PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC) graduates often find is hard to decide which PADI Specialty’s the wish to take. Usually new instructors opt for the PADI Enriched Air Specialty Instructor Course and the PADI Deep which is a great idea.
We here at the Gili IDC in the Gili Island, Indonesia often recommend the PADI Wreck Specialty Instructor Course as there are many wrecks scattered across the entire globe and they play an important role in our underwater environment. Another important factor is that during the PADI Wreck Specialty Instructor Training you will learn some interesting and possibly vital procedures involved in penetrating wrecks. Making your courses not only more enjoyable but a lot more educational.
In this article we will explore many of the additional questions that we get asked on a regular basis.
Are there any wrecks around the Gili Islands?
There are a number a different kind of wrecks scattered within our oceans, ranging from small fishing vessels to large military tankers. In fact here in Indonesia there are numerous wrecks. One of the owners of Trawangan Dive was lucky enough to have founded our local wreck, the “Japanese Wreck” which can be accessed in approximately 20 minutes from the beach in front of the Trawangan Dive Centre. The wreck is submerges in approximately 45 meters of water and hosts a variety of marine life. Other wrecks include the USAT Liberty wreck on the neighboring island of Bali, as well as the Kubu wreck. Both can be found in north Bali, approximately 45 minutes by boat. This is why IDC Gili and Trawangan Dive will always recommend potential Instructor Candidates and divemasters alike to consider taking the wreck specialty and instructor specialty courses.
Why are wrecks so important?
Fundamentally wrecks are mega structures, usually situated in areas of varying currents and areas where nothing would usually be found. As a wreck ages rust will appear and surfaces will change textures adding to the complexity of the structure. This mega structure’s allows currents to flow into the wreck and become erratic in their behavior creating a series of eddies and therefore creating a multitude of varied micro habitats. These structures do not only provide a thriving environment for the smaller species, but areas such as the bulk head provide sufficient shelter for larger species such as barracuda and sharks. Other bottom dwelling and threatened species such as nurse, bamboo, and leopard sharks which usually appear to be sleeping and can gain the protection they need. In fact every part of the wreck provides a benefit to our marine environment. Even the rope will provide shelter for juvenile fish and protection for many macro species.
What are, the Hazards and dangers with wreck diving?
Wrecks are usually deep and dark and can contain a lot of silt so visibility can become a problem to a non-experienced diver. Wrecks do not always stand vertically up so disorientation is possible. Divers run a potential risk find that they can’t find the way out of a wreck that they have just penetrated. These days artificial wrecks are usually pre prepared for diver safety, but more often in natural wrecks there can be sharp edges, metal and glass present. These sharp objects can often cut through the diver’s wetsuit and penetrate the skin. Other hazards when diving in wrecks are marine injuries; stonefish, sea urchins and fire coral are all common residents on wrecks and can therefore cause injury to divers. Although many wrecks are supposed protected and therefore to be off bounds to fisherman nets and hooks do occasionally become a hazard when diving.
What are the preventions for these Hazards and dangers?
Of course the main prevention is to become properly trained to deal with the hazards and dangers when wreck diving. You may have thousands of dives, and hold a technical diving qualified, but that doesn’t necessarily help when diving wrecks. Some principles involved with cave diving may appear similar, but there are some situations that differ enormously. The PADI wreck diving specialty is a fantastic course to allow you to confidently explore the oceans many wrecks.
Firstly your equipment configuration should be closely observed. Knowing where everything is on your own equipment and on those diving with you. Streamlining must also be closely observed during a wreck dive. Certain lifesaving equipment may be duplicated for safety reasons, thus many divers will carry two knives, two torches and two underwater signaling devices.
It is also important to consider the wreck itself in respect of your chosen equipment configuration; for example In a very large wreck it may be more suitable to use an alternative configuration such as dual tanks, or in a wreck with very small penetration points it may be an idea to consider the side mount.
When penetrating a wreck, divers must consider how they will come back especially in a zero visibility situation. Never penetrate a wreck without a line and always be trained to use the lines.
Planning is also vital when it comes to wreck diving. Special considerations must be discussed with your buddy in terms of signals and potential out of air situations. Also it is important that you and your buddy are in constant communication at a suitable distance from each other.
What involved in the PADI Wreck Diving Specialty?
PADI offers the Wreck Diving Speciality Course. The course is available to those who have completed the adventure diver program or similar qualification. Wreck penetration-training dives are limited to within the light zone and within 40 meters/130 feet from the surface, vertical and horizontal distance included. If the wreck used for training is located in deep water (over 18 meters/60 feet), the Deep Diver rating is recommended as a prerequisite for the Wreck Diver program.
The Practical is 4 dives on wrecks, includes the planning, organization, procedures, techniques, problems and hazards of wreck diving, and the preparation and use of lights, air supplies, special equipment, penetration lines and reels. The course also covers Limited-visibility diving techniques and emergency procedures.
You will learn the Techniques for diving exploring shipwrecks, and how to avoid common hazards outlines in this article. The course will teach you how to research the background of the wrecks you wish to dive, techniques for entering and exiting the chosen wreck and the equipment considerations for the potential dive. During the course you will gain experience of organizing, planning and making four wreck dives under the supervision of your Instructor.
For Instructors, you can opt to become a PADI Wreck Diver Speciality Instructor. There are three ways to achieve this rating. Firstly is to write your own speciality outline and subsequently have it approved by PADI. The second option is to have at least 25 PADI certifications and to use your own wreck diving experience to apply to PADI directly. PADI however will only consider applicants who have over 20 logged wreck dives. The third option is to take The PADI Specialty Instructor Course with a PADI Course Director. The Specialty Instructor Courses provide valuable teaching tips for meeting the requirements of the course and allows Instructors to become confident in teaching the wreck specialty.
The Preferred option is to take the wreck specialty as part of the MSDT course. There are many wrecks around the world and the likely hood is that instructors will be travelling to a place where there are not only an abundance of wrecks, but also no short supply of people wishing to take the wreck specialty. This will only increase their employment options and provide them with more earning potential.
We have produced a Full PDF IDC Brochure which is fully downloadable and includes everything you need to know about our PADI IDC Program. To download the IDC Brochure simply click here.
We can also be found on Facebook. If you would like to find out more about the course and see our previous students in action click here and take a look at our PADI IDC Gili Islands Facebook Fan Page.
If you happen to have more questions simply click here to contact the Gili IDC Team for more information