Technical q&a Forum

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Posted : August 6, 2008
Hi Andrew, I am interested in going down the technical route in diving
(i.e. advanced nitrox, decompression procedures, extended range etc..)
with the ultimate objective of being a fully fledged technical cave
diver. Given that so far I have PADI Advanced Open Water, PADI Drysuit
and 14 logged dives I was wondering exactly how much more experience
I would need in terms of dives and qualifications. Many thanks.

Posted : August 7, 2008
Wow – hats off to you after 14 dives you set your goal so high. Technical Cave diving is the most demanding and indeed the highest risk aspect of this sport. It is however well supported with clubs, training approaches and strong disciplines in terms of safety approaches and drills. I often strongly believe that we would have fewer deaths for wreck exploration (=penetration), if people followed not only the core wreck training of their training agencies – but also that of very well taught Overhead Environment training that comes from the cave exploration pedigree.

I have posted a reply to ‘how to get into technical diving’ and I’ll let you go to the early days of this Q&A forum to find that. This reply is in addition to all of that advice. You need to dive and do a lot of it. I don’t want a succession of debates over training agency pre-requisits as we all see them as minimums. You need to far exceed these. Get to PADI Rescue Diver (and ideally Divemaster), Get a clutch of specialities such as U/W Navigation, Multi-Level, Deep and Nitrox under your belt and then cross over and personally I would recommend you do your Advanced Nitrox, Advanced Recreational Trimix – both with good IANTD instructors.

You should in parallel with this join a (DRY) cave club such as the SWCC and get caving in the UK – the Breacon’s have some really nice caves to explore and develop your ‘sense’ of caves. Then progress to other POTS and other parts of the UK on trips with them. Whilst you can go and do a nice cave/cavern course out in Florida or S.France with many companies, personally I wouldn’t until you have done the above. Fasttrack is to a disagreeable point OK, however it does nothing to give you the experience you will need in your goal – it will set you up to die if your not careful.

After you have bags of dives (say 500), and lots of deco and other experience, then ask the SWCC or caving club you go with to see if you can join the Cave Diving Group (CDG) and they will take your training forward. Talk/Email Martyn Farr would be a good move to….

Hope the above helps,
Cheers and regards Andrew.
Answer provided by ADM Diving

Andrew Dawson-Maddocks
The views expressed by the author are their own and the publishers accept no liability for the advice and views expressed by the author, or other users, which are provided as a general service to divers. Users are warned that secondary posts are the views of other users and may not be technically correct.
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