Altitude Diving. PADI MSDT Specialty Instructor Training Course. SCUBA Dive

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altitude diving.

Altitude Diving. PADI MSDT Speciality Instructor Training Course. Travel is required! Master SCUBA Diver. CD Dan Robinson.

As all my IDC candidates need to know, in the PADI System, altitude diving is 300–3,000m above sea level.  For their PADI Instructor Exams, for altitude diving, they know that we just need to know the altitude and not the ambient pressure at the surface of the lake as this info. is inc. in the dive table or computer.  Each 300m up to about 3,000m, the air pressure drops about 3.1 per cent..  At 3,000m, the air pressure is about 0.7 bar.  We convert the actual depth to a deeper theoretical depth and use it with the RDP, since there will be a greater percentage change in pressure when we end our altitude dive.  We can use the conversion tables in the first bit of the PADI Adventures in Diving book.  A capillary depth gauge works with direct pressure/volume relationships (Boyle’s Law) and reads your theoretical depth, not your real depth.  They are easy to read in shallow water, but do not have a linear scale, so are hard to read at depth.

We do not dive at one altitude, then make another dive at a higher one.  Each dive must start with a direct descent to its max. depth and then get more shallow.  You must use the eRDPml.  We will follow special procedures with the RDP.

  • Our ascent rate will be ltd. to a max. of 9m per min.
  • We will do a safety stop for at least 3 min. at the end of all of our dives.  This will be more shallow than normal and its depth gets less with more altitude.
  • We will do a max. of three dives per 24 hours.
  • For sites at more than 2,400m, we may dive less than six hours from when we get to the site, but we will need to find our pressure group first (count two groups for each 300m).
  • Max. depth will be a theoretical one of 40m, but a max. of 30m is rec.


An acclimated diver is one who has spent at least six hours between 1,200m and 3,000m.  We round up the dive altitude to the next 300m and round down the altitude at which the diver is acclimated to the nearest 300m.  We then count four pressure groups for each 300m of difference.  We will assume that those who are acclimated to less than 1,200m are at sea level.

All PADI Instructors may teach the Adventure Dive (Dive 1) with its knowledge review, but only Altitude Diving Instructors may teach Dive 2.  The full PADI Altitude Diver Speciality Course has at least two dives, so the instructor course has at least one.  Course dives may be done at night by those who have done the PADI Night Diver Course.  All Jr. PADI Open Water Divers (aged 10 years and up) may be students on the PAID Altitude Diving Course.

I can travel to meet you wherever in the World there is a lake at Altitude to train you in.  I can build you a bespoke package, say.

  • PADI Altitude Diving Instructor Course.
  • PADI Dry Suit Diver Instructor Course.
  • PADI Ice Instructor Course.
  • PADI Night Diver Instructor Course.
  • PADI Underwater Videography Instructor Course.


Each two months, on the paradise Island of Malapascua, off Cebu, in the Philippines (max. height 16m!), award-winning PADI DSAT TecRec Course Director Dan Robinson runs his.

  • PADI AI Course.
  • PADI OWSI Course.
  • Full PADI IDC.
  • PADI IDC Staff Course.
  • PADI MSDT Prep Course.
  • Speciality Instructor Training Course.
  • Technical diving courses from Tec Basics right up through full Tec Trimix Instructor and Technical Advanced Wreck Instructor.
  • ANDI Cave Course.


Programmes are also available on the beautiful Island of Koh Tao in Thailand.

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