PADI Search & Recovery Specialty Course

search & recovery Search and Recovery diving is when methodical search patterns are used to locate some missing object and recovery procedures are used to bring the object to the surface. As a recreational diver, there is sometimes the need for locating a lost wallet, car keys, etc. The ability to recover objects underwater will not only make you a more confident diver, but it will also provide you with a taste of what professional divers do for a living.

This course serves as an introduction only; it is not going to turn you into a police diver or public safety diver. Rather, we as recreational divers will use the skills taught in this course to further our diving knowledge, and use it for personal enrichment. Four dives are done, and the prerequisite is PADI Advanced Open Water Diver certification or equivalent and 20 logged dives if not a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver.

From the PADI Search & Recovery Instructor Guide;

Course Philosophy and Goals
"Many factors can affect the success or failure of any search and recovery conducted underwater. Those of particular importance are surface conditions, underwater visibility, depth, bottom topography, bottom composition, vegetation, accessibility, surge, tides, currents, accuracy of bearings, water temperature, pollution, and obstacles or hazards. The size, weight, and dimensions of the object to recover also play a huge role."

"The search and recovery dive team cannot control these factors. There is, in fact, one aspect of an underwater search and recovery that can be controlled - organization. The other factors must be considered when the team plans a search and recovery, altering how they search and the recovery methods to accommodate them. Thus, the goal of this course is to teach student divers a systematic, methodical approach to the search and recovery of submerged objects. Student divers will develop the techniques involved in locating and retrieving lost articles, large and small, within recreational limits and while avoiding disturbing delicate marine life. The mechanics of the search are truly an art; while the principles applied to the operation are firmly grounded in science."

"The best way to learn how to conduct search patterns and to use lifting devices is by doing it. This course philosophy therefore, emphasizes diving. Student divers will apply the knowledge they gain by reading the PADI Search and Recovery Diver Manual and watching the companion video on at least four open water dives searching for and recovering objects of different sizes in varying search areas."

The Search & Recovery Diver course is normally done at one of our local dives sites, but can also be done on selected tropical trips...See our Trips Page for trips that may include the Search & Recovery Course or go to our Class Schedules.