PDA

View Full Version : Wreck diving certification



tfriend
01-27-2009, 11:09
I am kind of new to the diving world. I was wondering if you have to have a wreck certification if you are going to go wreck diving. Me and some buddies are planning a dive to lake michigan to dive the madiera. Its not that far down and we just wanna check it out. Is there any problem with that. Has anyone ever been there? Whats it like?
Thanks!

MSilvia
01-27-2009, 11:31
You don't need any special certification to dive a shipwreck, although if you aren't familiar with nautical stuff, it might help you understand what you're looking at.

On the other hand, if you plan on going inside a shipwreck, you definately should get wreck PENETRATION training. That is often not part of a "wreck diving specialty" class.

CompuDude
01-27-2009, 11:37
I am kind of new to the diving world. I was wondering if you have to have a wreck certification if you are going to go wreck diving. Me and some buddies are planning a dive to lake michigan to dive the madiera. Its not that far down and we just wanna check it out. Is there any problem with that. Has anyone ever been there? Whats it like?
Thanks!

In addition to what Matt said, just be careful of currents, and be very cautious around any openings in the wreck. Particularly with larger wrecks, currents can sometimes cause strong suction effects at the openings (doors, windows, etc) that can actually suck an unwary diver into the boat.

Be sure to bring a good light. Wrecks are often dark, especially in nooks and crannies, and you want to be able to see the thing, after all!

JCAT
01-27-2009, 11:52
Why not take the opportunity to take class with these guys (http://www.scubacenter.com/wreck_diver.htm). They train and dive on this wreck.

I don't know your diving experience, but if your new, then a little formal knowledge will be worth it and add to your enjoyment. Later, you can take more in-depth training from other agencies and instructors.

I echo what has been said as well concerning safety.

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
01-27-2009, 15:40
It's a bit dated but I recommend reading 'Primary Wreck-Diving Guide' by Gary Gentile. That will give you a good overview of the issues involved. Then I recommend either finding a mentor or a good instructor. The mass-marketed 'certifications' are not worth a crap without a good instructor.

Desert_Diver
01-28-2009, 11:04
As far as I know, there are no Scuba Police guarding the wrecks and checking for cert cards. But please understand that wreck penetration presents a grundle of hazards, some obvious, some not so obvious. And all can be deadly as a group (and mistakes in wreck penetration have a tendancy to snowball) or individually.

I'm not trying to scare you off, but I would encourage you to get certified. You're in an overhead environment and you can't get yourself out of trouble by just going up.

Art

ppo2_diver
01-28-2009, 12:06
Don't need any special c-card to look around the outside a wreck. If you want to go inside, then you need a good wreck class. A good wreck instructor can make the "PADI-ish" classes very worth while.

68raggtop
01-28-2009, 13:17
The Madeira is an interesting dive and can done safely as long as you pay attention to the conditions. When the conditions are favorable, it is a short swim to the buoys (usually one on the bow and one on the stern). The bow is around 30' - 35' and you can follow it around as you descend. The stern buoy I think was at around 75'. The pilot house was not to far from the stern buoy in around 85'. This is as far as I would go on a single 80 tank. The wreck debris continues a fair distance from there, and as far as what I have seen, ends at around 125'. I would NOT GO THERE on a single 80 tank! I have only gone that far with doubles and a deco stage.

The weather and surface conditions do change rapidly and you are as likely as not going to have a rough exit. The water temp has varied from 40*f (most of the time I have been there), but I did one time have it as warm as 51* at 90'.

If you do go there, I would also recommend the Hesper. It is up in Silver Bay (MN) on the side of the breakwater opposite of the marina. The climb over the rocks is manageable and the water is normally a little warmer than the Madeira. The Hesper is a wood ship, while the Madeira is steel.

MSilvia
01-28-2009, 16:38
Good info 68raggtop, thanks!

tfriend
01-28-2009, 16:56
Hey ya that helped alot guys. A buddy of mine just goes to school up their and im going to visit him for a weekend in the spring. Just thought id get some info before heading up ther in a couple months.
Thanks

imasinker
01-28-2009, 19:19
I did my first wreck dive with a group who had dove on the wreck before. I agree you don't need to have a course to dive down and see a wreck, but you should get familarized with the area as much as you can such as currents, temp and viz and as well as with the wreck. Bring a good primary light and a back up. Treat it as any other dive, do your checks, figure out your turn pressure and stay with your buddy and you'll do just fine. There is no better feeling when you descend down a line and see a wreck fade into view. Enjoy and as many have said, be cautious of openings, dangles and sharp objects and remember not to touch anything, a good diver leaves everything as it was when they got there.

Have Fun!

P.S are you advanced certified? I see the wrecks down to 80+ feet?

hychang
01-29-2009, 19:18
One day I'd like to dive some of the wrecks off the N.C. coast. The LDS where I was certified had a trip last year that did just that. There was no mention of requiring a wreck or Advanced certification. However, I learned from others on this board that some of the N.C. dive operators do require you to have your Advanced card dive the wrecks with them. Just thought I'd share that. Check with the local dive ops to see if they have similar requirements.:smiley20:

chicken
01-30-2009, 05:05
I signed up for the NAUI Wreck class at Olympus because I didn't have a buddy to go with me, they were complaining about the "cold" water. I thought this was a less expensive way to get a qualified buddy to dive with.

They used the TDI Advanced Wreck Manual for the text and I learned a whole lot of new things. It was well worth the $$$ for my first real wreck dive.

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
01-31-2009, 11:47
One day I'd like to dive some of the wrecks off the N.C. coast. The LDS where I was certified had a trip last year that did just that. There was no mention of requiring a wreck or Advanced certification. However, I learned from others on this board that some of the N.C. dive operators do require you to have your Advanced card dive the wrecks with them. Just thought I'd share that. Check with the local dive ops to see if they have similar requirements.:smiley20:

You can generally dive without an advanced card. They will ask you questions about your experience- I don't know what the criteria for refusal are. Also, if you go with a group, you are more likely to just satisfy the group leader that you are a capable diver with enough experience for the planned destination(s).

Discovery Diving will make you leave your O/W card or your Nitrox card at the shop depending on which gas you tell them you are breathing.

dannybot
01-31-2009, 12:20
As far as I know, there are no Scuba Police guarding the wrecks and checking for cert cards. But please understand that wreck penetration presents a grundle of hazards, some obvious, some not so obvious. And all can be deadly as a group (and mistakes in wreck penetration have a tendancy to snowball) or individually.

I'm not trying to scare you off, but I would encourage you to get certified. You're in an overhead environment and you can't get yourself out of trouble by just going up.

Art

I believe there is actually such a group, they haul off offenders in the PADI wagon!

LRDWILDER
02-10-2009, 18:19
Just got Gentile's book a while ago....a great guide in general. The best way to learn is also to spend time diving with those who are well aquainted with diving wrecks......as with most things I supose.