Cave diving is not for everyone. However, if you possess a high level of aquatic comfort, good fundamental underwater abilities, and have sufficient diving experience, then perhaps cave training is for you. Your interest in cave diving must be well thought out and shouldn't be taken lightly. The cave environment will present new challenges and discoveries. Your appeal and fascination for the cave realm must be genuine. You must be keen on learning in order to be able to safely explore and carefully navigate the beautiful underground environment.
GUE Cave 1 and Cave 2 training will provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary to safely and enjoyably gain experience in cave diving. In addition, cave education is likely to benefit all other aspects of your diving pursuits.
GUE Cave Level 1
The Cave Diver Level 1 (Cave 1) course is an intense diver education program that acquaints individuals with an understanding of the cave environment, and an appreciation for the subtle dangers often associated with overhead diving. This course covers the basic principles of cave diving and is designed to introduce the skills and knowledge required for limited penetration into the underwater cave environment. Training includes an emphasis on awareness, dive planning, cave environments, stress management, navigation, conservation, standard procedures, emergency procedures, techniques, problem solving, and the hazards of cave diving. To qualify for this type of instruction participants do not need prior overhead training, but must have passed a GUE Fundamentals course at a tech rating. They must be proficient divers with advanced buoyancy control skills. GUE does not assume that cave training is for everyone. In fact, only very capable divers, who are quite comfortable in the water should consider this form of diving.
- Must have passed a GUE Fundamentals course at a tech rating.
- Must be a minimum of 18 years of age.
- Must have a minimum of 75 dives beyond open water qualification. Training dives are not included in these totals
- Must be able to swim at least 300 yards/275 meters in less than 12 minutes without stopping.
- Must be able to swim a distance of at least 60 feet/18 meters on a breath hold.
- Must apply to a scheduled class with a completed and current online student profile including medical information, release forms, and dive history.
- Must be physically fit, mentally stable, and clearly focused.
- Must hold DAN Master Plan insurance or equivalent.
- Must be a non-smoker
- Must obtain an authorization for the use of prescription drugs by a physician (with the exception of birth control) and must have such authorization approved by a GUE representative prior to the onset of diver training.
- All GUE trained divers are initially encouraged to become a GUE member and to continue to renew their membership after it expires. This provides them with continued access to GUE support materials, which includes on-line training materials, quarterly issues of GUE's educational magazine, and an industry-leading educational forum. Furthermore, GUE members are automatically enrolled in Quest online, an important educational electronic mail list that allows them to further their post-class education on a variety of subjects.
The Cave Level 1 class is normally conducted over a 5-day period. It involves a minimum of 40 hours of instruction, encompassing both classroom and in-water work.
The Cave 1 course is normally conducted over a 5-day period, and cumulatively involves a minimum of 40 hours of instruction (lecture and in-water) designed to instill divers with an appreciation for the dangers, challenges, and beauty of the cave environment. Special emphasis here will be placed on the unique challenges posed by overhead exposure and the identification, management, and resolution of life-threatening adversity.
Course requirements include ten (10) hours of academics and twelve (12) dives at a minimum of three (3) different locations. At least eight (8) of these dives will be beyond the daylight zone.
GUE representatives may structure course time in many different formats and are encouraged to increase the stated minimums. Please contact a GUE representative for specific course information.
- Student to instructor ratio is not to exceed 3:1 during any overhead diving activity
- Gas consumption: 1/3of doubles or 500 psi (35 bar), whichever is less.
- Maximum depth 100 feet/30 meters
- Minimum 30 feet/9 meters of visibility to enter a cave
- Minimum 100 cubic feet/2832 liters of gas to enter a cave
- No passages in which divers are forced to travel single file
- No complex navigation (jumps, traverses, circuits); no gaps unless an open water exit is transited
- No planned decompression
- No scooter diving
- No exploration
- No stage cylinder use allowed
- GUE General Training Limits
- Doing it Right: The Fundamentals of Better Diving: Jarrod Jablonski, GUE, 2001, High Springs, Florida. Order online
- Beyond the Daylight Zone: The Fundamentals of Cave Diving: Jarrod Jablonski, GUE, 2001, High Springs, Florida. Order online
- Pre-course package including visual presentation, pre-reading material, and numerous articles. Downloadable with course registration.
- GUE organization, limits of training, and course completion requirements
- Reel and guideline use
- Dive team order and protocols
- Touch contact
- Use of safety spools and reels
- Basic navigation skills
Land Drills and Topics:
- Reel and guideline use in standard operating procedures
- Team order and protocols
- Use of safety spools/reels
- Reel and guideline use in emergency procedures, including touch contact and air-sharing techniques
- Lost diver procedures
- Lost guideline procedures
- Basic navigation skills
Required Dive Skills and Drills:
- All skills and drills as outlined in the General Diving Skills, Section 1.5
- Pre-dive planning, to include:
- Assess and review diving limitations
- Dive plan review
- Equipment review
- Equipment familiarization
- Visual reference
- Guideline use
- Limited and simulated zero visibility
- Procedures for gas failures; including valve manipulation, gas-sharing, and regulator switching (as appropriate).
- Demonstrate proficiency in safe diving techniques, including pre-dive preparations, in-water activity, and post-dive assessment.
- Gas-sharing scenarios, to include:
- Breath hold management
- Out-of-gasr diver
- Air-sharing of at least 200 feet/60 meters
- Use of various propulsion techniques
- Use of touch contact for limited and simulated zero visibility situations
- Use of line following techniques for limited and simulated no-visibility experiences
- Demonstrate the efficient deployment of a reserve light in under 30 seconds
- Demonstrate proficient buoyancy control skills
- Perform a lost diver drill while remaining calm and maintaining a horizontal attitude and neutral posture
- Perform a lost line drill while remaining calm and maintaining a horizontal attitude and neutral posture
- Demonstrate effective valve-management by switching regulators, shutting down a valve in under 15 seconds, and then returning the valve to the open position again in under 15 seconds.
- Demonstrate proficiency with guideline management in the following situations:
- Simulated zero visibility line following; this would incorporate touch-contact skills.
- Efficient deployment of the guideline
- Efficient removal of the guideline
- Show apptidude in resolving line entanglement where appropriate.
- Demonstrate good buoyancy and trim: i.e. approximate reference maximum of 20 degrees off horizontal while remaining within 1 m / 3 ft of a target depth.Frequency of buoyancy variation as well as general diver control remain important evaluation criteria.
Each student should have, and be familiar with, all of the following required equipment.
Participants are responsible for providing all equipment or for making provisions to secure the use of necessary equipment before the start of the course. All items should be labelled with name or initials. Please contact us with any equipment related questions or concerns.
Please contact us for further information about scheduling a GUE Cave 1 course.