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Depth Limits for SSI OW Cert?

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

  1. AfterDark

    AfterDark Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Rhode Island, USA
  2. Web Monkey

    Web Monkey Omniheurist ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    A particular agency's "limit" isn't what you should be looking at right now.

    The important thing to know is that as you go deeper, you get dumber (narcosis), your air is used up faster (less time to fix problems), CO2 retention may become a problem if you're anxious or your equipment doesn't fit/work like it should and cause panic, and an Emergency Ascent becomes riskier.

    I would suggest diving well within your training limits, preferably with a good buddy, and building up to deeper dives gradually (and hopefully with more training). Just because someone will "let" you do a dive doesn't mean that you should or that it's safe for you.

  3. BobinNC

    BobinNC Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: North Carolina of course.
    This is a pretty interesting thread and I just finished my SSI Deep class and I remember last year in my OW class the depth limits being very vague, it was even something I questioned on the OW written exam. Right now my wife is taking her OW classes and she just did the exam last week and knows the correct answer for the recreational limit there is 100'.

    In the Deep class you are told that 0-60' is the recommended limits for the student and new diver and that anything below 100' (100'-130') requires special training such as the SSI Deep class. I am working on my AOW right now and plan on diving the U-352 and off the NC coast over the memorial weekend and the U-352 sits at 110' fsw and figured it was the prefect time to take a Deep class.

    My first Ocean dives were the reefs off of West Palm Beach, FL last year and out of the week of dives I think all but one or two were deeper than 60'. The amaryllis wreck was close to 100' if I remember correctly and that was my deepest dive (about 90'). On that dive I never felt uncomfortable except about not being able to stay in one place because of the current, so you had to quickly see what you wanted to see and move on.

    I have to admit having only done the reefs off of Florida and the local quarry I am nervous about NC coast diving and at those depths, but I want to keep moving forward with my training and do the SSI Dive Master and Dive Con courses so I have to keep advancing my experience level. For me I gain confidence by taking on a new challenge, but I have to be careful and not bite off more than I can chew so to speak, and realize if I may need to call my dive if I am too uncomfortable. My biggest fear is current and coming up where there is no boat!

    I know for my wife she has absolutely no interest in diving off the NC coast, she wants to dive the reefs off of Florida and the Keys and will be completely content in her diving if that is all she ever does. I think a lot boils down to training and personal preference. I think Tammy Storm's reply said it best as far as calling a dive if you are uncomfortable.
  4. VGdiver

    VGdiver Dive Charter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Virgin Gorda, BVI
    I think you are beginning to understand the whole point of Continuing Education as it relates to diving. Contrary to what the Old Contrarians say, Con Ed is about getting the opportunity to focus on a specific part of diving (Deep for example in your case) and learning more about it (notice that I didn't say EVERYTHING about it), figuring out what types of equipment are better suited for that specific dive experience, etc. That is the basic premise of it. On the plus side, you are working with an instructor who will not only help you in that discipline but also give you real world applications to help you further your understanding of diving in general. Learning how to spot potential hazards, figuring how the currents work for your area, and which areas to avoid are things that can be learned in any course you take. Con Ed is, for me, an appetizer plate, it gives me the ability to sample parts of diving that I find interesting and allows me to determine if I want to continue on or move to something else.

    Here in the BVI, our dives average about 60 ft max. I can do most of these dives with a stopwatch only. No compass, no computer, just based on how long our average divers can breathe at that depth and come back to the boat with a safe reserve left in their tanks (NOTE: I do have all of the above, I'm just trying to make a point). I've been here for 8 years, watching and learning every single dive trip. When I go over to St. Croix and dive the wall, I go with someone down there who knows what they are doing as I don't get to go that deep (120 plus) here. Each person is an expert in their area of expertise. When they want to come up and dive on great shipwrecks and maximize their bottom time, see neat critters and fish, they come see me.

    Diving is a great activity and a lot of fun. Some of us are lucky enough to get to do it for a living. My main point is to get the most out of diving - you need to get out there and dive. Deep, shallow, ocean, quarry, just dive. You can't learn too much and I hope you have a heckuva time doing it!

    SSI DSCI #21761
  5. KY_BOB

    KY_BOB Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: West Kentucky

    I couldn't agree more. There is no substitute but the proper training and experience and don't rush it. The quarry is a great place to train, take classes, and gain experience. It's less than ideal conditions but makes vacation diving seem easy.

    If you learn to dive well there, you'll be a good diver. FWIW, schedule permitting,
    I'll dive with you any time.
  6. AfterDark

    AfterDark Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Rhode Island, USA
    I'm NASDS certified (now SSI). I generally go all the way to the bottom. Depth limits are an individual choice. If you don't feel comfortable about going to X depth don't.
  7. DaZtheSquiD

    DaZtheSquiD Garibaldi

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Wilts, UK
    HEy Dudes!!

    I just joined here today :D cracking forum!!!

    I would like to add my two pennies worth , but start by saying I agree with all the comments so far,

    BUT! I have just read this whole thread and I have noticed not one mention of insurance( apologies if i missed any) Im from the UK and have just completed my SSI DEEP DIVER course to 40 meters,

    and one of the reasons i took it after doing my PADI OW course is the intructor pointed out to me that if you have a problem/accident under water your insurance will generally only cover you to the depth you are CERTIFIED! to dive to which is why i wanted to go to 40M so i can dive to depths abovethat and have that extra buffer to 40m if needed, not sure how your insurance works in the USA etc but just thought it worh mentioning,,,

    p.s I am new to recreational diving but am an Ex Royal Navy Diver, so have afar bit of experience despite my junior certifications:crafty:
  8. SULLIVAN2049

    SULLIVAN2049 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Owensboro Kentucky
    Good point DaZtheSquiD,

    I am looking into my life insurance right now. I think I have to take a special "rider" out to cover diving and there may be some fine print there about depth and coverage. I will post again in a couple of days when I find out.
  9. tstormdiver

    tstormdiver Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Kentucky
    You also might look at DAN's life insurance. No riders there. It's included on it.
  10. Marek K

    Marek K Loggerhead Turtle

    But... PADI (at least in my son's copyright-1999 OWD Go Dive book) says that "Divers with appropriate experience and/or training may dive as deep as 40 metres/130 feet." That's the only reference I can find to any "maximum" depth for OW divers. Doesn't give any specific experience/training requirements for that depth.

    As others have said, the PADI recommendation is 18m/60 ft, implying that's for a novice diver. And a limit of 30m/100 ft is what a diver with "greater" training and experience should limit themselves to -- that's generally recognized as a "deep dive" by PADI and I think SSI. Wise guidance.

    But 40m/130 ft is the generally-accepted "recreational" depth limit.

    For what it's worth, things have gotten more conservative over the past decades, and that's a good thing. When my wife and I were first PADI OWD certified in 1985, the limit was explicitly 40m/130 ft, period. No mention of shallower recommendations for inexperienced divers.

    So if an insurance company is concerned with what depth you're "certified" to, as a recreational diver on any sort it should be 40m/130 ft. By the way, I've queried my health insurance provider about this -- Blue Cross/Blue Shield, one of the largest health insurance networks in the U.S. They couldn't, or wouldn't, tell me. (Yes, I know -- DAN.)

    Um, "cracking" means "good?" :wink:

    Just kidding. I knew that... We've got all the Wallace and Gromit videos... :D

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