DPV Cave Diver Course: What Will I Learn?
Why Dive a DPV in a Cave?
Cave divers use DPV (Diver’s Propulsion vehicles) or scooters to increase penetration further and carry additional tanks or dive equipment into the cave without effort. DPVs are an excellent tool for long-range cave exploration dives and surveys, and of course, DPV diving can be enjoyable, but it requires proper DPV Cave diver training and a high awareness level.
Proper training, good knowledge, proper dive planning, and contingency planning are required to cave dive safely while using a DPV. Using a DPV can cause damage to the cave, so if safety in DPV cave diving is a must, it is not an excuse to neglect cave conservation. Far the opposite, you now will have extended knowledge about caves and the means to visit pristine parts of the caves. Dive safely and slowly build up your DPV diving skills to dive into a fragile environment and limit your impact.
TDI DPV Cave diving Course
As an advanced cave diving course, the TDI cave DPV diver course is designed for trained and skilled cave divers who have good experience swimming in caves and wish to learn the appropriate use of Diver Propulsion Vehicles (DPVs) in the cave environment. The course covers safe DPV management, DPV elements and specificities, and the necessary care and maintenance. The trained cave diver learns dive planning while including extended penetration, extending bottom times, planning more complex and conservative dives, and using proper methods of gas management.
When increasing your cave diving expertise, good team dynamics and appropriate cave communication become more critical and difficult. You will have to pay constant attention to the guidelines and your position as riding away just a few seconds can already take you a long distance and get you in big trouble. Straying away from the line and separating from your team become greater risks, too. Awareness in cave diving is an important skill; during this course, you will be asked to raise your awareness level even higher.
And one more reason for increasing your awareness is when swimming, if you happen to hit your head on the ceiling, there is little risk of knocking yourself unconscious. But this is surprisingly easy to do with a DPV and increased speed.
Some advantages of DPV cave diving
For long-range exploration purposes, the explorer can use a DPV.
A scooter is a great advantage for carrying extra tanks or equipment without effort, limiting gas consumption, and saving personal energy. It enables us to reach the end of the exploration line faster. The diver can start the new exploration with a sufficient gas supply.
At low speed, a DPV can be combined with a Mnemo (an amazing survey tool that came to life in Quintana Roo) and assist in survey and resurvey projects.
Last but not least of advantages, while diving in deeper caves, being able to exit the cave faster can significantly reduce decompression time.
Check this video of our cave exploration project in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, with a maximum depth of 62m/205ft and an average depth of 40m/130ft, a penetration of about 700m/2300ft. Our DPVs became great assets both for surveying and fast exit. Of course, we had fun!!
All these wonderful applications add a significant safety factor to your diving once you know the ins and outs of DPV diving and the risks.
DPV cave diving Instructor
Géraldine has been diving with a DPV into the cave for exploration, survey, and fun for several years. As an experienced cave diving instructor, she will proudly share her knowledge and personal experience, including her failures, guaranteeing safe and fun diving.
Before starting the course, you must have ample experience in cave diving and handling stage cylinders.
- Minimum age 18
- Certified as a TDI Full Cave Diver or equivalent
- Stage cave diver (course available with us)
- Provide proof of at least 25 non-training full cave dives
Duration: 3-4 days
DPV Cave Course Equipment
- 2 sets of regulators, each with 1 first and second stage, with at least 1 pressure gauge and inflation hose
- BCD (wing) and harness or Sidemount Wing (with a min lift of 40 pounds)
- Appropriate exposure suit (longer dives and DPV dives usually mean colder dives, consider adapting your dive suit to the kind of diving you are doing)
- Dive computer with depth gauge and back up computer or bottom timer
- Backmount or Sidemount
- 2 Line Cutting Device or knife
- Primary and two Backup Lights
- 1 Safety Reel (2 recommended) – Primary and navigation spools can be borrowed from your instructor during the course, and guided dives
- Directional Line Arrows as many as needed to safely mark your navigation into the cave + 3 for safety
- Non-directional Line Markers, REM, or cookies as many as needed to safely mark your navigation into the cave + 3 for safety
- Decompression Regulators or stage regulators with 1 first and second stage and pressure gauge as required
- DPV adequately configured for cave environments
- Mask and Backup mask
Advantages of DPV cave diving at a glance:
- Extend Penetration Distance while using one or more DPVs in your cave dive
- Reduce Decompression Obligations
- A very enjoyable and fun diving experience
- Visit extremely pristine parts of the cave where very few privileged cave divers have dived…