit is a suggestion for OW divers, with the only limitations being placed on training dives (go figure).

    It will really depend on the comfort level of the dive op and you.
  3. SULLIVAN2049

    SULLIVAN2049 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Owensboro Kentucky
    Thanks for the input izibo. What I am concerned about is paying for a dive trip in Florida where the ship they are diving on is 80'. I don't want to get there and they say, no you can't go that deep with only the SSI OW Certification,you know?
  4. Skooter

    Skooter Dive Shop

    # of Dives:
    It's possible that the dive operator may require additional training, especially if you don't have very much dive experience. The best thing to do is call the dive operator you are planning on using and ask them. That way there will be no surprises when you get there.

    FFPEREZ Registered

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Southern Illinois
    You could always take the SSI Deep Diver class.

    The dive shop I am taking my class through recomended that we stay around 60', even though we could go deeper by the certification, til we get some dives under our belts. They had also metioned the deep diver training to us, if we wanted to dive deeper sooner.
  6. Sas

    Sas Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    SSI recommends 60' for OW.
  7. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
    Hey John,

    Several Key Largo operators require AOW or recent deep dive experience (2 or more dives deeper than 80 feet in the last year or similar) in order to dive on the Spiegel Grove or the Duane. I would imagine other Florida operators may have similar criteria for deeper dives. I would call ahead to avoid disappointment.

    These 2 dives in Key Largo are a piece of cake with little current and good vis, under other circumstances, these dives can be quite challenging, even for the reasonably experienced. I'd seriously consider whether dives like this are right for someone directly out of intitial certification.

    Good diving, Craig
  8. emoreira

    emoreira Dive Resort

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: ARGENTINA
    Hi, when I finished my SSI OWD course, there was a question in the theoretical exam regarding the max depth an OWD may dive. The correct answer was 15 mts (50 '). I thought it was 18 mts (60 ').
    After ending the exam, I went to the SSI OWD Manual trying to find out the right answer and I could not find any mention in the book to the max allowed depth for an OWD.

    The Deep Diving course starts telling that a deep dive is when you dive deeper than 18 mts (60 ') and up to 40 mts (130 ').
  9. Bappelt

    Bappelt Assistant Instructor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Pensacola, FL
    These are the recommended depths by certification by the SSI standards. They are recommendations, it does not dictate your depth. Your depth should be dictated by the conditions and your skill level.

    Recommended Depth Limits: All students, after
    certification, should be advised to dive within depth
    limits taught during class.
    Recommended depth limits, based on the certification
    levels, are as follows:
    Scuba Diver - 40 feet (12 metres)
    Junior Scuba Diver - 40 feet (12 metres, only with a
    Dive Professional)
    Open Water Diver – 60 feet (18 metres)
    Junior Open Water Diver – 60 feet (18 metres, after
    certification with no additional training)
    Advanced Adventurer – 100 feet (30 metres, when a
    Deep Dive was used in the program)
    Junior Advanced Adventurer - 70 feet (21 metres)
    Deep Diving Specialty Diver –130 feet (40 metres)
  10. jscott099

    jscott099 Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Branford, FL
    Your OW cert allows you to dive to whatever depth you choose to (the bottom of the ocean if you survive). You are a grown up, you have to make the decision. Now to reality. You are also told that you should be diving in conditions similar to those you were trained in until you gain more experience and/or additional training. One of the primary reasons for initially limiting your maximum depth is the potential for nitrogen narcosis. Dive operators have a right to require whatever they please for diving with them. The last thing they want is an inexperienced diver, with no wreck diving experience, nor deep diving experience causing some sort of problem and offing themselves and a possibly a buddy as well. There is no guarantee that on the NC coast, where I have taught and dove for years, that requiring an AOW cert, deep and wreck specialties, and at least a few deep dives experiences will prevent a catastrophe, but it does lessen the likelihood some. Give yourself some time to have fun with your new cert and gain some experience so when you do go into the deep end, it will also be fun and less stressful.

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