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PSAI Cavern Diver

Required Prerequisite Certifications

Open Water Diver


Suggested Certifications

PSAI Advanced Open Water Diver

PSAI Advanced Buoyancy Control (ABC)

Additional Required Prerequisite Certifications

PSAI Advanced Open Water Diver

PSAI Advanced Buoyancy Control (ABC)

PSAI Deep Sport Diver

PSAI Basic Underwater Navigation



Suggested Certifications

PSAI Narcosis Management - Level 2

PSAI Twin Set Diver


How long does it take?


We rarely run the Cavern Diver course as a stand-alone course. It is part of larger scope of cave dive training. Divers usually earn the rating while pursuing the higher cave diving certifications.


Cave diving is a process: you attend training sessions and earn the ratings along the way. The pre-course academic and pool work will take some time, the actual cavern dives for PSAI Caver Diver certification will only take two to three days.


While the PSAI Advanced Buoyancy Control (ABC) is not technically required for Cavern Rating, your instructor is likely willing to accept you on a trip overseas only if he/she is confident that your dive skills are up to it. The ABC course, all required pool work and at least some of the Cavern Diver academics are done in Hong Kong (or China).


The actual cavern and cave dives require travel.


How much does it all cost?

We quote the courses as 'Tuition Only', you will then pay for the dives and travel as you go.

Cavern Diver
Pro-Diver Development's cave diving photos.

The Cavern Diver course is conducted in the “daylight zone” of any solid (rock) overhead. Cavern Diver course certifies divers to limited penetration in the daylight zone of overhead environments.

A diver that successfully completes PSAI Cavern Diver program will be qualified to:


  • Plan and conduct cavern dives in environments and conditions similar to their training, with the gases they are previously qualified to use to the maximum of 60 linear meters (depth plus penetration) from the surface

  • Determine the risks and hazards of a proposed cavern dive





  • minimum of 25 logged dives


Course Structure


  • Approximately 6-8 classroom and practical demonstration hours

  • Minimum one confined water (pool) session

  • Land drills for line handling, guideline following with and without visibility

  • Four (4) open water dives
    - one (1) dive in the open area for purposes of practicing skills such as line following and touch contact without visibility
    - three (3) dives in the cavern zone.




PSAI Cavern Diver manual.

Equipment Requirements


Standard equipment appropriate for the environment of a cavern dive. The diver may use a single cylinder with single outlet. Use of double cylinders with long hose configuration is recommended if you are planning on continuing to the cave environment

Other cavern equipment including, but not limited to:

  1. Primary and secondary light

  2. Reels and directional markers

  3. Line cutting device(s)

  4. Slate, compass

Equipment Requirements for PSAI Cave Diver Programs


  • Twin tank configuration

  • Two regulators, one with a long hose minimum length 1.5 meters (5 feet) connected to primary second stage, SPG

  • LP hoses for BCD inflation and dry suit if used

  • BCD with sufficient lift to adequately support the required dive equipment and tow a fellow diver in an emergency

  • A redundant inflation device in the form of a double bladder wing

  • Back plate and harness or other type BCD

  • Thermal protection suitable for dive environment

  • Three dive lights:
    1. One primary light.
    2. Two backup lights

  • Dive computer plus redundant timing and depth device(s). Computer must be suitable for course i.e. multi gas, and if a computer is not used then backup slates and tables must be carried.

  • Mask plus redundant mask

  • Three reels
    - Primary reel
    - Safety reel
    - Jump / gap reel

  • Two Cutting Devices

  • Fins

  • 2 Slates and pencils

  • Three (3) line arrows

  • Non-directional line markers

PSAI Cavern Diver course is designed for divers who wish to enter areas where direct vertical access is not possible. This includes overhangs, ledges, simple openings and caverns.

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