The UTD Cave Diver is a combination of Cave 1 and Cave 2. This class can be taken as a complete Cave Diver class, or can be split up into Cave 1 and Cave 2, at the end of which the student is certified as a Cave Diver.
The course is designed to educate and refine skills within the cave environment to protect the cave. This is achieved through an intense diver education program that acquaints individuals with an understanding of established cave conservation procedures and an appreciation for the subtle dangers often associated with this overhead diving.
This course covers advanced principles of cave diving, continuing with the skills and knowledge required to penetrate and navigate the underwater cave environment. Training includes an emphasis on awareness, cave dive planning, cave environments, stress management, navigation, T’s, Jumps, Gaps, conservation, standard procedures, emergency procedures, techniques, problem solving, and the hazards of cave diving.
Upon completion of Cave Diver parts 1 and 2, divers will be considered to be a fully qualified Cave Divers, their certification will no longer expire (if they did Cave 1 prior), and they will be able to safely penetrate and navigate the cave, not only following and exploring the mainline but many of the side passageways and tunnels that make up this underwater labyrinth, while using no more than 1/3rd of their gas for penetration. UTD does not assume that cave training is for everyone. In fact, only very capable divers, who are quite comfortable in the water, should consider this form of diving.
Note: The entire Cave Diver training curriculum (parts 1 and 2) can be combined into a single 5/6 day program.
- Must be a minimum age of 21 years of age.
- Must have completed a UTD Overhead Protocols class and UTD Cave 1 or equivalent. Divers who were not previously trained by UTD must first secure the approval of the UTD training director before entering this class, and must be prepared to engage in supplemental training to remedy any training deficiencies. Additional time and fees are at the discretion of the instructor.
- Must have proof of at least 200 logged dives, with at least 60 dives in double tank/cylinder configuration; 25 of these must be cave dives.
- Must be able to swim at least 400 yards/365 meters in less than 14 minutes without stopping.
- Must be able to swim a distance of at least 60 feet/18 meters on a breath hold.
- Must have enriched air training or higher.
- DAN membership & insurance or equivalent.
- Student to Instructor ratio is not to exceed 3:1 during any overhead diving activity.
- Gas consumption: maximum use of 1/3 of gas supply for cave penetration, variable based on team size, equipment redundancy and cave conditions.
- No training dives are to exceed a depth of 100 feet / 30 meters.
- Minimum 20 feet/6 meters of visibility to enter a cave.
The UTD Cave Diver course is normally conducted over a 5-day period, and cumulatively involves a minimum of 40 hours of instruction (lecture and in-water) designed to instill divers with an appreciation for the dangers, challenges and beauty of the cave environment. Special emphasis here will be placed on the demands of advanced navigation techniques (including traverses and circuits).
- UTD Online Classroom – Cave Diver
- Gas Planning Worksheet
- Technical Diver DVD is recommended
- Reel and guideline use.
- Dive team order and protocols.
- Touch contact.
- Use of safety spools and reels.
- Basic navigation skills.
Land Drills & Topics
- Reel and guideline use in standard operating procedures.
- Team order and protocols.
- Use of safety spools/reels.
- Reel and guideline use in emergency procedures, including touch contact and air-sharing techniques, including zero visibility.
- Lost diver procedures.
- Lost guideline procedures.
- Basic and Advanced navigation skills including multiple gaps/jumps and circuits/traverses.
- Visual referencing skills.
Required Dive Skills & Drills
- All skills and drills as outlined in the General Diving Skills, Section 1.5.
- Pre-dive planning to include:
- Assess and review diving team limitations
- Dive plan review
- Equipment review
- Equipment familiarization.
- Map use
- Navigation, to include:
- Visual reference
- Guideline use
- Limited and simulated zero visibility
- Procedures for gas failures; including valve manipulation, air-sharing, and regulator switching (as appropriate).
- Air-sharing scenarios to include:
- Breath hold management:
- Out of air diver
- Air-sharing of at least 300 feet/90metres
- Comfortably swim at least 200 feet/60 meters without a mask while air-sharing
- Demonstrate adequate mask switching
- Use of various propulsion techniques according to conditions
- Use of touch contact for limited and simulated zero visibility situations.
- Use of line following techniques for limited/no visibility situations.
- Demonstrate the effective deployment of a reserve light in less than 30 seconds.
- Demonstrate excellent buoyancy control skills.
- Perform a Lost Diver drill while remaining calm and maintaining a horizontal attitude and neutral posture.
- Perform a Lost Line drill while remaining calm and maintaining a horizontal attitude and neutral posture in simulated zero visibility conditions.
- Demonstrate effective valve-management by switching regulators, shutting down a valve in less than 10 seconds and returning the valve to the open position again in less than 10 seconds.
- Demonstrate proficiency with guideline management in the following situation:
- Simulated zero visibility line following; this would incorporate touch-contact skills
- Efficient deployment of the guideline
- Efficient removal of the guideline
- Problem resolution, including line entanglement, navigation in restrictive areas, and multiple line management.
- Demonstrate advanced navigational technique by completing at least two jumps and by successfully completing at least 2 circuit and/or traverse.
- Demonstrate a calm demeanor while sharing air in a cave exit for at least 600 feet/200 meters.
- Demonstrate a calm demeanor while sharing air in simulated zero visibility for at least 200 feet/60 meters.
- Rescue and emergency procedures.
- Tanks/Cylinders: Students are required to use dual tanks/cylinders connected with a dual outlet isolator manifold, which allows the use of two first stages.
- Regulators: Two first-stages, each supplying a single second stage. One of the second stages must be on a 7ft/2m hose. One of the first stages must supply a pressure gauge and provide inflation for a dry suit (where applicable).
- Buoyancy Compensators: Back mounted wings, mated with a harness and back plate.
- At least one depth-measuring device.
- One timekeeping device.
- Mask and fins: fins must be of the non-split variety. Back up mask.
- At least one cutting device.
- Wet Notes.
- Three spools / reels, each with 100 feet/ 30 meters of line, per diver. Line must be knotted each 10ft.
- One primary reel per team, with a minimum of 300 feet/90 meters of line. Line must be knotted each 10ft.
- Primary light with 6hr burntime and at least 50watt equivalency (HID highly recommended). Recommend back up primary light head.
- Two backup lights with at least 5hr burn time and minimum of 6 watt equivalent, recommended LED type.
- Exposure suit appropriate for the duration of exposure. Argon bottle back mounted with balanced reg. Wet suits not permitted.
- At least ten line markers, of which at least five should be directional (line arrows) and five non-directional.