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Dive with us - Extra Divers Worldwide

FAQ Diving

Generally

What are the requirements for diving?

Normal physical and mental fitness.
Proof of an internationally recognized diving certification, logbook and a valid medical diving certificate (alternatively at some dive centres, you will only be required to complete a health/medical questionnaire).
Diving with a dive guide is mandatory in some places for divers with less than 30 logged dives (sometimes at extra cost). This will be at the discretion of the dive centre, regardless of the number of logged dives. This solely serves to protect your own safety.

Which safety rules should I keep in mind?

Safety is the top priority when diving, here are some of the most important rules:

  • Never dive alone!
  • Never dive with a cold!
  • Dive only if you feel fit!
  • No consumption of alcohol, drugs, or certain medications (check before diving)!
  • Before you dive, check your equipment and that of your diving Partner (Buddy)!
  • Before you dive, make sure you know the special conditions of the dive site, such as the location of the reef and current flow conditions!
  • Follow the instructions of the dive instructors or dive guides on board!
  • Start pressure equalization in a timely manner!
  • Use a dive computer!
  • Avoid decompression dives!
  • Respect the underwater world and its inhabitants, i.e., look but don't touch!
  • Ascend slowly and before reaching the surface, make a safety stop!
  • Drink plenty of liquids (water and other non-alcoholic liquids) to avoid dehydration!
  • No diving 24 hours before your return flight!

What's involved in a boat dive?

Normally you will receive a short briefing which covers; the layout & procedures aboard the boat, the type of entry and exit, the length of the trip, the dive site,etc.
On half-day trips you will return to the hotel at midday after one or two dives; with full day trips, usually two to three dives are offered and lunch is usually served on board.

What happens on house reef dives?

House reefs are almost always located directly at the hotel beach or in the immediate vicinity of the centre. Access is directly from the shore, via steps or the jetty. At some centres you can also go to the entry point via Zodiac and then dive back to the beach. Often the house reef has several entry and exit points. In many places, with the appropriate experience, you and your dive buddy can dive the house reef on your own. To do this, you must sign up on the appropriate list at the centre. On longer routes, centres usually offer a tank service or shuttle to get you started.

What is a Two-tank dive?

On a Two-tank dive, two dives are done with a surface interval between the dives on board the boat. The boat will only return to the centre after completion of the second dive.

What does Unlimited diving mean?

An Unlimited dive package includes several dives per day, usually this package is offered in conjunction with house reef dives. Unlimited packages cannot be transferred to another person and must be used in consecutive days. Notice: Boat trips will usually be charged as an extra. If you dive several times a day, the Unlimited package is usually the cheapest option. Remember, always observe safe diving practices.

What is Apnoea diving?

Free diving, or breath-holding diving, is called apnoea diving. The diver inhales at the surface and uses only one breath for the dive.

What is nitrox?

The gas mixture of nitrogen and oxygen is called Nitrox or Enriched Air Nitrox (EAN or EANx). The mixture has a higher percentage of oxygen than normal air (usually between 28% and 35% instead of 21% — the standard mixture is usually the EAN 32, so 32% oxygen). When diving with Nitrox, the accumulation of nitrogen in the body’s tissues is slowed down and the bottom time is extended. Nitrox tanks are usually highlighted with yellow-green colour and labelled "EAN" or "NITROX". Before the dive, the diver checks the oxygen content in their tank with the help of an O2 analyzer. Many of our dive centres offer nitrox training and nitrox fills are often offered free of charge or with a small surcharge for qualified divers. Please note that free nitrox filling is a voluntary additional service provided by the dive centre operator/safari vessel and no monetary refund will be made if Nitrox is not available.

What does DIN and INT mean?

There are two different types of valve systems:

  • INT = International, yoke valve connector
  • DIN = Deutsches Institut für Normung (German Institute for Standardization) threaded connector, i.e. the connection of the first stage is screwed into the cylinder thread, the most widespread in the German-speaking area.

In many countries, tanks with INT-connection are mainly used. Here you should have an INT or yoke adaptor. The adapters are usually also available for rent in the dive centres.

What is a Check-dive?

The first dive of your holiday is used for settling into the surroundings and the diving equipment. In addition, the responsible dive centre checks the diver's skills, and at the beginning of the dive, a few basic exercises are done in shallow water (e.g. mask clearing).
In addition, the diver has the opportunity to be reacquainted with their personal equipment, get the correct weighting and ask any questions.

What is a Deco dive?

A dive that goes beyond non decompression limits and makes it necessary to off-gas the nitrogen during the ascent with planned decompression stops.

What equipment do I need?

During the beginner's dive course the equipment is usually included in the price. However, it is advisable to buy the basic equipment (mask, fins, snorkel) at the beginning of the course. Other items of equipment are:

  • BCD/Jacket (for controlling your buoyancy underwater)
  • Regulator with a spare second stage, pressure gauge and inflator hose
  • Wetsuit
  • Compressed Air Cylinder
  • Lead weights & Weight System
  • Dive Computer

If you do not have your own equipment or do not have all the items, you can rent equipment from the diving centre (it is advisable to reserve the equipment in advance). On diving cruise ships, equipment rental is only possible by appointment.
Tanks and weights are usually always provided, you don’t need to bring your own!

Which suit is recommended at what water temperature?

In water the body cools much faster than on land, so basically: better to wear more, than to freeze in the water. The colder the water, the thicker the neoprene suit should be. Tip: Often a hood and/or rash vest helps to protect from cooling down.
The values given here are influenced by personal perception, duration of stay in water, air temperature etc. (overlaps are therefore inevitable). Ultimately, every diver has to decide which suit is right for him.

  • Under 15 degrees: 7mm or Dry wetsuit
  • 15-26 degrees: 7mm
  • 22-28 degrees: 5mm
  • Over 26 degrees: 3mm or Shorty

Can my children go scuba diving?

Starting at age 8, it is possible for children to try out diving (with appropriate child diving equipment). A diving certificate can be gained at 10 years of age. However, after receiving the certification, children are restricted to the maximum depth according to their age and must be accompanied accordingly.

My partner does not dive, can they accompany me on the boat trips or go snorkeling?

Snorkelers or non-diving companions are most welcome on diving trips. It is possible that certain trips won’t be suitable for non-divers and this will depend on a number of factors (physical fitness, type of dive site, depth of the reef, current, size of the boat, etc.). Ask in advance at the dive centre or your travel agent, in order to avoid disappointment.

What is a Drift-dive?

The general rule is: Always start the dive against the current and return to the entry point with the current, but with a drift dive on the boat, the diver is dropped so that they can drift along the reef and be picked up by the boat at the end of the dive.

What is Muck diving?

Diving in rather murky, sandy or muddy waters – often near the shore – is referred to as muck diving. You’re unlikely to see corals, but these dives are a mecca for photographers and lovers of rare and fascinating sea creatures (e.g. hairy frogfish or blue-ring octopuses).

What is Sidemount diving?

During Sidemount diving, the tank is worn on the side of the body. Unlike the classic backmount configuration, there are no diving tanks worn on the back of the diver. Sidemount diving was initially used mainly in caves, but this technique is also used by many sports divers (i.e. due to back problems).

What is Rebreather diving?

The term rebreather refers to devices that "recycle" the breathing air. The exhaled air is trapped in a breathing circuit. The carbon dioxide is then bound in a chemical filter, the scrubber, and the metabolized oxygen is replaced. There are two basic types of circulatory devices: SCR (Semi Closed Rebreather and CCR (Closed Circuit Rebreather).
Rebreathers allow longer bottom times, reduce gas consumption, offer warm and humid air, low noise emissions and unique encounters with marine life. A feature of rebreather equipment is that buoyancy can’t be adjusted by inhaling and exhaling, requiring new skills. Since each rebreather model is different, there are specific qualifications for each model.

What is the difference between steel and aluminium tanks?

Diving tanks are available in steel or aluminium and in different sizes. If you dive in European lakes, the heavier steel tanks are mostly used, but in the case of salt water dives, aluminium tanks are more commonly used. You will find that you need more weights when diving with aluminium tanks, if you are used to steel tanks.

Are night dives difficult/suitable for beginners?

Before the first night dive, most people are a little nervous, but those who have tried it are usually totally thrilled. At night, a completely different underwater world is waiting for the diver, many creatures are active only in the evening or behave differently than in the daytime. With a detailed briefing, a local guide, the appropriate equipment (torch etc.) and staying in compliance with the rules, even less experienced divers can go on night dives.

May I dive when I'm pregnant?

No, as soon as you are aware of the pregnancy, diving is prohibited, as the possible risks to the unborn child are unresearched and unknown.

Can I dive when I have my menstrual cycle?

If you feel comfortable and do not take medication, diving during your period is no problem. Sharks are not lured in any case, so you can safely go diving.

Can I dive with contact lenses?

Yes, diving with contact lenses is permitted from a scientific point of view. However, soft contact lenses are more suitable for diving than hard. Alternatively, a diving mask with optical glasses, which is offered by various manufacturers, would also be advisable.

I have only dived a few times and it's been a while. Is that a problem?

No! If you feel insecure or if the last dive was a while ago, you can take a refresher course. In some centres this course is mandatory if you have not dived in a while. Both the theory and practical knowledge are refreshed and the most important exercises are repeated together with a diving instructor in shallow waters. This course only lasts half a day and usually includes all diving equipment. When diving, you can also book a guide for a fee (this is required for a small number of dives in some centres). In addition, the dive centre will only select the dive sites which are suitable so that you can also feel comfortable as a beginner or a newcomer.

I am Open Water Diver (OWD), can I join all the diving trips?

Starting at 15 years old, OWD divers are allowed to dive up to 18 metres deep. Junior OWD of 12-14 years can only dive with an adult. Junior OWD from 10 to 11 years can dive only up to 12 metres deep, accompanied by a parent or instructor. It is at the discretion of the dive centre how closely these regulations are adhered to. You can deepen and extend your knowledge onsite with so-called specialties or in the Advanced Open Water Diver course.

I am a Scuba Diver, may I join all dive trips?

Scuba Divers may dive to a maximum depth of 12 metres and only under the supervision of a Divemaster, Assistant Instructor or Instructor. This leads in some cases to limitations in the selection of dive sites. However, in most centres you can take an additional course to get an Open Water certificate.

LEARNING TO DIVE

How can I try scuba diving? What is introductory diving?

If you have always wanted to try how it feels to breath underwater or even wanted to try out this fascinating sport, an introductory course is just the right thing. In the Introductory dive course you will learn some basic knowledge of dive equipment, in theory and in practice. All diving schools offer the so-called "Try or Discover Scuba Diving": After a theoretical briefing, it's into shallow water up to a maximum of 12 metres, of course accompanied by an experienced instructor. If you want to take a scuba diving course after the introductory dive, the introductory dive is often included with the course price.

Do I need to be able to swim to participate in a scuba diving course?

Yes, because it is for your own safety. You do not have to be a professional swimmer, but for the Open Water course you should be able to swim 200 m and float for 10 min.

Which health requirements must I meet?

Normal mental and physical fitness is a prerequisite for taking part in a diving course. In addition, a health questionnaire must be filled out. If there are no conditions or illnesses, you can sign the questionnaire and go diving. If something exists or if one of the questions has been answered "yes", you must also consult a doctor for safety before diving. That's why, prior to the course, a preliminary examination is recommended with your doctor. A form for your doctor can be found here:
http://www.gtuem.org/wcms/ftp//g/gtuem.org/uploads/tauglichkeitszertifikat-gt-m-gth-12.03.13-zum-ausf-llen.pdf

How long is a dive certificate valid? Does it have to be renewed?

The certification is unlimited, there is no expiration date. However – depending on your training/experience – if you go diving again after a long break, you should take a refresher course in which the most important exercises and basics are repeated. If you are unsure after a long break, you can also book a private dive guide (for an additional fee).

What happens in a dive course? How long does it take?

Dive courses for beginners (Open Water course from PADI or SSI, CMAS 1-star) last about four days and you will learn the basic rules of diving in theory and practice in small groups. You will then receive an internationally recognized diving certificate that is valid for life. During the first two days of the course, theory lessons and practical exercises in the pool or in the lake/sea are usually carried out in shallow waters. Thus, you are well prepared for the four final dives (open water dives) accompanied by the instructor (maximum depth, 18 metres). At the end of the theory lessons a small written exam takes place. The advanced courses build on the beginner's courses and impart additional skills and knowledge. For example, in the advanced course you can select different specialties (Wreck diving, night diving, fish identification etc.). In total, 5 dives are performed in this course - two of these dives are always Deep Diving and Navigation.

Do I need my own scuba gear?

During the beginner's dive course the equipment is usually included in the price. However, it is advisable to buy the basic equipment (diver mask, fins, snorkel) at the beginning of the course. Other items of equipment provided are:

  • BCD/Jacket (for controlling your buoyancy underwater)
  • Regulator with a spare second stage, pressure gauge and inflator hose
  • Wetsuit
  • Compressed Air Cylinder
  • Lead weights & Weight System
  • Dive Computer

Can I start the diving course even before my holiday?

Sure, that's how you save time on holiday! In so-called "referral courses", you study the theory lessons and do the pool exercises of the Open Water course at home and finish the course with four dives and some exercises mostly in just two days. However, inquire beforehand if the dive centre at your resort offers the same training organisation as your home centre. There is also a possibility for many training organizations to conduct an online training in advance, in which the dive centre sees and recognises the progress. It is best to contact the appropriate dive centre in advance.

What training organisations are there?

There are several international training organisations that offer diving courses from beginners to instructors. Here are some of the most established diving organisations:

SSI - Scuba Schools International

PADI - Professional Association of Diving Instructors

CMAS - Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques World Underwater Federation

VDST - Verband Deutscher Sporttaucher e.V. (also: CMAS Germany) A German Diving Association

NAUI - National Association of Underwater Instructors

… and many other smaller associations, but it is advisable to stay with the "Big Ones".

At what age can you learn to dive?

Starting at age 8, it is possible for children to try the diving (with appropriate child diving equipment). A diving certificate can be gained at 10 years of age. However, after receiving the certification, children are restricted to the maximum depth according to their age and must be accompanied accordingly.

Health

Do I need a medical certificate to dive?

A certificate is for your own safety, in many dive centres it is a requirement to present a valid diving health certificate. In some areas, a medical examination for all divers is even mandatory by law. The certificate is valid for two years for divers up to 40 years, and for divers over 40 years of age, valid for one year from the date of the examination.

A form for your doctor can be found here: http://www.gtuem.org/wcms/ftp//g/gtuem.org/uploads/tauglichkeitszertifikat-gt-m-gth-12.03.13-zum-ausf-llen.pdf

It is often possible to fill out a questionnaire on your state of health, which asks about conditions, illness or medications that could be a problem when diving. If there is nothing to declare, you can sign the questionnaire and go diving. If the questionnaire highlights an issue, or if one of the questions has been answered "yes", you must consult a doctor before diving.

Do I need travel health insurance to dive?

A specific diving accident insurance is highly recommended. As in every sport, there are certain risks when diving. In case of a diving accident, not all insurance companies cover the costs of a pressure chamber treatment. We therefore recommend an insurance policy by AQUA MED or DAN.

Flying and diving – what do I need to consider?

The longer the time interval between diving and flying, the better. In general, one should not dive at least 24 hours before flying. The interval is extended after deco dives, extended repetition dives or missed decompression stops. Also, when you arrive at your resort, be sure to be fit and avoid dehydration. Read your travel insurance carefully, some require that you leave a minimum time BEFORE diving after flying. So treat yourself to a day more to acclimate and rest, then there is nothing in the way of your diving pleasure.

Liveaboards

What are the advantages of a diving safari?

Eating – sleeping – diving – relaxing …

A diving safari takes you to the most beautiful dive sites in the destination, many of which can only be reached by safari boat. Everyday life on board is very casual, no tiresome hauling of equipment and the sea is right on the doorstep. A safari is all about diving, often up to four dives a day. A diving safari is the perfect way to relax and to experience unforgettable dives.

How much diving experience do I need to participate in a safari?

In many cases, 30 to 80 logged dives are required for liveaboard trips. But there are also safari tours that are suitable for beginners. It is best to ask your tour operator which safari is right for you.

What equipment do I need for a diving safari?

Diving safaris are usually held in remote areas of the world. On most boats there is no spare equipment. To ensure that a torn fin strap does not finish your dream vacation early, you should be properly prepared. You should take the following with you on a diving safari in addition to self-maintained complete scuba gear: dive computer, dive torch for night dives, weightbelt (if not integrated in the jacket), surface marker buoy, replacement mask and fin strap, replacement o-rings, First Aid Kit stage–1 and 2, silicone grease, ear protector (for after diving), small flashlight for night time on board, and rain and windproof jacket, ear drops for rinsing the ears after the dive (mixture of alcohol and vinegar is available in pharmacies), personal medications, sunglasses, sun protection, cash (US $ or €). Also to be considered: seasick medicine (available in pharmacies), sleeping bag (if you want to sleep under the open sky), towel, spare batteries.

 

Extra Divers Worldwide
Dive Center & Hotel Management AG

Kirchstraße 39
FL - 9490 Vaduz
Liechtenstein

E-Mail: info@extradivers.org

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