Black Water Diver

Black Water Diving Specialist
If You're Serious About Being A Search & Recovery Diver... Then You Better Be Able To Handle The Good, The Bad, and The Black!

- Let me ask you a question. What are you going to do when the wreck silts out, trapping you and your partner inside? What are you going to tell the police when they ask you to recover a weapon used in a murder, now at the bottom of a silty harbor - "Sorry, we only dive in good visibility"?

Of course not! Yet I hear from professional dive team members that they're not comfortable diving black water. Add to that the difficulties of diving deep or inside a wreck or an overhead environment like ice and they're really in trouble. Man, this is Cape Cod - not the Bahamas! If they can only dive water with visibility you've got to ask yourselves - why are they calling themselves Search & Recovery divers?

While no one wants to get hurt, diving black water is not necessar-ily "risky" - however, it does require special training, skill development and constant practice to stay sharp.

While many dive team members are excellent at their jobs in limited visibility water, they've never spent the time and effort to become proficient in the zero visibility diving. Thus it's no wonder many fire deparment divers feel they can't dive black water. They're unprepared, untrained, and mentally psyched out by the concept.

Will you be ready? Or will you wait until a hurricane crashes into Cape Cod, turning the underwater enviroment black with silt. Hundreds of dives need to be performed, bodies and property are waiting to be recovered. The public is looking at you to do the job - can you? You can if you take the time to get trained. Now is that time.

Your instructor for the workshop is PADI Master Instructor, Donald Ferris. Don is the authoratative voice in Cape Cod diving having authored four books on diving including, "Beneath the Waters of Cape Cod", "Beneath the Waters of Massachusetts Bay", "Exploring the Waters of Cape Cod" and "The Anthology of Cape Cod Shipwrecks". He has performed dive training for the Hyannis, Yarmouth, Centerville/Osterville, Barnstable Natural Resources, Martha's Vineyard, Harwich, Orleans and Chatham fire departments.

This class is almost all water orientated with the emphasis on diving as many different dive conditions as we can in a relatively short period of time. The overall concept is to develop the proper skills necessary to enable you to dive anywhere on Cape Cod, in any type of visibility, with safety, skill, and confidence.
Don has certified over 2000 people to dive on Cape Cod with more than half of these certifications at the Advanced or Specialty level. He is entertaining as well as challenging. Don grew up on the Mississippi river and learned to dive black water in it's murky depths. He really knows how to teach dark water diving.

Here's the way the workshop is organized: On the first day you'll be learning black water diving knowledge that you will utilize your entire diving career. Don will demonstrate how to minimize the dangers associated with black water diving and discuss practical problem solving and previsualization as a group. We'll do some pool training to learn new skills and don't worry about a written test, there isn't one. We want you learning, not memorizing.

Next we'll head out to a local dive site for some real life practice. You and your fellow firefighters will be actually setting up the dive plan and securing the site for diving.

Once underwater you'll be practicing new skills like air and problem management, entanglement, hazardous marine life, and lots more. The next time we meet, we'll explore new ground and polish up our skills and improve our speed of recovery. And we'll keep diving until you master the skills needed.
By the time the workshop is through, you'll have four to eight black water dives under your belt and lots of new experiences. You'll be ready to dive when duty calls.

Price: $450, per student. includes . . .
- 1 Classroom session and 4 training dives
- certification in Black Water diving from P.A.D.I.

Prerequisites: Advanced diver certification. Note* The course instructor reserves the right to require remedial training if you have not been diving on a regular basis since your certification.
Specialized Equipment: Full scuba equipment including a recently serviced regulator, octopus, full instrumentation, full wet or drysuit, two dive tanks 80 cu. ft. or larger, one large light, backup light, knife and wreck reel. Note* all smaller equipment like lights must be able to be clipped to your dive system.

PADI Medical Form