Cave DPV (NSS CDS and TDI only)
The Diver Propulsion Vehicle Cave Diver course is designed to teach certified cave divers the necessary
knowledge, skills and techniques for planning safe DPV cave dives and overcoming and avoiding potential emergency situations.
The DPV Cave Diver Specialty course is not intended to train divers for all facets of DPV cave diving.
What it is:
The purpose of the DPV Cave Diver specialty course is to expose the trained cave diver to the basic fundamentals of safe DPV operation in underwater caves. Topics covered included safety practices, normal DPV procedures, task loading, advanced gas management, basic maintenance and trouble shooting of DPVs. Strong emphasis is placed on awareness of the potential negative impact of DPVs to the cave environment in an effort to increase the student’s awareness of cave conservation issues.
Agencies we teach for:
NSS-CDS and TDI
See Prices Page
This includes your cave manual, your dive training, a certification card from your chosen agency, and photos (above and below water).
What not included is gear hire, gas fills, food, lodging, dive site fees & transportation. Dive site fees range from $10-$30, depending on site. We use Nitrox
for cave diving, which costs more than air.
A book called Basic Cave Diving: A Blueprint For Survival by Sheck Exley is also required for all Cave students.
The more you read and prepare for your cave course, the more enjoyable it will be for you!
Gear you need to provide:
You will need to have the following gear:
* Mask (low volume)
* Spare mask: Sidemount passages yield more contact, there is more of a chance of pulling off a mask, or being kicked in the face in small passages
* Fins (no split fins!, straps must be spring straps or taped)
* 2 regulators (must be high performance, and serviced within the last year)
* Each regulator must have its’ own dedicated
submersible pressure gauge.
* Long hose (7 footer) on one of your regulators
* Suitable Sidemount harness and wing, (with sufficient lift to manage tanks)
* Wet/drysuit (Drysuit strongly recommended)
* Weights (if necessary).
* Tanks must be in a sidemount configuration, and equipped with DIN valves. Whatever tanks are chosen must supply sufficient gas to complete class dives.
* Primary Light, Canister Style Minimum 10 Watt HID
* Two Backup Lights
* A primary reel (at least 400 feet of line),
* Safety reel (minimum 75 feet of guideline)
* Two gap reels with fifteen 50 feet/15 meters of guideline.
* Computer or watch with tables
* Backup Bottom Timer/Depth/Computer
* Two knifes (recommended is a Z knife, to be arm or chest mounted)
* At least three line arrows and three cookies
* Wetnotes or Slate with pencil
* A suitable DPV (tow behind designs only, eg Silent Submersible, DPV battery burn time equal to approximately 130% of ANY planned dive time).
* Tow strap or harness
Divers may bring their own DPVs (which must be approved by instructor prior to course dates), or rent Silent-Submersion DPVs locally.
Divers need to have mastered buoyancy, trim, and propulsion skills before enrolling in this program.
Cave diving is a very demanding activity, and a gear intensive pursuit, your life and that of your buddy depends on the gear you use.
Choose your gear wisely!
If you have questions about gear choices call us! We have a wide selection of what is currently on the market, and have been training cave divers for many years, so we know whats good and whats not. Most local dive shops do not know what is appropriate gear for cave diving, and will sell you gear that has no place in a cave. Please call us in advance of your gear purchases.
What the course entails:
The DPV Cave Diver Specialty course is an academic and water based course that reinforces and expands on previous DPV experience. The primary focus of the DPV Diver course is the proper and safe use of DPVs by cave divers. Gas management rules are discussed and implemented and emergency procedures practiced and perfected in both open water and caves.
You will be presented with various cave diving scenarios, and YOU are responsible for dive planning, gas management and dive execution. At this level, your cave diving skills are expected to be at a very high level and that is the principal criteria in determining your successful completion of this course.
How we teach it:
There are two parts, the academics and the "wet" portion.
The academics are done at home from your DPV Cave Diver Manual. This guide is very well structured, informative learning tool, and excellent alternative to multiple day or evening lectures.
After you work through the manual, you will do a written test, either at home or some point before your cave course begins. You need to achieve at least 80% on your written test to pass.
You will do a full review of the academics including (but not limited too):
- Accident Analysis
- Equipment and configuration
- Failed DPV procedures
For the wet training, we typically do two days in the water (and at least 4 dives), and a series of vital skills such as:
- S-drill (Share air, equipment check and gear matching will begin every dive).
- Demonstrate above-average buoyancy control, while maintaining good trim at all points during the dive when while scootering.
- Effective communications with both light and hand signals.
- Show a high degree of awareness of the environment and dive team.
- Appropriate gas management
- Running and following a safe guideline in caves
- Familiarization, exploration and scootering in caves
- Use techniques for efficient conservation-minded propulsion.
- Cool and calm proficiency with all simulated emergency situations.
- Ability to control and manipulate your DPV and all stages while hovering horizontally, backing up, and remaining motionless.
- Park, attach stages to the line and recover stages without a loss of buoyancy control or trim while maintaining control of a non running DPV.
- Recover and deploy stages in a timely manner without a loss of buoyancy control or trim while maintaining control of a non running DPV.
- Tow a simulated failed DPV for at least 200 feet
All dives will include a pre-dive briefing, bubble check, ‘s’ drill, gear matching, good dive team skills, safety stop and post dive critique.
Note: this is not a fully inclusive list, just an overview!
Specific skills depend on training agency.
It should be noted that participation in this class does not guarantee certification.
As mentioned, at this level of training, it is expected that your cave diving skills are at a very high level.
Each student must do the required number of dives, all the skills, and demonstrate that they are comfortable with planning and executing accurate cave surveys before they receive their certification card.
After successful completion of your academics and water work, you will awarded your certification as a DPV Cave Diver Specialty diver. This is your ticket to explore and scooter other caves, with other dive buddies. However, at Dayo Scuba we also "mentor" our students (at no extra cost), so you can gain additional experience in your favorite type of diving.
You must be at least 18 years old to receive a DPV Cave Diver Specialty certification, there is no maximum age.
Minimum number of students per class:
We need 2 people to make an DPV Cave Diver Specialty class; private, one-on-one classes can be organized for a separate fee.
How many people are in each class?
Our DPV Cave Diver Specialty classes range in size, from 1-2 students. As we travel out of town for this class, usually there are at least two instructors, and another cavern/cave class going on at the same time as yours.
Schedule/Timing for DPV Cave Diver Specialty course
We train all the time, and have multiple instructors on staff, many full time, so we do weekday and weekend classes.
Call us or check out our Calendar for dates of upcoming courses.
How long does the course take?
Usually we complete the wet portion of the DPV Cave Diver Specialty course in 2 days, with at least four dives.
Sometimes it is necessary to be in the water more than the required number of days because of learning difficulties or weather issues. If necessary, you can come back, free of charge, and join in another DPV Cave Diver Specialty class to finish your training. We will also train you for any extra days you may need to get you properly certified. It is our mission to make you a safe and competent diver.
Where we do our course:
We usually do our DPV Cave Diver Specialty course at Ginnie Springs and Little River.
You will dive at least two different caves during your DPV Cave Diver Specialty course.
Prerequisites for Course:
* Before participating in the DPV Cave Diver Specialty course, you will be asked to fill out a standard liability release form and a medical statement. If you answer YES to anything on the medical form we will require that you get it signed off by a physician.
* Cave Diver certification, or equivalent.
* This class requires that all student divers already possess perfect buoyancy skills.
* is required for all cave and technical courses.
* A minimum of 50 logged non training cave dives after completion of Cave certification.
* We also highly recommend that DPV Cave Diver Specialty divers, are trained in Decompression Procedures.
Standards for the DPV Cave Diver Specialty course
* Maximum depth for DPV Cave Diver Specialty training dives will not exceed 130 feet/40 meters.
* All DPV Cave Diver Specialty training dives will be started with at least 20 feet of visibility.
* Limited decompression only
* Students must have a high degree of comfort and proficiency with cave gear, DPV and configuration.
* Have a high degree of environmental awareness to avoid increasing existing damage.
* Be a proficient swimmer.
* Have a familiarity with the cave systems, including times to exit while swimming from various points within the system.
What you can do afterwards:
* Dive, dive, dive, and now scooter many of the caves across the state of Florida, indeed anywhere!!!
* You will be a much safer, more competent and comfortable diver after completion of your DPV Cave Diver Specialty course.
* You can now scooter your favorite cave!
* Continue your diver training with more specialized training.
Dayo Scuba hosts, sponsors and maintains the worlds leading Cave & Cavern Diving Forum. For more information and resources about cave diving, check it out: