Not allowed to dive without drysuit certification ;-)

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beester

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Heya all...

Not sure if this should be in the "scandinavia/iceland" forum or not (if so please move, thanks mods).

I've just returned from a beautiful 15 day trip to Iceland with my family. We enjoyed ourselves immensely, seeing parts of the west fjords, the north, whale watching, a lot of hiking with our little terrorist (3y old toddler), and so fort. Diving was not on my mind but the day before our return home we were in the neighbourhood of the silfra canyon and I thought... "why not see if I can do a dive here".

I'll let wikipedia explain what silfra is (Silfra - Wikipedia).

I didn't plan on diving so I only had a couple of C cards with me. A GUE T2+ card and a IANTD normoxic Tx instructor card. I enquired with 2 people setting up dives and snorkling trips there and they basically told me no diving without a drysuit certification or proof of drysuit diving (meaning a document signed by an instructor telling them that you've done 10 drysuit dives in the last 2 years). If diving there hadn't been a hindsight thought I might have informed myself, next I understand the liability issues (although nobody actually asked about diving insurance).

Anyway I couldn't proof that I have drysuit experience or a cert. Because I don't have one! The GUE card nor the instructor card shows this. I started looking online on my other certs (that I didn't have with me) but on none of them was written drysuit proficiency or anything. I later found out that on the newer fundies tech card it states drysuit proficiency but mine was an older version. So I was basically out of luck. I tried to explain to them that being a technical diver/instructor implies that you have drysuit proficiancy unless you live in Chuuk lagoon. I posted this on facebook and about 10 of my diving friends/colleagues messaged me that they would set me up with a digital drysuit cert from various agencies asap. But by that time it was late afternoon, we had to leave and the next day we were flying out, so no need anymore. Bit funny this, doing deep technical stuff, being an instructor, having more than 1200 drysuit dives under my belt, having dived 6 different drysuits and owning 3, and being blocked from doing a 15m max depth, 45 min dive in a "pool".

So quick warning: if you want to dive in Silfra, don't be stupid like me and get a drysuit cert or somebody to (f)make you 10 drysuit logged dives.

Final inquiry for those from Iceland. Is there an active rec/tech diving community in your country. Driving around some of the westfjord bays I was constantly thinking "yes this might be a good diving spot" or "I'm wondering if any ships sank here". I know I'm autistic when it comes to diving :p

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Marie13

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I don’t know why this is such a surprise to you. Everything I read about Silfra mentions you need drysuit cert or proof of dives - or do drysuit cert with Silfra dive op.
 

grantctobin

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I don’t know why this is such a surprise to you. Everything I read about Silfra mentions you need drysuit cert or proof of dives - or do drysuit cert with Silfra dive op.
…literally because he didn’t go there with the intention of diving?
 

Lorenzoid

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…literally because he didn’t go there with the intention of diving?
Sure, but it's surprising that someone like Beester didn't recall having read about the requirement. Like Marie, I have come across articles on diving Silfra, and from what I recall, they mention the requirement of proof of drysuit proficiency.
 
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beester

beester

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What about online verification for C-cards?
I checked all my online cards (everything from GUE, IANTD, CMAS/NELOS, TDI) and on none of them is mentioned anything related to drysuit diving.

I could easily have gotten (still that day) a drysuit cert from a bunch of different agencies via instructor friends... but that was too late (leaving the next day).

@Marie13 : I wasn't planning on diving, visiting the site literally didn't pop up in my mind until the evening before me going there and inquiring. My mistake of course! I could have also just fabricated some logged dives and signed them off myself (I am an instructor after all). Next as an instructor I understand that you can't evaluate someones experience and training just on someones beautiful eyes, you need proof. But showing a 90m+ tech diving card or a tech instructor card should be sufficient. It's a bit as in, going for a nitrox fill, showing a trimix card and being refused a nitrox fill because it doesn't state nitrox on your card :p

Checking now with GUE if I can get a fundies card with drysuit mentioned on it. If not I'll ask one of my instructor friends to certify me online.
 
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beester

beester

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No idea, the package always includes a drysuit. They don't allow wetsuit dives there. I also didn't bring a drysuit... didn't plan on diving, but yeah maybe if I had shown a well worn drysuit I might have convinced them that I can actually dive it. ;-)
 

Pedro Burrito

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@beester , did you get to the requirement about a recent, signed by a doctor, medical form? I was going to go there prior to COVID and the dive shops there require a recent medical form. I'm an instructor so I get an annual exam that is signed by my doctor but that wasn't good enough because it was more than six months old.

It was explained to me by one of the shops that there have been medical incidents and drysuit induced panic attacks in Iceland so they require the certifications and the medical forms.
 
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beester

beester

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Heya Pedro, no they didn't ask that at all, just like they didn't ask about insurance (I have both the yearly medical as an instructor and Dan Europe insurance). Maybe I only needed to pass that hurdle after the drysuit certification topic, which I didn't pass, so actually no idea.
 
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