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Self-Reliant Diver Course

During the Self-Reliant Diver course, you learn about potential risks of diving alone and the value of equipment redundancy and necessary back-up gear. During three scuba dives, you develop skills for self-reliance and independence, while becoming a stronger partner in a dive pair or team.


  • Be certified to the Advanced Open Water Diver level
  • Be 18 years of age
  • Logged 100 dives


  • Standard dive equipment: mask, snorkel, fins, regulator, BCD, dive computer
  • Compass
  • Delayed surface marker buoy (DSMB) with 100 feet of line
  • Redundant surface signaling devices (both visual and audible)
  • Knife or cutting tool
  • Slate and pencil
  • Backup-up mask (recommended)
  • Redundant dive computer or depth guage and bottom timer *
  • Redundant air source (e.g. pony cylinder with mounting bracket, regulator, and SPG) *

* provided for course by DockSide Dive Center

During the course students will be required to complete the following exercises:

Practical Skills

  • Preform self-reliant predive check
  • Establish your Surface Air Consumption Rate (SAC)
  • Use your SAC rate to establish cylinder size and pressure requirements when planning a dive

During the three open water dives the following skills will be performed:


  • Conduct surface buoyancy check with all standard and specialized equipment
  • Perform a relaxed, nonstop, 200 meter/yard surface swim with all all standard and specialized equipment
  • Demonstrate neutral buoyancy while wearing all standard and specialized equipment
  • Perform a Surface Air Consumption (SAC) rate swim at level depth for 5 minutes and record for later calculation
  • Demonstrate ability to switch to redundant air supply within 30 seconds
  • Deploy a DSMB from the bottom
  • Swim underwater for at least two minutes, covering at least 18 meters/60 feet, without a mask
  • Navigate, without surfacing, to a predetermined location and return using a compass
  • Navigate, without surfacing, to a predetermined location and return using natural references