Cave Training

Cave Diver Level 1 is the entry level Cave course with limited distance penetration.

Cave Diver Level 2 is the second level Cave course with extended distance penetration and stage tanks.

Cave Diver Level 3 is for exploration type dives with the cave environment.

Cave Diver Level 1

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Purpose

GUE’s Cave Diver Level 1 (Cave 1) course is a diver education program that introduces divers to the underwater cave environment and to an appreciation of its subtle dangers. The course covers the basic principles of cave diving and is designed to introduce divers to the skills and knowledge required for limited penetration into the underwater cave environment. Training includes an emphasis on awareness, dive-planning, teamwork, cave environments, stress management, navigation, conservation, standard and emergency procedures, cave-diving techniques, and the hazards of cave diving. To qualify for this type of instruction, participants do not need prior overhead training, but must be proficient with advanced buoyancy control skills. Only very capable divers should consider this training.

Prerequisites

  1. Must meet GUE General Course Prerequisites as outlined in section 1.6
  2. Must be a minimum of 18 years of age
  3. Must have passed GUE Fundamentals using the equipment outlined in section 2.1.4.10 and have demonstrated competence in skill and drills listed in section 2.1.4.9 at a grade of 4 or above
  4. Must have a minimum of 75 dives beyond open water qualification

Duration

The GUE Cave 1 class is normally conducted over a five-day period. It involves a minimum of forty hours of instruction, encompassing both classroom and in-water work.

Course Limits

  1. General training limits as outlined in section 1.4
  2. Student to instructor ratio is not to exceed 3:1 during any overhead diving activity
  3. Gas consumption: 1/3 of the starting gas supply should be subtracted from the total and reserved for emergencies. Of the remaining amount divers may use up to 1/3 for penetration. This process may be continued until divers reach the minimum starting volume of 100ft3 / 2832 liters.
  4. Maximum depth: 100 feet/30 meters
  5. Minimum 30 feet/9 meters of visibility to enter a cave
  6. Minimum 100 cubic feet/2832 liters of gas to begin a Cave 1 dive
  7. No passages in which divers are forced to travel single file for a prolonged distance. (ie approximately 10 ft/3 meters).
  8. No complex navigation (jumps, traverses, circuits)
  9. Allowed to navigate past one permanent intersection
  10. Allowed to navigate “gaps”, a gap occurs where the main line ends and begins a short distance later; normally this occurs where the line has reached another entrance/exit point
  11. No planned decompression
  12. No scooter diving
  13. No exploration
  14. No stage cylinder use allowed

Course Content

The GUE Cave 1 course involves a minimum of forty hours of instruction (lecture and in-water) designed to instill in divers an appreciation of the dangers, challenges, and beauty of the cave environment. Special emphasis is placed on the unique challenges posed by overhead exposure and the identification, management, and resolution of these.

Course requirements include ten hours of academics and twelve dives at a minimum of three different locations. At least eight of these dives will be beyond the daylight zone. During flood conditions, this requirement can be modified with the prior consent of the Cave training director.

Required Training Materials

  1. Doing it Right: The Fundamentals of Better Diving. Jarrod Jablonski, GUE, 2001, High Springs, Florida.
  2. Beyond the Daylight Zone: The Fundamentals of Cave Diving. Jarrod Jablonski, Panos Alexakos, and Todd Kincaid, GUE, 2003, High Springs, Florida.

Academic Topics

  1. GUE organization, limits of training, and course completion requirements
  2. Conservation
  3. Spool, reel, and guideline use
  4. Dive team order and protocols
  5. Touch contact
  6. Basic navigation skills
  7. Dive Planning
  8. Gas management
  9. Accident Analysis
  10. Stress
  11. Environment
  12. Communication

Land Drills & Topics

  1. Reel and guideline use in standard operating procedures
  2. Team order and protocols
  3. Use of safety spools/reels
  4. Reel and guideline use in emergency procedures, including touch contact and gas-sharing techniques
  5. Lost diver procedures
  6. Lost guideline procedures
  7. Basic navigation skills
  8. Visual referencing skills

Required Dive Skills & Drills

  1. All skills and drills as outlined in General Diving Skills, section 1.5.
  2. Must be able to swim at least 400 yards/375 meters in under fourteen minutes without stopping. This test should be conducted in a swimsuit and, where necessary, appropriate thermal protection.
  3. Must be able to swim a distance of at least 20 yards/18 meters on a breath hold
  4. Pre-dive planning to include:
    • Assess and review diving limitations
    • Dive plan review
    • Equipment review
    • Equipment familiarization
  5. Navigation, to include:
    • Visual reference
    • Guideline use
    • Limited and simulated zero visibility
    • Demonstrate proficiency deploying, installing and retrieving a line marker
  6. Procedures for gas failures; including valve manipulation, gas-sharing, and regulator switching (as appropriate).
  7. Demonstrate proficiency in safe diving techniques, including pre-dive preparations, in-water activity, and post-dive assessment.
  8. Gas-sharing scenarios to include:
    • Breath hold management
    • Out-of-gas diver
    • Gas-sharing scenarios, to include a prolonged gas-sharing event.
  9. Use of various propulsion techniques.
  10. Use of touch contact for limited and simulated zero visibility situations.
  11. Use of line following techniques for limited/no visibility experiences. 
  12. Demonstrate the ability to mentally record depth, time and gas consumption during a dive and apply these parameters to future dive planning
  13. Demonstrate the efficient deployment of a reserve light in less than 30 seconds.
  14. Demonstrate proficient buoyancy control skills.
  15. Perform a Lost Diver drill while remaining calm and maintaining a horizontal attitude and neutral posture.
  16. Perform a Lost Line drill while remaining calm and maintaining a horizontal attitude and neutral posture.
  17. Demonstrate effective valve-management by switching regulators, shutting down a valve in less than 15 seconds, and then returning the valve to the open position again in less than 15 seconds.
  18. 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
  19. Show aptitude in resolving line entanglement where appropriate.
  20. Demonstrate good buoyancy and trim, i.e. approximate reference maximum of 20 degrees off horizontal while remaining within 3 feet/1 meter of a target depth. Frequency of buoyancy variation and the divers control of their buoyancy and trim are important evaluation criteria.

Equipment Requirements

Each student should have, and be familiar with, all of the following required equipment.

  1. Tanks/Cylinders: Students are required to use dual tanks/cylinders connected with a dual outlet isolator manifold, which allows the use of two first-stages. All dives must start with a minimum of 80 cubic feet/2250 liters of gas.
  2. Regulators: Two first-stages, each supplying a single second-stage. One of the second-stages must be on a 7-foot/2-meter hose. One of the first-stages must supply a pressure gauge and provide inflation for a dry suit (where applicable).
  3. Backplate System: A rigid and flat platform, of metal construction with minimal padding, held to a diver by one continuous piece of nylon webbing. This webbing should be adjustable through the plate and should use a buckle to secure the system at the waist. A crotch strap attached to the lower end of this platform and looped through the waistband would prevent the system from riding up a diver's back. A knife should be secured to the waist on the left webbing tab. This webbing should support five D-rings; the first should be placed at the left hip, the second should be placed in line with a diver's right collarbone, the third should be placed in line with the diver's left collarbone, the fourth and fifth should be affixed to the crotch strap to use while scootering or towing/stowing gear. The harness below the diver's arms should have small restrictive bands to allow for the placement of reserve light powered by three in-line c-cell batteries (where necessary). The system should retain a minimalist approach with no unnecessary components.
  4. Buoyancy Compensation Device: A diver's buoyancy compensation device should be back-mounted and minimalist in nature. It should come free of extraneous strings, tabs, or other material. There should be no restrictive bands or "bungee" of any sort affixed to the buoyancy cell. In addition, diver lift should not exceed 80lbs. Wing size and shape should be appropriate to the cylinder size(s) employed for training.
  5. At least one time/depth-measuring device
  6. Decompression tables
  7. Mask and fins: Mask should be low volume; fins should be rigid, non-split
  8. At least one cutting device
  9. Wet Notes
  10. One spool with 150 feet/45 meters of line per diver
  11. One primary reel per team, with a minimum of 300 feet/90 meters of line
  12. One primary light: A primary light should be minimalist in design; its power source should consist of a rechargeable battery pack residing in a canister powering an external light head via a light cord. Primary lights should produce the equivalent output of 50 watt halogen/10 watt HID lighting or greater.
  13. Two reserve lights: Reserve lights should be powered by two or three in-line non-rechargeable ccell batteries, with a minimum of protrusions and a single attachment at its rear. The light should be activated and de-activated by twisting the front bezel.
  14. Exposure suit appropriate for the duration of exposure
  15. At least six (6) line markers, of which at least three (3) should be directional (line arrows) and three (3) non-directional
  16. One wrist compass
  17. One reserve mask

Note: Prior to the commencement of class, students should consult with a GUE representative to verify equipment requirements. Whether or not a piece of equipment fulfills GUE’s equipment requirement remains at the discretion of GUE and its instructor representatives. Participants are responsible for providing all equipment or for making provisions to secure all necessary equipment before the start of the course. In general, it is better for the student to learn while using his or her own equipment. However, students should exercise caution before purchasing new equipment to avoid acquiring substandard equipment. Please contact a GUE representative prior to making any purchases. Information about recommended equipment can be obtained from the equipment considerations section of GUE’s Web site.

Cave Diver Level 2

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Purpose

GUE’s Cave Diver Level 2 (Cave 2) course is the second in a series of three courses designed to develop cave-diving proficiency. This very demanding course seeks to refine the cave-diving techniques of divers who have mastered the requirements of Cave 1. To succeed in this course, students must be practiced in the fundamental aspects of cave diving and comfortable in the use of double tanks/cylinders.

The Cave 2 course builds upon previously learned skills, focusing on extending essential cave-diving techniques. These skills include: a focus on environmental awareness, dive-buddy awareness, problem resolution, stress management, and advanced navigation. This course is heavily experience-based, and includes many practical, task-oriented skills that must be mastered before a student is competent to dive at this level.

Prerequisites

  1. Must meet GUE General Course Prerequisites as outlined in section 1.6
  2. Must be a minimum of 18 years of age
  3. Must have passed GUE Cave 1
  4. Must have proof of at least 200 dives, with at least twenty dives in double tank/cylinder configuration; twenty-five of these must be non-training cave dives
  5. Must be Nitrox-trained

Duration

The GUE Cave 2 class is normally conducted over a 5-day period. It involves a minimum of forty (40) hours of instruction, encompassing both classroom and in-water work.

Course Limits

  1. General Training Limits as outlined in section 1.4
  2. Student to instructor ratio is not to exceed 3:1 during any overhead diving activity
  3. Gas consumption: maximum use of 1/3 of gas supply for cave penetration
  4. No training dives are to exceed a depth of 100 feet (+/- 30 feet)/30 meters (+/- 9 meters)
  5. Minimum 20 feet/6 meters of visibility to enter a cave
  6. Minimum 150 cubic feet/3950 liters of gas to enter a cave
  7. No scooter diving

Course Content

The GUE Cave 2 course involves a minimum of forty hours of instruction (lecture and in-water) designed to instill in divers an appreciation of the dangers, challenges, and beauty of the cave environment. Special emphasis here will be placed on: the demands of extended overhead penetration, advanced navigation techniques (including traverses, circuits and siphons), advanced gas management, restrictive passage negotiation, precision propulsion techniques, and decompression risk, management and protocol.

Course requirements include a minimum of ten cave dives at a minimum of three different diving locations. During flood conditions, this requirement can be modified with the prior consent of the Cave training director.

Required Training Materials

  1. Doing it Right: The Fundamentals of Better Diving. Jarrod Jablonski, GUE, 2001, High Springs, Florida.
  2. Beyond the Daylight Zone: The Fundamentals of Cave Diving. Jarrod Jablonski, Panos Alexakos, and Todd Kincaid, GUE, 2003, High Springs, Florida.
  3. Getting Clear on the Basics: The Fundamentals of Technical Diving. Jarrod Jablonski, GUE, 2001, High Springs, Florida.

Academic Topics

  1. Spool, reel, and guideline use
  2. Dive team order and protocols
  3. Touch contact
  4. Basic navigation skills
  5. Dive Planning
  6. Gas management
  7. Accident Analysis
  8. Stress
  9. Environment
  10. Communication
  11. Restrictions
  12. Basic Survey Techniques
  13. Decompression

Land Drills & Topics

  1. Spool, reel, and guideline use in standard operating procedures
  2. Team order and protocols
  3. Spool, reel, and guideline use in emergency procedures, including touch contact and gas-sharing techniques
  4. Lost diver procedures
  5. Lost guideline procedures
  6. Basic and advanced navigation skills including gaps/jumps and circuits/traverses
  7. Visual referencing skills
  8. Basic survey techniques

Required Dive Skills & Drills

  1. All skills and drills as outlined in General Diving Skills, section 1.5.
  2. Must be able to swim at least 500 yards/450 meters in under fourteen minutes without stopping. This test should be conducted in a swimsuit and, where necessary, appropriate thermal protection.
  3. Must be able to swim a distance of at least 20 yards/18 meters on a breath hold
  4. Pre-dive planning to include:
    • Assess and review diving limitations
    • Dive-plan review
    • Equipment review
    • Equipment familiarization
  5. Navigation, to include:
    • Visual reference
    • Guideline use
    • Demonstrate proficiency deploying, installing and retrieving a line marker
    • Limited and simulated zero visibility
  6. Procedures for gas failures; including valve manipulation, gas-sharing, and regulator switching (as appropriate).
  7. Gas-sharing scenarios to include:
    • Breath hold management
    • Out-of-gas diver
    • Gas-sharing scenarios, to include a prolonged gas-sharing event.
  8. Demonstrate a comfortable demeanor while sharing gas without a mask.
  9. Use of various propulsion techniques.
  10. Use of touch contact for limited and simulated zero visibility situations.
  11. Use of line-following techniques for limited/no visibility situations.
  12. Demonstrate the effective deployment of a reserve light in less than 30 seconds.
  13. Demonstrate excellent buoyancy control skills.
  14. Perform a Lost Diver drill while remaining calm and maintaining a horizontal attitude and neutral posture.
  15. Perform a Lost Line drill while remaining calm and maintaining a horizontal attitude and neutral posture in simulated zero visibility conditions.
  16. Demonstrate effective valve-management by switching regulators, shutting down a valve in less than 10 seconds and returning the valve to the open position again in less than 10 seconds.
  17. Demonstrate proficiency with guideline management in the following situation:
    • Simulated zero visibility line following; this would incorporate touch-contact skills
    • Efficient deployment of the guideline
    • Efficient removal of the guideline
  18. Problem resolution, including line-entanglement, navigation in restrictive areas, and multiple line management.
  19. Demonstrate advanced navigational technique by completing at least two jumps and by successfully completing a circuit and/or traverse.
  20. Demonstrate a calm demeanor while sharing gas in simulated zero-visibility for a prolonged distance.
  21. Demonstrate an understanding of the use of a stage cylinder for the purpose of extending penetration.
  22. Demonstrate good buoyancy and trim, i.e. approximate reference maximum of 20 degrees off horizontal while remaining within 3 feet/1 meter of a target depth. Frequency of buoyancy variation and the divers control of their buoyancy and trim are important evaluation criteria.

Equipment Requirements

Each student should have, and be familiar with, all of the following required equipment.

  1. Tanks/Cylinders: Students are required to use dual tanks/cylinders connected with a dual outlet isolator manifold, which allows the use of two first-stages. All dives must start with a minimum of 140 cubic feet/3950 liters of gas. One aluminum 80 cubic feet/10 liter cylinder, rigged for stage diving, is also required.
  2. Regulators: Two first-stages, each supplying a single second-stage. One of the second-stages must be on a 7-foot/2-meter hose. One of the first-stages must supply a pressure gauge and provide inflation for a dry suit (where applicable). One additional regulator, with first and second-stages, outfitted with a pressure gauge, and 40" low-pressure hose is also required.
  3. Backplate System: A rigid and flat platform, of metal construction with minimal padding, held to a diver by one continuous piece of nylon webbing. This webbing should be adjustable through the plate and should use a buckle to secure the system at the waist. A crotch strap attached to the lower end of this platform and looped through the waistband would prevent the system from riding up a diver's back. A knife should be secured to the waist on the left webbing tab. This webbing should support five D-rings; the first should be placed at the left hip, the second should be placed in line with a diver's right collarbone, the third should be placed in line with the diver's left collarbone, the fourth and fifth should be affixed to the crotch strap to use while scootering or towing/stowing gear. The harness below the diver's arms should have small restrictive bands to allow for the placement of reserve light powered by three in-line C-cell batteries (where necessary). The system should retain a minimalist approach with no unnecessary components.
  4. Buoyancy Compensation Device: A diver's buoyancy compensation device should be back-mounted and minimalist in nature. It should come free of extraneous strings, tabs, or other material. There should be no restrictive bands or "bungee" of any sort affixed to the buoyancy cell. In addition, diver lift should not exceed 80lbs. Wing size and shape should be appropriate to the cylinder size(s) employed for training.
  5. At least one time/depth-measuring device
  6. Decompression tables
  7. Mask and fins: Mask should be low volume; fins should be rigid, non-split
  8. At least one cutting device
  9. Wet Notes
  10. One spool with 150 feet/45 meters of line per diver
  11. One primary reel per team, with a minimum of 300 feet/ 90 meters of line
  12. One primary light: A primary light should be minimalist in design; its power source should consist of a rechargeable battery pack residing in a canister, powering an external light head via a light cord. Primary lights should produce the equivalent output of 50-watt halogen/10-watt HID lighting or greater.
  13. Two reserve lights: Reserve lights should be powered by two or three in-line non-rechargeable ccell batteries, with a minimum of protrusions and a single attachment at its rear. The light should be activated and de-activated by twisting the front bezel.
  14. Exposure suit appropriate for the duration of exposure
  15. At least twelve line markers, of which at least six should be directional (line arrows) and six nondirectional.
  16. One wrist compass
  17. One reserve mask

Note: Prior to the commencement of class, students should consult with a GUE representative to verify equipment requirements. Whether or not a piece of equipment fulfills GUE’s equipment requirement remains at the discretion of GUE and its instructor representatives. Participants are responsible for providing all equipment or for making provisions to secure all necessary equipment before the start of the course. In general, it is better for the student to learn while using his or her own equipment. However, students should exercise caution before purchasing new equipment to avoid acquiring substandard equipment. Please contact a GUE representative prior to making any purchases. Information about recommended equipment can be obtained from the equipment considerations section of GUE’s Web site.

Cave Diver Level 3

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Purpose

GUE’s Cave Diver Level 3 (Cave 3) course is the culmination of a series of three courses designed to establish cave-diving excellence. Cave 3 schools divers in the techniques necessary to sustain longer-range cave dives. Training emphasis is placed on advanced cave-diving strategies, advanced gas management, efficient manipulation of multiple-penetration stage cylinders, cave-survey techniques, and scooter diving. Participants must be experienced cave divers who are dedicated to mastering the art of cave diving.

Prerequisites

  1. Must meet GUE General Course Prerequisites as outlined in section 1.6
  2. Must be a minimum of 21 years of age
  3. Must have passed GUE Cave 2 and GUE Tech 1
  4. Must have proof of at least 300 dives, with at least 100 dives in the GUE double tank/cylinder configuration; 100 of these must be cave dives with fifty cave dives beyond Cave 2 training

Duration

The GUE Cave 3 class is normally conducted over a seven-day period and involves a minimum of forty hours of instruction. Training consists of at least ten dives, of which six are critical skills and four are experience dives.

Course Limits

  1. General Training Limits as outlined in section 1.4
  2. Student to instructor ratio is not to exceed 2:1 during any overhead or land drill activity
  3. Gas consumption: maximum use of 1/3 of gas supply for cave penetration
  4. No training dives are to exceed an equivalent narcotic depth of 100 feet (+/- 30 feet)/30 meters (+/- 9 meters)

Course Content

The GUE Cave 3 course involves a minimum of forty hours of class-oriented instruction (lecture and inwater) designed to instill divers with an advanced understanding of cave diving. Special emphasis here will be placed on extended cave diving penetrations/bottom times and their associated considerations (dive planning, gas management, DCS, Oxygen toxicity, and thermal concerns).

Required Training Materials

  1. Doing it Right: The Fundamentals of Better Diving. Jarrod Jablonski, GUE, 2001, High Springs, Florida.
  2. Beyond the Daylight Zone: The Fundamentals of Cave Diving. Jarrod Jablonski, Panos Alexakos, and Todd Kincaid, GUE, 2001, High Springs, Florida.
  3. Getting Clear on the Basics: The Fundamentals of Technical Diving. Jarrod Jablonski, GUE, 2001, High Springs, Florida.

Academic Topics

  1. GUE organization
  2. Limits of training and course completion requirements
  3. Conservation
  4. Logistical planning, project support, and operational planning
  5. Advanced diving techniques including scooter diving, use of multiple stage/deco bottles, navigation, extended penetration, advanced gas management, and decompression strategy

Land Drills and Topics

  1. Use of safety spools/reels
  2. Reel and guideline use in emergency procedures including touch contact and gas-sharing techniques
  3. Lost diver procedures
  4. Lost guideline procedures
  5. Basic and advanced navigation skills including gaps, jumps, and survey techniques
  6. Visual referencing skills

Required Dive Skills & Drills

  1. All skills and drills as outlined in General Diving Skills, section 1.5.
  2. Must be able to swim at least 500 yards/450 meters in under fourteen minutes without stopping. This test should be conducted in a swimsuit and, where necessary, appropriate thermal protection.
  3. Must be able to swim a distance of at least 20 yards/18 meters on a breath hold
  4. Effective pre-dive planning.
  5. Use of various propulsion techniques.
  6. Use of touch contact for limited and simulated zero visibility situations.
  7. Use of line following techniques for limited/no visibility situations. 
  8. Demonstrate the efficient deployment of a reserve light in less than 10 seconds.
  9. Demonstrate excellent buoyancy control skills.
  10. Perform a Lost Diver drill while remaining calm and maintaining a horizontal attitude and neutral posture.
  11. Perform a Lost Line drill while remaining calm and maintaining a horizontal attitude and neutral posture in simulated zero visibility conditions.
  12. Demonstrate effective valve-management by switching regulators, shutting down a valve in less than 10 seconds, and returning the valve to the open position again in less than 10 seconds.
  13. Demonstrate proficiency with guideline management in the following situation:
    • Simulated zero visibility line following; this would incorporate touch-contact skills
    • Efficient deployment of the guideline
    • Efficient removal of the guideline
    • Problem resolution including line entanglement, navigation in restrictive regions, and multiple line management
  14. Demonstrate advanced navigational ability by completing at least two jumps and successfully completing a circuit and/or traverse.
  15. Demonstrate a calm demeanor while sharing gas in simulated zero visibility for at least 300 feet/90 meters.
  16. Demonstrate effective and proficient use of stage cylinders.
  17. Demonstrate proficiency in gas-sharing while managing multiple stages.
  18. Demonstrate safe and efficient operation of a DPV.
  19. Demonstrate proficiency in gas-sharing while piloting a DPV.
  20. Demonstrate the ability to run a guideline while scootering.
  21. Demonstrate the ability to tow a diver whose diver propulsion vehicle has failed.
  22. Demonstrate facility with advanced decompression procedures by: 1) demonstrating the ability to explain trends in decompression tables, and 2) by explaining a strategy for managing decompression in the event of a lost decompression gas.
  23. Demonstrate the knowledge and ability to safely carry out all decompression obligations assuming the loss of all back gas.
  24. Demonstrate the ability to manage failed regulators, first and second-stages.
  25. Demonstrate good buoyancy and trim, i.e. approximate reference maximum of 20 degrees off horizontal while remaining within 3 feet/1 meter of a target depth. Frequency of buoyancy variation and the divers control of their buoyancy and trim are important evaluation criteria.

Equipment Requirements

Each student should have, and be familiar with, all of the following required equipment.

  1. Tanks/Cylinders: Students are required to use dual tanks/cylinders connected with a dual-outlet isolator manifold, which allows for the use of two first-stages. All dives must start with a minimum of 140 cubic feet/2250 liters of gas. Divers must also maintain the use of at least four appropriately marked stages. Stage cylinders should include one Oxygen stage, one decompression cylinder for use at 70 feet/21 meters, one cylinder for use at 120 feet/36 meters, and one cylinder for use at 190 feet/57 meters.
  2. Regulators: Two first-stages, each supplying a single second-stage. One of the second-stages must be on a 7-foot/2-meter hose. One of the first-stages must supply a pressure gauge and provide inflation for a dry suit (where applicable). Four first-stage regulators for decompression gases, each supplying a single second-stage and a pressure gauge.
  3. Backplate System: A rigid and flat platform of metal construction with minimal padding, held to a diver by one continuous piece of nylon webbing. This webbing should be adjustable through the plate and should use a buckle to secure the system at the waist. A crotch strap attached to the lower end of this platform and looped through the waistband would prevent the system from riding up a diver’s back. A knife should be secured to the waist on the left webbing tab. This webbing should support five D-rings; the first should be placed at the left hip, the second should be placed in line with a diver’s right collarbone, the third should be placed in line with the diver’s left collarbone, the fourth and fifth should be affixed to the crotch strap to use while using a DPV or towing/stowing gear. The harness below the diver’s arms should have small restrictive bands to allow for the placement of reserve lights. The system should retain a minimalist approach with no unnecessary components.
  4. Buoyancy Compensation Device: A diver's buoyancy compensation device should be back-mounted and minimalist in nature. It should come free of extraneous strings, tabs, or other material. There should be no restrictive bands or "bungee" of any sort affixed to the buoyancy cell. In addition, diver lift should not exceed 80lbs. Wing size and shape should be appropriate to the cylinder size(s) employed for training.
  5. Approved DPV
  6. At least one time/depth-measuring device
  7. Survey compass and slate
  8. Decompression tables
  9. Mask and fins: Mask should be low volume; fins should be rigid, non-split
  10. At least one cutting device
  11. Wet Notes
  12. One spool with 150 feet/45 meters of line per diver
  13. One primary reel per team, with a minimum of 300 feet/90 meters of line
  14. One primary light: A primary light should be minimalist in design; its power source should consist of a rechargeable battery pack residing in a canister powering an external light head via a light cord. Primary lights should produce the equivalent output of 50 watt halogen/10 watt HID lighting or greater.
  15. Two reserve lights: Reserve lights should be powered by two or three in-line non-rechargeable ccell batteries, with a minimum of protrusions and a single attachment at its rear. The light should be activated and de-activated by twisting the front bezel.
  16. Exposure suit appropriate for the duration of exposure
  17. At least twelve line markers, of which at least six should be directional (line arrows) and six nondirectional.
  18. One wrist compass
  19. Diver’s breathing Helium mixtures and utilizing a dry suit must have a separate (from the back gas) dry suit inflation source, such as an argon/air bottle. Divers may not inflate the dry suit from the back gas.

Note: Prior to the commencement of class, students should consult with a GUE representative to verify equipment requirements. Whether or not a piece of equipment fulfills GUE’s equipment requirement remains at the discretion of GUE and its instructor representatives. Participants are responsible for providing all equipment or for making provisions to secure all necessary equipment before the start of the course. In general, it is better for the student to learn while using his or her own equipment. However, students should exercise caution before purchasing new equipment to avoid acquiring substandard equipment. Please contact a GUE representative prior to making any purchases. Information about recommended equipment can be obtained from the equipment considerations section of GUE’s Web site