Cave – FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions  
What is cavern diving?

Cavern diving is defined as a dive that takes place under no-decompression limits during daylight hours within direct sight of the surface. Limits for cavern diving are a maximum of 70 feet (21 m) deep and no more than 130 feet (40 m) of penetration into the cavern zone. The cavern must be large enough for two divers to swim side by side at all times. Visibility should be 40 or more feet (12 m).

What is cave diving?

Full cave diving is penetrating into a cave further than the sight of the surface or natural light. Cave diving is considered diving to a maximum depth of 130 feet (40 m), but routinely, cave divers explore to much deeper depths than that.

What do you see when cave diving?

Cave divers regularly speak about the shape of the tunnels, rock formations, pristine cave floor, etc. as some of the reasons they go where they go. The formation of the rocks, walls, and shape of cave tunnels is unique and can’t be seen in to many places on the surface. There is also life in caves, from blind crayfish to catfish. There are also many small creatures that live in caves, which are different from area to area. There is a lot of beauty in caves that you can only experience by going there.

Where do you go to cave dive?

Cave diving in Florida and Mexico is considered the best in the world and offers properly trained cave divers an opportunity to dive and explore to many levels of the sport. The Bahamas also have some great cave dives, as well as Cuba and some in Europe. The Florida springs and sinkholes offer spectacular cave diving into Florida’s aquifer. Mexican (Yucatan Peninsula) cave dives are some of the most beautiful in the world. The caves were dry during the ice age, so stalactites and stalagmites formed. When the ice melted and the water rushed back into the caves, the formations where frozen in time making for some of the most beautiful diving in the world.

Do I need special certification to dive in caves?

Yes, most definitely. Cave or cavern diving is extremely dangerous without the proper training. Cave and cavern diving requires special training, equipment, techniques, and procedures and should not be conducted unless you have the proper training. Don’t risk your life by thinking you should try cave diving to see if you like it before receiving the proper training.

Do I need to purchase special gear to dive in caves?

Yes. There is special equipment, such as line reels, backplate and harness, wing BC, primary and backup lights, special long hose for your regulators, etc. Your basic open water gear will not suffice for diving in caverns or caves.

Is cave diving safe?

Cave diving has been considered one of the most extreme and hazardous forms of diving, but it doesn’t have to be if you get proper training and follow the rules. With anything that risks your life, the safety factor exponentially grows when you receive the proper training. You wouldn’t skydive or fly an airplane without proper training and the same goes with cavern or cave diving. Cave diving is safe with the proper training, by following the rules, by having a good attitude, by having the proper equipment and configuring it correctly, and by being fit both physically and mentally.

Basic Shooting Techniques

Our Basic Shooting Techniques section helps to bring together facts from all the other sections to improve your underwater photo shooting knowledge. This section also touches on subjects that impact your ability to have an opportunity to shoot, as well as shooting technique itself.

Side Mount Diving Overview

Side mounting is mounting one cylinder on each side of your body. A BC harness system is responsible for holding the cylinders in place. Side mount was originally developed to allow the exploration of restrictive underwater cave passage that was not accessible by standard back mounted cylinders.

Side mount configurations allowed the diver to maneuver through much smaller passage by placing the cylinders on the divers side, thus reducing the overall girth of the diver. Side mount rigs also allow for the easy removal and replacement of cylinders underwater, enabling the hard-core cave explorer to squeeze through even smaller restrictions by removing one or both of the cylinders and pushing the cylinder in front of them through the restriction.
Side mount cave exploration is not a new technique by any means. It has been around for many years, but only since 1999 has it gained any type of recognition as a viable method of exploration. Some of the first side mount cave explorers where Woody Jasper, Lamar Hires, Brain Kakuk, and Wes Skiles. They pioneered their own side mount rigs in their garages and made them work. Continued modifications to these original rigs brought side mounting into the more mainstream.

Specialty Certifications

There are numerous specialty courses you can take to advance you diving skills, comfort level, and experience. Each of these courses specializes in specific skill sets and techniques and can improve your overall knowledge about diving and open up new diving opportunities. Some of the certifications listed below require specific prerequisites, so it’s important that you contact your local dive shop or training agency to find out everything you need to know before signing up for a course. Some of the specialty courses are:

·         Night diver
·         Underwater photographer
·         Search and recovery
·         Hunter and collector
·         Cavern diver
·         Cave diver
·         Wreck diver (no penetration)
·         Wreck diver (penetration)
·         Ice diver
·         Deep diver
·         Nitrox diver
·         Training assistant
·         Scuba rescue diver
·         Advanced rescue diver

Scuba Diving Careers

Have you ever dreamed of turning your passion, your hobby into a career? Well, with diving, that is a real possibility. When you’re at your local dive shop or on a dive vacation, do you dream of being that person behind the counter or on the boat? Have you thought about getting involved in diving with respect to the work that you do, such as research diving or being a police diver? Have you thought about working underwater as a commercial diver? If so, then you’ve found the right place to learn about the many different diving career opportunities. has put together a list of diving careers providing information about what to expect, think about, and know for the many career possibilities.

If you’re interested in a recreational diving career, the most common jobs are diving instructors, dive masters, dive shop owner or employee, service repair technician, photographer or videographer, writer or editor for a dive publication, dive boat staff, dive charter operator, sales representative for a dive manufacturer, and taking people on guided dives.


If you’re interested in working underwater in a professional level, commercial diving is the most common job.


Some careers require or need you to be trained in scuba diving. Many times, scuba diving is secondary to your primary job, but being a trained diver can open up different career opportunities for you to pursue. Some of these careers are research diving or scientific diving, diving medicine, and being a police diver.

Whether you’re interested in the recreational side of the diving industry or looking to become a commercial diver, there are many career paths that allow you to use and participate in the sport you’ve come love. No matter what career path your looking to take, make sure that you research and understand each aspect of the career before spending the time or money required to be involved.

Happy career exploring!