Subtidal Training

Members of the public who are not associated with a club can often join club Reef Watch dives. If you intend to join in a dive please contact Reef Watch first. All divers should check the information line 0418 898 302 before departing from home in case of any cancellation or change in arrangements, e.g. due to weather.

Our training dives aim to be educational, enjoyable and, of course, safe. The dives are supervised by PADI instructors. To ensure your well-being and to meet the requirements of our insurers, we require dives to complete the standard PADI forms, including a medical form. If you answer "YES" to any of the questions then you must provide a medical certificate from a doctor confirming that you are medically fit to dive despite the condition.

Training Procedures

To ensure the smooth running of these sessions please contact us to book a place (or let your club dive organiser know for club dives), advise us/them if you become unavailable, otherwise ensure that you're there on time and bring your certification card.

On the day of the dive, before departing from home, you are advised to check the Reef Watch Dive Information line, 0418 898 302, to ensure that the location has not changed nor the dive cancelled.

Note that all divers must be certified, medically fit to dive and must not have the flu, hay fever or a cold.

Divers must not have consumed alcohol, taken drugs nor flown in a pressurised aircraft in the previous 12 hours.

Divers must use equipment that: is in service; is in good working order; has been maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications; and has been checked prior to partaking in the dive.

Reef Watch requires you to provide the following equipment:

  • Fins
  • Mask
  • Snorkel
  • Tank (compressed air cylinder and valve designed specifically for SCUBA)
  • Buoyancy Control Device fitted with a power inflator device
  • Regular fitted with an alternate air source, or an alternate air supply
  • Submersible depth and cylinder pressure indicators
  • Quick-release weight system
  • Timing device
  • Diving knife in case of entanglement

The following dive centres have offered support for our training program. At the completion of your training dive you will receive a signed coupon that can be used to refill your tank or obtain discount on your next gear hire, depending on what has been offered by the dive centre.

  • The Dive Shack
  • Southern Diving
  • Underwater Sports Diving Centre 
  • Divers Delight
  • Adelaide University Scuba Diving Club
  • Flinders University Underwater Club
  • Alex Suslin Equipment Servicing 

Background

Reef Watch has redesigned its training program to fit within the standards of the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI). This effectively defines the Reef Watch monitoring activities as being "Recreational", allowing trained divers to safely pursue these activities and gather scientifically valid data without being burdened by requirements of the new Australian Scientific Diving Standard (many of which are not appropriate for community divers).

Reef Watch will not teach you to dive, but it will expand the skills, knowledge and experience of existing divers over the age of 11 years (even if certified by a recognised organisation other than PADI). The Reef Watch training program consists of the following two PADI courses (four dives in total):

  1. The PADI Project AWARE (Aquatic World Awareness, Responsibility and Education) Fish Identification Adventure Dive. This single dive will teach you the essentials of identifying temperate water fish, and can count towards a PADI Adventure or Advanced course taught elsewhere.
  2. The PADI Reef Watch Survey Diver Specialty Course. This consists of three dives, and will teach species and lifeform identification skills and three survey methods: quadrat and line intercept transect (LIT) for benthic (bottom) surveys and the 50m belt transect survey method for fish surveys.

The complete training program consists of four dives which will be offered throughout the year at regular intervals to enable divers to complete the course at their own pace.

The training will be provided for free, but on completion of the training program you will be required to pay a $50 administration charge in order to gain your certification card from PADI.

Reef Watch will provide the extra equipment required to do the surveys, but you will need to provide all of your own basic dive equipment (including air), as listed in the following section.

Note: the "Peak Performance Buoyancy" adventure dive or specialty is not a pre-requisite for the Reef Watch PADI training program, but will provide useful supplementary training for divers undertaking survey work. This course is not taught by Reef Watch but is available at most dive centres.

 

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Contact Conservation SA on (08) 8223 5155, general@conservationsa.org.au, or at our offices at the Joinery at 111 Franklin Street, Adelaide.

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