Beyond The Edge

Lose something underwater? Don't count on luck to find it.


The PADI Search and Recovery Course

Seek and ye shall find...well, maybe if you're just lucky. Finding objects lost underwater is a lot harder than you would guess. Bottom composition, depth, and water movement are among several major factors that can affect your ability to easily find what is lost. Even accidentally dropping a brightly colored underwater light at Casino Point at Catalina Island can be difficult to find if it falls into a deep and narrow rocky crevice. Drop something at the beach where the surf is breaking, now you really need some luck. This course will show you the practical application of conducting thorough searches and a variety of ways to recover objects once found. By practicing these skills, you'll have a ready made "tool-set" to employ when the occasion arises because eventually, you will lose something in underwater.


Get College Credit

You may be able to earn college credit for the PADI Search and Recovery Course.


What You Learn

Search and recovery is challenging, but also can be quite rewarding by saving you money -by retrieving a lost anchor, dive watch, or eyeglasses. Even if you recover a lost mask or fin, the thrill can be just as rewarding and make the difference in being able to continue to dive the rest of the day. For some who aspire it can serve as a foundation for the professional side of underwater search and recovery jobs or research side of scientific diving - a glimpse of what professionals and research divers do. You learn the tools of the trade, including navigation via natural clues and by compass.  You learn:
  • Search and recovery dive planning, organization, procedures, techniques and how to deal with potential problems
  • How to locate large and small objects using search patterns
  • How to use a lift bag and other recovery methods
  • Limited visibility search techniques
The Scuba Gear You Use
You will use the basic scuba diving equipment, some scuba accessories such as access to support equipment as necessary, including but not limited to: dive light, Nav-Finder or slate, lift bag and rope, and underwater reel with search line.

Check with Malibu Divers about gear rentals and packages offered with this course. You will find most everything here.

The Learning Materials You Need
Accurate navigation is based on thoughtful preparation. With that in mind: PADI's Search & Recovery crewpak includes everything needed to complete the specialty. The manual and DVD preview the skills you'll practice with your instructor both on land and underwater. The manual includes a search pattern reference guide, knot-tying diagrams and an overview of how to organize a search. The video on DVD provides additional information on performing search patterns and how to plan a search in variety of conditions.


How long will it take?

Open Water Training: four dives over two days
Prerequisites:You must be at least:
  • A certified PADI (junior) Advanced Open Water Diver; or A PADI Open Water Diver or Junior Open Water Diver (or qualifying certification from another organization) and a PADI Underwater Navigation Specialty Diver
  •  At least 12 years old

Note: Search and Recovery Adventure Dive conducted during the PADI Adventure Diver and PADI Advanced Open Water Diver certification program may count as the first dive toward this specialty when you successfully complete Search and Recovery Diver Open Water Dive One and Knowledge Review Part 1 (underwater navigation together with Deep diving are mandatory, Search & Recovery can be taken as one of the three elective skills).

Your Next Adventure
Underwater search and recovery is an important skill no matter what type of scuba diving you're doing. It's especially useful when doing scientific diving, wreck diving or when you're searching to recover a lost item underwater. Other specialty dives that are complementary to it, are Enriched Air Diver, Underwater Navigation, Deep Diver, Peak Performance Buoyancy and Dry Suit Diving. This Specialty course certification also counts as one of five Specialty certifications required for Master Scuba Diver certification.

For more information