Tech Diver Support Diver Distinctive Specialty


Program Overview: This program is developed for divers to be trained, qualified and certified to assist technical divers during the ascent/decompression phase of deep Tech dives. These support divers are trained to meet tech divers during their ascent/decompression stops at depths not deeper than 100 feet.

These support divers do not substitute for tech divers carrying and being responsible for their own decompression gasses but will be available for assistance should tech divers have difficulty during decompression stops from 100 feet and shallower.

Tech divers are expected to carry out 100% of their own dive plan and requirements. The presence of the support diver does not relieve the tech diver from any responsibility either to him/herself or the team. The support diver is there only to provide support in the event of an emergency that happens during the tech diver’s ascent and decompression stops.

Support divers are not to conduct dives that require staged decompression during this class or operationally in support of tech divers unless trained, equipped and certified to do so. Support divers must always conduct appropriate safety stops and remain within their training and certification limits.

Pre-requisites: Deep Diver, Enriched Air Diver, Rescue Diver, Current CPR and First Aid, Boat Diver, Wreck diver, Emergency Oxygen Provider. Tech-40 and
Self-Reliant Diver/or above highly recommended.

Maximum Depth 100 feet
Ratios: 3:1
Minimum Student Age: 18
Minimum Number of Dives: 2

Required Equipment: As per Divemaster course and two properly rigged/labeled decompression bottles, surface marker buoy, decompression computer, backup mask, wetnotes or slate with pencil.

B. Course Goals

1. To develop your knowledge of Technical diving.
2. To develop your knowledge on how to safely execute deep Tech dives dives.
3. To increase your diving skills.
4. To enable you to plan, organize, and safely assist Tech divers.
5. To improve your diving ability and provide you with additional experiences.
6. To encourage you to participate in other specialty Technical training

C. Course Overview

1. Knowledge Development. 
2. Land Drills. Certain skills will be practiced on land before any in water work takes place.
3. Open Water Training Dives. There will be two (2) open water training dives. 

D. Certification.
1. Upon successful completion of this course, a PADI Distinctive Specialty Card for Technical Dive Support Diver will be issued.
2. Certifications means that you will be qualified to: Assist in the planning, and organization of tech dives, log advanced/technical support dives to a maximum depth of 100 fsw. This certification in no way qualifies graduates as Technical divers.


E. Class Requirements
1. Cost of the course
2. Required equipment
3. Required materials needed for the course.
4. Attendance requirements

F. Administration.
1. Complete all paperwork, releases and documentation.

 G. Dive Procedures
1. Planning
2. Use of standardized gases
3. Team checks / equipment checks
4. Emergency procedures.
5. Omitted Decompression Procedures
6. Normal conditions
7. Emergency conditions
8. Ascents
9. Gas switches and the dangers of switching to the wrong gas.
10.NOTOX Procedures.

H. Special Considerations:

1. Handling 100% Oxygen cylinders
2. Deploying SMB’s and liftbags
3. Conduct of Deep live boating Drops-Hazards-When to jump?
4. Conduct of Deep live boating Pickups-Hazards and considerations
5. Recognition of diver stress (Review from Rescue Diver Course)
6. Loss of decompression gas supply
7. Dealing with Boat traffic during decompression stops
8.  Dealing with aggressive marine life
9.  Dealing and avoiding entanglement
10. Importance of hydration
11. Importance of proper ascent rates
12. Pre disposing factors to decompression sickness
13. Dealing with dives conducted in high current
14. Consequences and avoidance of switching to the wrong gas
15. Boat diving Techniques and procedures (Review from Boat Diver Course)
16. Determining Latitude and Longitude
17. How do we call for help when at sea?
18 Ensuring the emergency Oxygen Kit is filled, and all components are operational.

Dry Land Skill Demonstration:

Rigging of SMB’s and reels
Rigging of decompression cylinders and decompression regulators
Carrying/handling decompression cylinders
Review of boat diving techniques
Review of compass navigation
Determining Latitude and Longitude from the boats’ or other GPS.
Proper VHF radio operational procedures. Hailing and Distress channel 16 and working channels. Local regulations and practices.

Open Water Dives
The following skills will be conducted over two (2) dives. Maximum depth shall be 100 feet, minimum depth 70 feet.

1. Deployment of an SMB or lift bag from a maximum depth of 100 fsw.
2. Carrying two decompression bottles, minimum size AL40.
3. Recognizing deficiencies with decompression bottles. Proper labeling, proper fill pressure, proper rigging, proper regulators, spg’s.
4. Dealing with a simulated aggressive marine animal.
5. Mask removal and replacement.
6. Assist a simulated Tech diver into and out of the water from a boat.
6. Providing simulated Tech diver with a backup mask.
7. Providing simulated Tech diver with a properly labeled backup decompression bottle.
8. Gas sharing with a simulated Tech diver while deploying backup decompression gas.
9. Demonstrating proper ascent rates and stops while assisting a simulated Tech diver.
10. Simulated drifting decompression utilizing SMB or lift bag.