Wreck diving? Count us in!
Whether sunk on purpose or as the result of a mishap, it’s a breathtaking experience to be able to visit a sunken wreck while scuba diving.
Wreck diving is a thrilling and adventurous type of scuba diving that involves exploring large sunken objects, such as a ship or airplane, underwater.
Most divers find wreck diving irresistible because not only do you get to explore a little piece of the past, but it opens up new and exciting avenues of discovery. On top of being able to dive into history, wrecks are also artificial reefs teeming with life. Aquatic creatures thrive in the nooks and crannies made available by the sunken vessel.
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The PADI wreck diver course is an interesting course that teaches recreational divers all about the safety and responsibility that goes hand in hand with wreck diving. It opens up a whole new world of diving that allows people to not just research and tour the outside of a wreck, but also learn how to safely perform limited penetration in an enclosed environment.
As with any course to further your scuba diving knowledge, here is what topics you will cover during the PADI Wreck Diver certification:
In order to join a PADI Wreck Diver course, participants must meet the following requirements:
As always it is important to double check with your local dive shop if you meet all the prerequisites prior to enrolling in the course.
The Wreck Diver course is one of 31 PADI Specialty courses encouraging divers to enjoy and explore the underwater world in new ways.
The first part of the PADI Wreck Diver course is the theoretical section that happens in the classroom as there is no E-learning option available. Overall we spent two three-hour evenings of classroom time.
In the classroom, prospective wreck divers will review and analyze the textbook material which covers everything from how to research and learn the history of a shipwreck to how to safely perform a limited penetration.
For our course, the instructor opted to give us more wreck diving information and covered a whole section on line handling: types of lines, types of reels, how to lay lines, tie-off points, directional markers, and dive team procedures. We did multiple dry-land practice simulations where our team would “head underwater and perform a limited penetration on a wreck”. It was an interesting and neat experience because we each, in turn, lead a dive, tying and following a maze of lines on land.
A couple of weeks after our in-depth theoretical section it was time to apply our new skills underwater. We had prearranged to do this part of the course in Newfoundland, on the famous Bell Island shipwrecks.
Curious about diving the only collection of World War II shipwrecks in Canada?
Bell Island, Newfoundland is a cold water dive destination that will let you experience some of the best shipwrecks and scuba diving opportunities on the Canadian east coast.
Ice cold and perfectly preserved at depth, Newfoundland was the trip of a lifetime for us. Over the course of a 5-day 2-dive wreck diving expedition, we dedicated 4 dives to completing the PADI Wreck Diver course.
The first course dive was a basic orientation dive where we got used to diving with our extra pony bottles, toured the outside of a ship and watched our instructor deploy a penetration line. It gave us a chance to get used to the new (and very cold environment), witness the mammoth-sized shipwreck for the first time and watch an underwater demo of how to use a dive reel.
On the second dive, we had the opportunity to practice and improve deploying a Delayed Surface Marker Buoy (DSMB) and tying the buoy off to the shipwreck. This dive was done at a shallow shore whaler wreck as opposed to the deep Bell Island wrecks so that we could surface empty the bag, tweak our technique and re-deploy the DSMB multiple times.
Read more about scuba diving surface markers:
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The third dive we were back on the Bell Island shipwrecks and practiced each, in turn, executing a primary tie-off, secondary tie-off and laying a penetration line across the open part of a ship. As easy as the instructor made it look during the demo, deploying a reel was a little tricky in the cold water, mainly because of the multi-layers of thermal protection on my hands.
Our fourth and final dive was very similar to the third dive, in that we were tasked with deploying a penetration line on the wreck only this time instead of it being out in the open, we actually had to do it in an enclosed overhead environment.
Each course dive had a specific wreck diving skill that was focused on. As a student, I found that focusing on one skill to plan and execute was a nice pace because when you are doing something at depth in cold water it can jeopardize safety if there is too much to cram in.
Back on the boat after every individual wreck course dive, our instructor would always lead a short debrief. These debriefs were necessary but also very useful in helping us advance our skills by making small changes to our dive routine.
The cost of taking your PADI Wreck Diver Specialty Course varies from dive shop to dive shop and largely depends on boat charters and the ease of accessibility to a wreck. A reasonable estimate on the Wreck Diver course price is between $400.00 and $500.00 per person. This price should include the Wreck Dive Manual, classroom session, PADI certification card, and 4 chartered boat dives. Should there be wreck diving accessibility from shore, the price will likely be cheaper
If you are planning on doing your Wreck Diver Course, it is also important to budget for extra equipment that might not be part of your dive inventory. In some cases, you might be able to rent the equipment while in others you will need to have your own.
Additional equipment needed for the course includes a primary dive light, a backup dive light, primary wreck reel, a secondary wreck reel, dive slate, compass, and alternate air source, either a second tank or pony bottle (not mandatory but recommended).
The PADI Wreck Diving course is a 4-dive session done over at least a two-day span. During the 4 open water dives included in this course, students will learn information and techniques on land from their instructor and apply them in real-life situations in the water.
The PADI Wreck Diving certification is a good course for new divers looking to try their hand at wreck diving to determine if that style of diving is of interest to them. It’s a good way to further your knowledge and learn more with regards to underwater exploration of wrecks.
But unless you’re relatively new in the diving world, we wouldn’t recommend taking the course. As a seasoned diver who has already explored the outer proximity of various types of wrecks, we found the PADI Wreck Diver course a little lackluster.
I’m not going to lie, Joey and I were a little disappointed about the PADI Wreck Diving course. While it covered a lot of material, we found that the course was limited in the new knowledge it provided to more experienced divers. Apart from learning about lines and reels, the information it provided to us was very basic.
Luckily, the shop with whom we did the certification has a very technical instructor who went above and beyond what the PADI course offered. As a testament to this, our Wreck Diver certification was a combination of the PADI Wreck Diver and SDI Wreck Diving material, making the course more comprehensive and challenging. I think this speaks to the difference between an average scuba instructor, who teaches the bare minimum, and a good scuba instructor, who wants to educate and inspire.
We are really happy that in taking the Wreck Diver Course, COJO Diving decided to teach more than the PADI certification scope!
During the modified course we learned about types of lines, types of reels, tie off points, directional markers, and line handling. We even had a couple of nights of dry-land practice where we got to create and follow a maze of lines on land.
All in all, am I glad I have my PADI Wreck Diving certification? Of course! Every diver at some point in their careers loves collecting cards. Would I recommend this PADI course to other people? Probably not. The course was way too basic and didn’t have nearly as much limited wreck penetration as I would have liked.
Our suggestion – if your dive shop offers the SDI Wreck Diver or an alternative wreck course, try that one instead!
Have you ever taken a Wreck Diving course? Which institution did you use and what was your experience like? Would you recommend it to others?
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Canon Macro Lens EF-S 60mm f/2.8 USM – non Image Stabilised
If you’re not quite ready for the expense of big lights, this little video light goes perfectly with any GoPro setup
13-inch inflatable dive buoy with a 12 by 11-inch scuba diving flag surface marker
Ikelite compact ball arm for quick release handle
Reef Safe SPF 30 sunscreen for protection against broad-spectrum UVA and UVB.Water-resistant for 80 minutes of swimming or activity. It contains our potent antioxidant blend of Green Tea, Tulsi, Wakame and Olive Leaf.
Capture amazingly smooth GoPro footage in the air with the GoPro Karma Drone
An elegant lead-free wine glass with a shark figurine anchored inside. The perfect gift for wine and shark lovers everywhere.
Bare SB System Mens Full Under-layer
A one-piece dive hanger construction for strength and durability with non-corroding plastic resin. The hanger can support up to 20 pounds.
Bare Sports 5mm men’s wetsuit made with elastek full-stretch nylon-2 and neoprene celliant liner infrared technology.
The Hydra 5000 WSRU is an all in one photo and dive light with wide, spot, red, and UV modes
Capture amazingly smooth shake-free video with the GoPro Karma Grip
Dry glove lock system that accommodates all hand sizes
This new second edition of The Great Lakes Diving Guide is the most comprehensive guide ever written about exploring Great Lakes shipwrecks.
GoPro HERO6 Black Camera
Ikelite TTL dual flash sync cord attaches two strobe’s to the underwater camera housing.
Bare 5mm evoke women’s full suit designed by Bare’s all-female design team. The suit has technically, innovative celliant infrared technology which increase circulation, body warmth and performance.
Bare drysuit trek boots designed for rocky shore entries, boat decks, and boat ladders
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens
SHOOT 6″ Underwater Dome Port for GoPro Hero 6/Hero 5/Hero(2018) Black Camera Diving Lens Hood Housing Photography with Waterproof Case Accessories
Sony Alpha a6500 24MP mirrorless camera with a 16-50mm lens, able to shoot 4K movies.
3PC curved armband glow in the dark slate.
GoPro dual battery charger conveniently charges two HERO6 Black, HERO5 Black, or HERO camera batteries simultaneously
Ikelite photography strobe DS161 with NiMH rechargeable battery pack
DUI heavy duty dry suit gloves with yellow liners available in sizes: S, M, L, XL
The Sony SEL90M28G FE 90 mm f/2.8-22 Macro G OSS Standard-Prime Lens for E (NEX) Cameras.
Dive hands-free with a diving flashlight glove. This torch holder has a universal adjustable wrist strap scuba and is made of superior nylon material, which means it’s durable and comfortable to wear.
Mini blue scuba diving tank key ring with brass pick tool and o-rings
Black Mares Dragon Scuba Diving BCD
Black scuba diving turtle fins
Compact underwater scuba diving hand reel with a 150ft of white line on the spool
Bare 7mm thick elastek dry suit hood
Ikelite Canon EOS 100D Rebel SL1 underwater camera housing in white
Suunto SK-8 wrist compass with bungee straps, faster stabilization, and enhanced readability
Flexible Lightweight Portable Tripod for Projector DSLR Cameras and Go Pro
Bare drysuit drawstring scuba gear bag the perfect alternative for transporting a dry suit to-and-from the dive site
Aveeno zinc oxide mineral sunscreen with SPF 50. An environmentally-friendly sunscreen that is oil-free, fragrance-free, hypoallergenic and water-resistant.
The waterproof scuba diving egg helps keep valuables dry while in the water. The egg is suitable for storing sunglasses, car keys, money and etc.
The inside diameter is 2.07″ and the inside length is 5.04″.
Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM FLD Large Aperture Standard Zoom Lens for Canon Digital DSLR Camera + 32GB Memory Card + Photo4Less Cleaning Cloth.
AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod and Bag with adjustable-height legs and rubber feet
Diving lens filter kit for GoPro HERO 5/6 which enhances colors for underwater video and photography conditions
Ikelite underwater macro lens casing is comprised of an acetyl body with glass front and can hold lenses of 4.37 diameter x 3 inches (111 x 76 mm)
Ikelite aluminum digital camera tray with dual handles
Black Mares Cruise Roller Tauchen bag, perfect for scuba diving and traveling
With marine biologist Dr. Alexander Mustard as your guide, you can learn all you need to know to explore the amazing creatures and landscapes that exist underwater.
Scuba diving 4ft neon yellow surface marker signal tube with “Diver Below” print
Compact scuba diving finger spool with 150ft of white line and a 4-inch brass double-ended clip
Filled with more than 350 images from National Geographic, 100 Dives of a Lifetime provides the ultimate bucket list for ardent scuba divers and aspirational travelers alike.
The Cuticate floating dry box is a waterproof sports container perfect to fit money, ID, cards, keys and more. The case is small, portable, compact, and comes with a lanyard clip hook to take with you as you scuba dive.
Rechargeable Ikelite NiMH battery pack compatible with Ikelite’s DS125, DS160, and DS161 strobes.
A 16″ x 16″ sequins blue mermaid decorative throw pillow cover. Perfect for the sofa, chair or bed. The cover does NOT come with a pillow insert.
Sigma MC-11 mount converter lens adapter (Sigma EF-Mount lens to sony E cameras). Essential photo kit contains Altura photo rapid-fire wrist strap, small lens pouch, cleaning kit, and microfiber lens cleaning cloth.
The dive guide Bonaire is a comprehensive dive guide for use by divers and snorkelers at all skill levels. It describes more than 100 dive sites along with underwater maps and stunning photographs. This all-inclusive dive guide is your handbook for endless diving and snorkeling enjoyment.
Reusable scuba diver tea infuser for use on loose teas. Easy to fill, empty clean and dishwasher safe. Tea infuser comes with a silicone raft drip tray.
Fireproof Lipo Charging Safe Bag is a medium size flame retardant bag that safeguards your batteries during charging, transit, and storage.
Size: 20cm X 15cm X 15cm
Suunto Vyper Novo wrist scuba diving computer with USB