TDI Intro to Cave Diver

The TDI Introductory Cave Course takes a serious look at the skills needed to conduct safe and enjoyable cave dives. During the cave course your TDI Instructor will teach you the proper techniques for diving in a cave environment while staying on the main line. Your TDI Intro Cave Instructor will cover topics and skills such as

  • Limits based on no decompression
  • Equipment configuration and preparation
  • Body posture and trim
  • Propulsion techniques
  • Cave conservation
  • Proper guideline procedures
  • S drills
  • Hand and light signals

Divers who have already achieved the level of Cavern Diver and are looking to move forward with their cave diving certifications this is the next step. This course can be combined with the cavern diver course to make a great four days of diving and a great learning experience. This level of training allows you a greater penetration into the caves than the Cavern Diver course under safe diving guidelines. Skills learned during this advanced course will allow divers to safely enter cave zones after they have mastered the exercises required for this level. The safe diving practices learned during this course will apply to all applications of diving including open water recreational diving. Once you have finished this part of your cave diver training we are sure that you will be back to complete the full cave course.


18 years of age with a Cavern Diver certification issued by a recognized cave diving training agency.

Course Description

This course is outlined as a 2 1/2 day course with four cave dives in two different caves. The theory portion of the course includes the lectures from the Cavern Diver course if the intro to cave course is not in conjunction with the cavern course. The limitations for the Intro to Cave Diver are a penetration into the cave of about 600-800 feet from the cave entrance, no restrictions, maximum depth of 100 feet, all dives planned as no decompression dives , double tanks if the student expresses the wish to continue on with the Full Cave Diver course, and a minimum starting visibility of 30 feet. The skills practiced are conducted during the exit phase of every dive and include but are not limited to back up light/air sharing exit, simulated zero visibility/touch contact exit, Air sharing/no mask/simulated zero visibility/touch contact exit and a simulated lost line drill where the student has to find a lost guide line.

Maximum course size

Maximum number of students per instructor is three.

After completion of this course divers will be issued a certification card as well as being qualified to plan and safely execute cave dives to the limit of training.

The next step in advanced diver training is the Apprentice and Full Cave Diver Levels

Course Outline

Course Structure and Duration

Water Execution:

Minimum of four (4) single guideline cave dives with a total bottom time of one hundred (100) minutes conducted at two (2) different sites.

TDI allows instructors to structure courses according to the number of students participating and their skill level.

1. The minimum number of classroom and briefing hours is four (4).

2. Course must be taught over 2 days.

3. If this course is combined with a cavern diver course it is a minimum of 3 days and a total of 8 dives and 180 bottom time minutes.

During The Course You will learn the following:

1. How to properly deploy a guideline.

2. How to properly follow a guideline.

3. Use of safety reel in lost diver procedures.

4. Use of safety reel in lost line drill.

The student must perform the following S-drill and skills during all dives:

1. Demonstrate adequate pre-dive planning.

2. Equipment check and gear matching.

3. Bubble check.

4. Demonstrate specialized propulsion techniques in varying types of flow.

5. Demonstrate proper buoyancy control.

6. Demonstrate proper body posture.

7. Demonstrate proper stress analysis (detection and management).

The student must perform the following in-water skills during cave dives:

1. Properly deploy a guideline.

2. Properly use line markers.

3. Properly follow a guideline with eyes open and closed (simulating loss of visibility).

4. Air share with a buddy with eyes open, following the guideline.

5. Air share with a buddy with lights off, eyes closed and use touch contact, following the guideline.

6. Remove and replace mask while in contact with guideline.

7. Demonstrate light / hand -signals and touch contact.

8. Conservation and awareness techniques.

9. Referencing as back-up navigation.

10. Demonstrate adequate anti-silting techniques.

11. Simulate a primary light failure, and use back light to exit the cave.

12. Demonstrate lost line and lost diver drills.

Required equipment – Info

1. Primary cylinder (s) – volume appropriate for planned dive and student gas consumption.

2. Dual-orifice (Y) or (H) closed valve or dual valve manifold.

3. Two independent first and second stage regulators. One regulator equipped with a long hose at a recommended minimum length of two (2) meters / seven (7) feet.

4. Submersible pressure gauge.

5. Buoyancy Compensator with power inflator.

6. Exposure suit adequate for diving environment.

7. Mask and fins – NO snorkel.

8. Line cutting device.

9. Three (3) battery powered lights – one (1) primary and two (2) back-ups, each with a with burn time suitable for the planned dive time.

10. Safety reel with a minimum of thirty (37) meters / one hundred twenty five (125) feet of guideline.

11. One (1) primary cave-diving reel with length appropriate for intended dive.

12. Computer or watch (bottom timer) and depth gauge.

13. Slate or wet notes with a pencil

14. Submersible dive tables or backup dive computer.

15. Three (3) directional line arrows.

Student Prerequisites:

• Minimum age of 18 or 15 with parental consent

• Show proof of a minimum certification of Cavern Diver or equivalent, with a minimum of twenty five (25) dives

• This course is run over three days if taught stand alone

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