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Unknown divers on the Numidia, Red Sea, Egypt -- picture by Peter Rothschild
Under the waters of the Pacific Northwest lie a multitude of wrecks, both natural and artificial. There are simple easy dives on wrecks such as the dry dock at Edmonds. There are deeper, bigger, more exciting wrecks that are especially prepared for divers, such as the Mackenzie and the Cape Breton in Canada. There are the natural wrecks, some not much more than ballast piles and other remarkably intact such as the Diamond Knot in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. A wreck diving specialty can prepare you for diving on, and even in, these wrecks and thereby add another dimension to your diving.
From the Instructor Manual:
This course is designed to be an introduction to wreck diving and to help the student diver develop the skills and knowledge necessary for safe wreck diving.
The Wreck Diver course is to include four open water training dives, which are to be conducted over at least two days. The minimum number of recommended hours is 24, with time being equally divided between knowledge development and actual water-training sessions. Penetration-training dives are to be limited to within the light zone and within 40 metres/130 feet from the surface, vertical and horizontal distance included. No out-of-air drills are to be practiced in the overhead environment. After the training dives, student divers are required to log their dives in their personal log books.
Training dives that do not include wreck penetration may be conducted at night for divers who have completed the Night Adventure Dive or the first dive of the PADI Night Diver specialty course, or have qualifying night diving experience. If the wreck used for training is located in deep water (over 18 metres/60 feet), the Deep Diver rating is recommended as a prerequisite for the Wreck Diver course.
To conduct a Wreck Diver course, the following is to be included:
1. the planning, organization, procedures, techniques, problems and hazards of wreck diving
2. the preparation and use of lights, air supplies, special equipment, penetration lines and reels
3. limited-visibility diving techniques and emergency procedures