One of the most common questions asked before a dive is ‘How deep are we going?’ And rightly so, whether it’s to ensure you stay within your comfort zone, or to brag to your mates on facebook!
In recreational diving there are three main distinct depth limits corresponding to the different certification levels.
The PADI Open Water Diver rating prepares the diver across four open water dives to descend to a maximum depth of 18 metres – perfect for the majority of reef and shore dives across the world.
However, if shallow wrecks and the potential for more fish or bigger fish are your thing, the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course enables dives to be conducted to a greater depth of 30 metres after conducting the compulsory ‘Deep Adventure Dive’. Within this range of 0 – 30 metres, many purpose sunk wrecks lie – including our very own HTMS Sattakut wreck, and many of the premier dive sites of Koh Tao can be explored to essentially their full potential without depth restrictions, such as Chumphon Pinnacle, Southwest Pinnacle, and Sail Rock.
The maximum depth in recreational diving is 40 metres, which can be visited by attaining the PADI Deep Diving Speciality. This course looks more in-depth into the planning, organization, and hazards of deep diving. Particular emphasis is placed on the special equipment required for deep diving, planning no-decompression dives using RDP tables, and emergency decompression procedures. This speciality is suited to those wanting to conduct rewarding task-orientated dives, such as exploring a predetermined section of a wreck or reef. Beyond this depth, divers require Technical Diving training, also available with Davy Jones Tech (www.techdivingthailand.com/).
So make sure you choose a certification level that will keep you interested in diving, keep you challenged, and keep you diving to get out of diving what you got into diving for in the first place!