Sidemount Diver

Team Blue Immersion is happy to be on the forefront of the new sidemount revolution and its growing popularity. Currently, the team is teaching both student and instructor levels of a distinctive course written by Blue Immersion themselves.

PADI has recently announced the release of a standardized side mount course that will be out shortly (predictions are around March) and team blu immersion will be first in line to teach these courses

Although the course can be done over 1 day, the team prefers to break it over two as the initial lecture covering the many benefits of sidemount (why sidemount?) and equipment configuration (Tips and Tricks) is quite extensive. Dive 1 usually takes place in the afternoon where hours are spent in the shallows perfecting buoyancy, fining techniques, and safety drills. Dive 2 is the following morning and covers the remaining skills and some fun around the many amazing dive sites here in Dahab.

Currently the side mount course is as follows:

Distinctive PADI Recreational Sidemount Diver Specialty Course

• This course is designed to teach certified divers how to safely utilize side-mounted primary cylinders as an alternative to the traditional back-mounted configuration.

Course Philosophy and Goals
• The course is strictly non-decompression and is design for any diver interested in learning to dive with sidemount configuration. This course is not brand specific and any sidemount unit can be used to teach this course. Maximum depth is 40 meters or within the limit of the students current certification, whichever is shallower.

PADI Recreational Sidemount Diver Course integration with PADI TecRec Programs
• This course can be combined with a TecRec 40-45-50 course or TecRec Trimix course where sidemount configuration is used instead of backmount. Any TecRec programs conducted in sidemount are to be conducted according to the standardized PADI TecRec outline.

Student Diver Pre-requisites
• PADI Advanced Open Water Diver or equivalent and
minimum 15 years of age

Qualifications after certification
• Upon successful completion of the PADI Recreational Sidemount course, graduates may engage in sidemount diving activities with maximum two (2) independent tanks without direct supervision provided the following limits are adhered to: Planned dives do not exceed diver’s current certification level

Instructor Qualifications
• Renewed and Insured PADI Sidemount Instructor

Maximum Ratio Academic
• Unlimited, so long as adequate facility, supplies and time are provided to ensure comprehensive and complete training of subject matter

Open Water Training
• A maximum of 4 students per Instructor; it is the instructor’s discretion to reduce this number as conditions dictate

Number of Dives and Course Duration
- Two (2) dives are required with complete briefs and debriefs by the instructor
- Minimum one (1) day

Administrative Tasks
1. Collect the course fees from all the students
2. Ensure that the students have the required equipment
3. Communicate the schedule to the students
4. Have the students complete the:
a. PADI Liability Release and Express Assumption of Risk Form
b. PADI Medical Statement Form
c. PADI Safe Practice Statement of Understanding

Upon successful completion the instructor must
Issue a PADI Distinctive Sidemount Recreational certification

Required Equipment
The following equipment is required for each student:
- Dual cylinders, volume appropriate for planned dive, and student gas consumption
- Two independent first and second stage regulators each with a submersible pressure gauge
- Buoyancy compensator device (BCD/Wing) with power inflator appropriate for sidemount configuration
- Exposure suit adequate for diving environment
- Mask and fins
- Dive computer and or bottom timer when using dive tables
- Compass
- Reel
- SMB, Safety Marker Bouy
- Cutting tool or Knife
- Wrist slate
Required Subject Areas

Instructors may use any text or materials that they feel help present these topics. The following topics must be covered during this course:

- Gas management utilizing independent cylinders
- Equipment considerations
- Cylinder options
- Regulator options
- Wing / harness options
- Proper weighting
- Equipment configurations
- Communication
- Problem solving
a. Gas-sharing
b. Gas hemorrhages
- Appropriate entries and exit
- S-Drills (specific to sidemount)

Required Skill Performance and Graduation Requirements

In-water skills during open water dives
- Plan dive
- Test and check all equipment (depth gauges, bottom timers/watches and computers)
- Descend to planned depth and do not exceed any pre-planned limits
- Bubble check at 5 meters
- All skills conducted in a proper trim position
- The student should not ascent/descent more than one (1) meter during any of the skill practice
- Use of proper finkicks (frogkicks and/or modified flutterkick)
- Be able to swim reversed and using helicopter kicks
- Demonstrate the ability to safely manage gas in independent cylinders
- Monitor depth/time/air consumption, figure all times on wrist slate
- Demonstrate ability to control buoyancy
- Attaching sidemount cylinders while
a. Out of water
b. On surface standing on bottom
c. On surface in water to deep to stand
d. At depth
- Perform gas switches
- Perform safety stops
- Deployment of SMB (Safety Marker Bouy)

In order to complete this course, students must:
- Perform all open water dive requirements safely and efficiently
- Demonstrate mature, sound judgment concerning dive planning and execution
- Log all dives

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