Team Diving

Team diving is more than just a buddy pair. Team diving involves divers diving in groups of two, three or four. The ideal number is three members.

Teams of three have more redundancy than normal buddy pairs. If two divers were in the furthermost part of a cave using the rule of thirds for gas planning and one diver had a total gas failure, his buddy would have enough gas to get them both back out of the cave if they moved quickly and stayed calm. When you introduce a third diver into the team, the diver with the gas failure is put in between the other two team members and shares gas with both divers approximately equally. This ensures that even if the divers' breathing rates are elevated beyond normal, all three divers should be able to exit the cave safely.

The example table below shows how careful a buddy pair needs to be on gas consumption. Using the rule of thirds while dealing with a total gas failure in the furthermost part of the cave ensuring remaining gas is shared equally between team members.

Team Members
Starting Pressure
Turn Pressure
Reserve Pressure
Team Gas Remaining if 1 diver has failure
0 as 70 bar is used by buddy
35 as buddy's 70 bar is equally split by two divers
70 as buddy's 70 bar is equally split by three divers

Teams of three are beneficial for many other reasons including:

  • Covering more area in a search pattern
  • Being the eyes for a video diver
  • Providing additional lighting for a video diver
  • Providing redundant equipment if the team suffers a failure
  • Team surface marker buoy deployment. One inflates the buoy, one holds the spool and the third holds the depth.

    Teams of four offer more redundancy than either teams of two or three, but are also harder to manage efficiently. This is particularly apparent in cave and wreck sites where the team are in overhead environments. Two teams of two working 20 metres apart will always move more efficiently than one large team of four. These things are dependent on the team objective and are always discussed at the team planning stage prior to the dive.

    The greater team will plan their dive together and each will have their own task, but be aware of and capable of performing any of the team tasks. All resources are considered team resources and team members will work together for the common good of the team and to safely achieve the objective using the most ideal equipment and skills available to the team.