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PSAI Advanced Wreck Penetration

PSAI Advanced Wreck Penetration is one of our most popular technical diving courses. It is also one of the most challenging. As wreck penetration involves diving in tight, confined spaces in an overhead environment, your dive skills - especially buoyancy control - must be impeccable.

PSAI Advanced Penetration Wreck Course is intended for divers who wish to penetrate wrecks using proper techniques.

Required Prerequisite Certifications

PSAI Advanced Open Water Diver

PSAI Advanced Buoyancy Control (ABC)

PSAI Deep Sport Diver

PSAI Basic Underwater Navigation


Suggested Certifications

PSAI Advanced Nitrox

PSAI Overhead Environment Specialties


PSAI Overhead Environment Sidemount Diver

PSAI Overhead Environment Diver Propulsion Vehicle Diver

PSAI Underwater Cave Survey and Cartography



  • Minimum age: 18 years old.

  • Certifications: PSAI Advanced Open Water, PSAI Advanced Buoyancy Control and PSAI Sport Wreck Diver* or equivalent certifications from a recognized dive agency.

    PSAI Advanced Nitrox or equivalent recommended.**

  • Minimum of seventy (70) logged dives prior to entry to the course with at least twenty (20) logged dives deeper than 18 meters (60 feet). Twin set experience recommended.


*) If you don't have a recreational Wreck Diver Specialty rating, you can earn it in conjunction with the PSAI Advanced Wreck course.


**) Most wreck penetration dives are planned as decompression dives. While there are wrecks shallow enough to allow penetration within no-stop limits, most wrecks are in deeper waters, where no-stop limits don't leave much time for actual exploration.



Course Contents


  • Potential risks & hazards associated with wreck diving

  • Equipment for advanced wreck diving

  • Propulsion techniques and buoyancy control

  • Wreck penetration guidelines

  • Gas management

  • Pre-dive preparation for wreck diving

  • Advanced wreck diving procedures and operations

  • Underwater communication options for wreck diving

  • Managing stress and preventing panic

  • Dealing with emergencies

  • Review of accident analysis

  • Researching wrecks to dive

  • Wreck diving conservation and the law


What you do


We'll first get your dive skills up to the level appropriate for wreck penetration. If you haven't done the ABC program, that is where you'll start. We'll do line drills both on land and underwater - day time and night time. For those we have perfect dive sites in Hong Kong. You'll also complete most of the academic study. Once you're ready, we'll go and do the actual wreck penetration dives: most common destinations are Subic Bay or Coron in the Philippines.


  • Approximately 20-25 hours for classroom and practical demonstrations:
    these are done mostly at dive sites before and after dives. 

  • Confined water (pool) sessions as needed

  • Minimum of six (6) wreck penetration dives




PSAI Advanced Wreck Penetration-Overhead Diver manual (and PSAI Wreck Sports Diver manual if you have not completed a recreational Wreck Diver Specialty).

Equipment Requirements


  • Standard technical diving equipment appropriate for the environment of the wreck dive.

  • Cylinders with dual outlet manifold or manifold “doubles”. Two (2) independent first and second stage regulators, one (1) with a long hose. Cylinder outlets and regulator to manifold attachments are to be DIN.

  • Penetration equipment including
    - Primary and two (2) secondary lights
    - Redundancy for buoyancy – Dual bladder BCDs recommended
    - Reels and directional markers
    - At least two line cutting devices
    - Surface Marker Buoy(s) with reel/ascent line
    - Decompression lines and appropriate aids for the specific wreck environment
    - Safety cylinder(s) to be tied off on descent/ascent line
    - Slate, pencil and compass
    - All equipment must meet the minimums defined in the PSAI Advanced Wreck Penetration - Overhead Manual.

Diver inside a wreck

Wreck diving requires impeccable buoyancy control.

Details in a wreck

Diving in a wreck is diving into history. You'll see tools and equipment covered by marine life, but untouched for decades.

Pro-Diver Development's wreck diving photos.

Take a look at some of the photos we have taken in wrecks around South East Asia.


The Advanced Wreck Penetration course is designed for scuba divers who wish to penetrate wrecks using proper techniques. These penetrations are not simple swim-throughs, but multi-level or multiturn dives. The dive team will always maintain a continuous guideline leading to the exit while in the wreck overhead environment.


What you learn


You'll learn to plan and conduct penetration wreck dives in environments and conditions similar to your training, with the gases you are qualified to use and within depths of your current certification.


Course Objectives


This course provides the necessary information for the diver to know the proper procedures to:


  • Determine appropriate gas for planned dives.

  • Determine appropriate diving equipment for planned Wreck Penetration dives.

  • Plan dives based in established limits and cautions for gas supply, type of gas and penetration objectives.

  • Properly establish guideline(s) in the overhead wreck environment.

  • Understand and explain the hazards associated with penetration wreck diving.

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