New Dive Centre Operations Course at Davy Jones’ Locker

Last week six students, including myself, completed the first Dive Centre Operations Course at Davy Jones Locker. This course is run by out tech guru: Dave Polley. Dave has a wealth of experience in Dive Centre Operations, as he has previously owned and managed his own dive centres including a tank rental and filling station, and also has many years of technical diving and instructional experience.

The course is run over six days and includes theory and hands on operating and maintenance of all of the critical areas of a dive centre. At the end of the course we gained three qualifications: Compressor Operator, Advanced Equipment Maintenance Specialty and Trimix Gas Blender.

The course is aimed at people who want to have a full understanding of the operating and maintenance procedures of a Dive Centre, and are considering either moving onto leadership positions in the dive industry or who would like to work in remote locations such as liveaboards or who are interested in technical diving.

The Compressor Operator section of the course covers the theory of how a compressor works, the design of an ideal compressor room, and practical sessions on filling tanks, logging compressor run times and when essential maintenance should be carried out, changing air filters, changing compressor oil and basic maintenance on compressor motors and engines.

The Gas Blending section of the course covers the theory of Gas Blending, how to build a simple Gas Blending System, how to build a Nitrox Stick, and practical sessions in Continuous Flow Blending and Partial Pressure Blending.

The Advanced Equipment Maintenance section of the course covers the theory of how tanks inspections and valve inspections should be carried out, the theory of how a balanced and unbalanced regulator works, and the theory of how to oxygen service equipment. The course also includes a full set of service manuals for the most common types of tanks, tank valves, and regulators.

From a practical point, we spent time actually oxygen serving tank valves, completing visual inspection and hydrostatic testing of tanks, oxygen servicing unbalanced and balanced regulators, and serving BCD inflators.

I have completed DSAT Trimix Gas Blending Instructor qualifications before, so it was nice to be able to contrast the different courses. The Davy Jones’ Locker course was a very hands on course compared to other courses I have attended. Theory was covered and a full set of instructional materials were provided. But as leadership level divers you are expected to read much of this in your own time. The classroom time is spent actually filling tanks and blending gas, completing general maintenance on compressors and completing serving on regulators and BCD inflators.

The Advanced Equipment Maintenance Specialty was actually written by Dave himself. So this part of the course is a unique specialty. Dave soon hopes to have this part of the course also endorsed by Apeks. This will allow you to be qualified to service Apeks regulators.

The next Dive Centre Operations Course will be run at Davy Jones’ Locker on December 17th. If you are interested in joining the next course please email for more details.

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