VIMS Dive Team

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Diving Program Training Schedule

The following schedule shows training opportunities for existing Dive Team members and new applicants. Participation requires (at a minimum) the payment of the user fee and, for underwater components, an approved diving medical exam. Class space is limited. Training that involves open-water diving is also subject to funding limitations, particularly if it involves travel. Attendance by itself does not constitute successful class completion. Please contact the [[v|wreisner, Diving Safety Office]] with questions.

Existing Divers

First Aid, oxygen administration, and CPR are required of all divers. CPR is usually held the 1st Wednesday of each month. Contact the [[v|tgrose,Safety Office]] for registration in these training classes.

The following classes are offered through the Diving Safety Office. All classes are limited to a maximum of 5 participants or a minimum of 2.

  • Dive Table refresher
    • March (0900-1200) classroom 
  • Dive Computer use
    • March (0900-1200) classroom 
  • Limited visibility
    • April (0800-1300) pool or tower 
    • June (0800-1300) open water 
    • June (0800-1300) open water
  • Underwater video
    • July (0900-1200) classroom 
    • July (0900-1300) pool or open water 
  • Underwater photography
    • August (0900-1200) classroom 
    • August (0900-1300) pool or open water 
  • Dry suit/cold water
    • Class #1
      • November (0800-1200) classroom 
      • November (0800-1300) pool or tower 
      • November (0800-1400) open water
    • Class #2
      • December (0800-1200) classroom
      • December (0800-1300) pool or tower 
      • December (0800-1400) open water

*****Class descriptions available from Diving Safety Office*****

New Diver

Divers must have a MINIMUM of 100 hours of training beyond basic SCUBA certification to be authorized as scientific divers (AAUS Standards, 1997). Until the required hours have been met, a diver is considered a scientific diver-in-training, and is to be under the strict supervision of an authorized scientific diver at all times. The number of credit hours for each of the following training components is shown. The number of training hours required of each applicant will be determined by the experience summary submitted by the applicant, but it MUST include the orientation, written exam, swim test, open water checkout, CPR, first aid, and oxygen administration. Credit will be given (at the rate shown) for current certifications provided on application.

  • Program orientation - 2 hrs.
    • April (0900-1100)
    • September (0900-1100)
  • Written exam review - 2 hrs.
    • April (0900-1100)
    • September (0900-1100) 
  • Written Exam - 3 hrs.
    • May (0900-1200)
    • September (0900-1200) 
  • Swim test/SCUBA checkouts (pool) - 4 hrs.
    • May (0900-1300)
    • September (0900-1300) 
  • Open water checkouts (bay, river, lake, 2 dives) - 4 hrs.
    • May (0900-1400)
    • October (0900-1400) 
  • CPR (1st Wed. each month, Safety Office) - 2 hrs.
  • First Aid, emergency procedures (Safety Office) - 16 hrs.
  • Oxygen administration (Safety Office) - 2 hrs.
  • 12 supervised open water dives (10 if two dives done above, 2 hrs. credit/dive) - 20 hrs.

Total hours required of ALL applicants REGARDLESS of diving intentions is 55.

In addition to the required 55 hours above, applicants whose diving intentions include the following activities will be required to provide (or obtain) Advanced SCUBA certifications, or document experience equivalent to this level of certification.

  1. Chesapeake Bay or tidal river diving in strong-current or black-water conditions
  2. Diving beyond 60-foot depth, regardless of location 
  3. Prolonged or repetitive exposure to waters colder than 50 degrees F (advanced certification or equivalent experience is a prerequisite to dry-suit training). 

Due to budgetary constraints, any costs associated with advanced training/certification must be shared with the departments/programs that will benefit from the training.

The credit hours for advanced certification or equivalent experience is 40 hours plus the hours required of all applicants (55 hours), for a total of 95 hours.

The balance of required training to meet the 100-hour AAUS minimum can be selected from the following, based on the applicant's diving intentions. These classes are on the existing diver schedule, and are offered on a space-available basis for new applicants. 

    • Cold Water - 2 hrs.
    • Dry suit - 12 hrs.
    • Limited visibility - 6 hrs.
    • Dive table refresher - 2 hrs.
    • Dive computers - 2 hrs.
    • Underwater video - 2 hrs.
    • Underwater photography - 2 hrs.