What really is an "Advanced Open Water" diver?

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TonRin

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THAT IS NOT A CERTIFICATION LIMIT. The certification limit for a PADI Open Water diver is 40 meters.

Lowall, anyway you can find that ANYWHERE in the world in writing so I can feel more comfortable about it..Cause I cannot, I would appreciate it.
If the PADI certification for OW was to 40m then don't you think the deep dive during AOW would go to 40m.. It states for AOW its to 30m max (as seen is attachment direct from their website). I would love to be shown where 40m was allowed for my certification as a great dive here in the Solomon Islands is the Twin Tunnels and it comes out at 37m. Whilst I know I would be quite comfortable doing it, Murphy's law says I would have an issue and not be covered. I have reached out to DAN Insurance as well to see if they can clarify it as they are the ones that would cover my ass if there was an issue. I will keep you all posted!

Cheers
Tony
 

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Bob DBF

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When I got certified, we were certified to 140 ft. Now, PADI figured out a way to make mo' money by certifying to 60, and requiring AOW for deeper.

PADI, and most OW certs are for NDL diving with a certified buddy. Although NDL goes to 190', the accepted industry standard is 40 meters, and I have yet to find out when that happened.
 

lowwall

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30m is the max depth of the training dive. It is not a certification limit.
 

inquisit

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It states for AOW its to 30m max
It's that ONE particular dive in the AOW COURSE that is limited to 100 ft. Your screenshot makes no mention about limiting anything outside of that single TRAINING dive.

As for the insurance, that's a separate matter. They write the policy restrictions, and different policies have different limits. Same thing with dive operators. Some require AOW to go below 100 ft, and some will make a personal evaluation of your comfort/skill in the water. Their boat, their rules. I've never needed AOW in Hawaii for 120 ft dives, let alone going below 60 ft (the max depth you seem to be pitching that applies to OW). While I haven't dove in the Great Lakes, OTOH, I would be surprised if the operators there (cold/dark) felt the same way.
 

Nitrox_DiverNY

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I thought that a OW diver is certified to plan dives to the rec limit? I just finished the AOW and was rather disappointed by how little it actually adds to your skill set as a diver. It just felt like a sampler with a heavy emphasis on compass navigation. The deep dive and wreck were cool but, I wish the class had more to actually learn
 

inquisit

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anyway you can find that ANYWHERE in the world in writing so I can feel more comfortable about it
PADI's Learn To Dive page states:
How deep do you go?
With the necessary training and experience, the limit for recreational scuba diving is 40 metres/130 feet.​
 

lowwall

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PADI is a member of the WRSTC and must follow its standards.

It's interesting that the WRSTC has almost scrubbed the 40m certification limit from their site. Note there is no depth limit given in the Open Water diver standard.

The limit can only be found in two places. The first is in the WRSTC regional member application form. This is the form for certifying agencies who wish to join their regional council, not individual divers. The form states that members must be in the recreational diver certification business, which they define as:

An association, firm, corporation or other entity shall be deemed to be engaged primarily in the recreational diver certification business if more than sixty percent (60%) of its gross revenues are attributable to: the training and certifying of divers using compressed (atmospheric) air for no-decompression diving up to 130 feet/40 meters, the processing of recreational diver certification cards, membership dues from diving instructors and/or stores, the sale of recreational diver training and recreational diver instructor training materials, and fees for the training of recreational diving instructors.

Note that this limit only applies to compressed air. Which brings us to the second place the limit appears. The standard for Enriched Air Nitrox Diver states "5.2.2 All dives prior to enriched air certification shall be conducted at depths between 15 and 130 feet (5 to 40 metres)."

In other words training dives for a Nitrox class may go down to 40m. What about after certification? Enriched Air Nitrox - WRSTC states "At its August 2006 meeting, the RSTC approved a standard for Enriched Air Nitrox diver. This standard is a recreational entry level nitrox diver standard for depths shallower than 130 feet/40 metres."

Note that AOW is not a prerequisite for Nitrox. It can't be because there is no AOW standard. The only prerequisites for a Nitrox Diver course is that the diver be at least 15 years old, be OW certified, and have four (4) open water dives. The 4 dives can include the dives made during OW certification. So according to this standard an instructor could bring an OW diver to 40m on his or her very first dive as a certified diver as part of a Nitrox course. And once certified, the standard specifically allows dives to 40m.

Finally, the course doesn't actually require any dives at all. So an a diver with 0 logged dives after OW certification can obtain Nitrox certification, which we have already seen includes depths up to 40m.

Ok, so you don't want to go with all the legal mumbo jumbo about standards? Try PADI's blog post How Deep Can You Scuba Dive?

Many new divers are (understandably) confused about how deep you’re ‘allowed’ to dive as an Open Water Diver vs. an Advanced Open Water Diver. As a clever instructor once said, “at what depth will the scuba police pull you over?”

The maximum depth for recreational diving is 40 metres/130 feet .

There is, however, an important caveat: you should always dive within the limits of your training and experience. Open Water Divers* are trained to dive to a maximum depth of 18 metres/60 feet.

Can Open Water Divers dive deeper than 18 metres/60 feet? Frankly, yes. There are no scuba police out there to stop you (although some dive operations set depth limits and may have policies to deter divers from going beyond those limits)....

Why 40 metres/130 feet? There’s a bit of physics and physiology involved in a full explanation, but the short answer is: 40 metres/130 feet is the deepest you can dive without having to perform decompression stops on your way back to the surface. This depth limit is often referred to as the “no-decompression limit,” “NDL,” or “no-stop limit.” It’s also the depth at which most divers begin to feel the effects of gas narcosis (aka nitrogen narcosis)
. [emphasis in original]

Or from the PADI owned Scuba Diving Magazine -
Why is 130 Feet the Depth Limit for Recreational Scuba Diving?

So why has every major training agency established 130 feet — 40 meters — as the depth limit for recreational diving? In order to venture further and explore wrecks, caves and other sites beyond 130 feet, these agencies — such as PADI, NAUI and SSI — require “technical” certifications.

This precedent can be traced to the U.S. Navy, which established the rule in the 1950s and still requires special permission from a commanding officer for a diver to exceed this limit.

“The 130-foot limit is an arbitrary depth originally adopted by the U.S. Navy because it gave Navy divers about 10 minutes of (no-deco) time on compressed air; going any deeper on air made no sense to the Navy because the time available to do useful work was simply too short,” writes Lawrence Martin in Scuba Diving Explained: Questions & Answers on Physiology and Medical Aspects.
 

TonRin

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Thanks. Explains it well. Cheers

Lets see what the insurance company says. :)

Thats the kicker I guess.
 

lowwall

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Yep, 130 is what is taught today. In 1989 when i took my OW it was 140.
The Navy and PADI tables of the day allowed NDL dives to 140'. PADI later backed it off to 130 as they became more of an international organization since it made a nice round number in both metres and atmospheres.
 
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