FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 01992 815960

  • We have a list of frequently asked questions below, but please email or call us on 01992 815960 and we will be pleased to talk to you in more detail.

    Our Scuba Dive facilities are conveniently situated for the East London, Havering, Redbridge and Epping Forest districts, covering, Brentwood, Dagenham East London, Ilford, Romford, Upminster Chigwell, Chingford, Epping, Harlow, Woodford and Waltham Abbey.


    What is SCUBA

    SCUBA stands for Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus and was invented by Jacques Cousteau. It consists of a steel or aluminium cylinder that contains air (the same air as you are breathing at the moment). The air in the cylinder is delivered to you to breathe, through a mouthpiece, similar to that of a Snorkel, this SCUBA unit allows you to breathe easily underwater and is attached to a buoyancy jacket for comfort.

    How safe is SCUBA Diving
    Recreational SCUBA diving has been shown to be no more of a risk than swimming. Together with the knowledge and experience that you will receive during the PADI certification course and a healthy respect for the water you will find that Scuba Diving is safe, easy and fun.

    Do I need to be a strong swimmer
    You should be reasonably comfortable in the water. By this we mean in your swimming costume you should be able to swim six lengths and be able to tread water for ten minutes.

    What type of person dives
    People like yourself from age 8 to 80. If you enjoy sunshine, crystal clear water, you have a love of nature and adventure or if you would just like to do a little bit more than sit on the beach during your holiday.

    How long does the course last and when do I pay
    Courses start weekly and are scheduled to be as flexible as possible. You pay an initial deposit and the balance no more than five weeks after the course starts. You can pay by Credit or Debit card also.

    What equipment do I need
    You do not need buy equipment as this is supplied during the course and when you go diving, after a while you may wish to buy a few personal items such as a mask, fins and a wetsuit.

    What if I have a problem with the course
    If you have any problems during the course and you are willing to work to overcome them, then our instructors will work with you at no extra cost to yourself.

    Where will I dive
    Where would you like to dive. We can arrange for you to dive nearly anywhere in the world, or you can dive with us on one of our instructor led holidays to our associate resorts in the Red Sea. Everything is organised for you from the moment you leave the departure airport until you return home. Also  you can dive in England at Stoney Cove, a famous inland dive site near Leicester, where you can dive on a wreck or explore the cockpit of a plane.

    How deep will I go and how long will I dive
    An average dive lasts for about 45 minutes but it depends on where you are and how deep you wish to go, The Scuba diver certification maximum depth is 12m, Open water diver maximum depth 18m and the maximum depth for divers with deep diver training is 40m.

    Is learning to dive difficult?
    No, it's probably easier than you imagine -- especially if you're already comfortable in the water. PADI's entry-level course consists of pool diving, knowledge development and open water dives. The course is performance based, meaning that you progress as you learn and demonstrate knowledge and skill.

    How long does it take to become a certified scuba diver?
    PADI courses are performance based, which means that you earn your certification when you demonstrate that you've mastered the required skills and knowledge. Because some learn faster than others, course duration varies. For example, the PADI Open Water Diver course can be split into five or six sessions over as little as three days to a much as seven or eight weeks.

    How old do I have to be to become a certified diver?
    You must be at least ten years old to receive a Junior Open Water Diver Certification. Ten and 11 year old Junior Open Water Divers must dive with a certified parent, guardian or PADI Professional to a maximum depth of 12 metres/40 feet. 12 to 14 year olds must dive with a certified adult. At age 15, the Junior certification upgrades to a regular Open Water Diver certification.

    Are there any special qualifications or considerations to participate in a scuba class?
    No. Generally speaking, anyone in good average health and at least 10 years old can participate. You will, however, complete a medical questionnaire. If anything on the questionnaire indicates a reason to be cautious about diving, you'll need check with a physician to make sure you can dive.

    Do I have to be a great swimmer to be certified as a PADI Open Water Diver?
    No. You need to be a reasonably proficient swimmer and comfortable in the water. You must swim 200 metres/200 yards nonstop, without a time or specific stroke requirement or a 300 metre/yard swim with mask, fins and snorkel. You'll also perform a 10 minute tread/float.

    Is scuba diving expensive?
    No. Like any hobby or recreation, you can invest however much you want, depending upon your interest level. Because most dive centers and resorts rent equipment, you can invest in equipment over time, renting what you don't have. There's probably good diving not far from where you live, so travel costs can be flexible enough to accommodate even the tightest budget. Most people find the costs of scuba diving similar to the cost associated with snow skiing or mountain biking.

    What's in a scuba tank? Oxygen?
    Recreational divers breathe air, not oxygen. The air in a scuba tank is like the air you're breathing but is also filtered to remove impurities.

    My ears hurt when I dive to the bottom of a pool. Won't they hurt when I scuba dive?
    Your ears hurt because of the water pressure on your eardrum. In your scuba course, you'll learn simple techniques to equalize your ears to the surrounding pressure, much like you do when you land in an airplane.

    In the movies and on TV, divers are always running into sharks or eels. Should I be concerned?
    Most aquatic animals are passive or timid. A few do bite or sting, but you can avoid these by not touching them. Divers aren't natural prey for sharks and therefore shark attacks are rare.

    I need vision correction. Is that a problem?
    No. Wearing soft contact lenses shouldn't be a problem while you dive. However, if you wear hard contacts, you'll want to dive with gas permeable lenses. See your eye doctor for more information. Another option is to have prescription lenses put into your mask. And we can arrange that for you.

    Scuba diving sounds exciting, but I'm not sure if it's for me. Can I try it without signing up for a course?
    Absolutely. The PADI Discover Scuba Diving experience allows you to make a shallow scuba dive supervised by a PADI Professional after a short pool session. This usually takes a few hours. Or, you can try the PADI Discover Scuba experience that lets you try scuba in a swimming pool.

    I want to learn about PADI; what is PADI?
    PADI is the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, the largest scuba certification organization in the world. PADI develops scuba programs and diver training products, monitors scuba training conducted by more than 100,000 PADI Professionals worldwide, maintains diver certification records and issues your diver certification credentials. In addition, PADI maintains various support services for PADI Dive Centers and Resorts. Since its inception in 1966 PADI has grown to have members in more than 175 countries and territories and international service offices in nine countries. Approximately seven out of ten North American divers are certified by PADI, and approximately 55 percent of all divers worldwide are certified by PADI.

    What is the PADI International Resort and Retailer Associations?
    The PADI International Resort and Retailer Associations consists of approximately 4400 authorized PADI Dive Centers, Resorts, dive boats, dive operators and hotels that offer recreational scuba, PADI instruction and other related services. These facilities are your source for dive equipment, education, travel and other dive opportunities. To be an association member, PADI Dive Centers and Resorts must adhere to specific standards that assure you'll get the best training and service.

    What is Project AWARE Foundation?
    Project AWARE Foundation, established in 1992, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, tax-exempt organization committed to the conservation and preservation of the aquatic environment and its resources. Project AWARE programs included beach cleanups, environmental presentations, research, campaigns and other efforts to help preserve and protect the underwater world.

    I'm already a scuba diver and I've lost my certification card. Can I get another one and how long does it take?
    To replace a lost card you can contact us at Sublime or you can go to the replacement card area at padi.com. It takes about two weeks to replace a certification card so if you are diving sooner than that, have the PADI Dive Center or Resort you're diving with call PADI. PADI will transmit your certification information. If you were certified after 1984 in PADI Asia Pacific, PADI Americas, PADI Canada, PADI International Limited or PADI Europe territory, PADI Dive Centers or Resorts can usually verify your certification through the computerised Dive-Chek system at any time.

    I'm a certified diver through another training organization. How can I become a PADI diver?
    Start by visiting us at one of our pool sessions and present your certification card. After an assessment of dive skills and knowledge, we will guide you to the appropriate course. Here are some general course prerequisites:

    PADI Adventures in Diving program and most PADI Specialty courses- An entry level scuba certification and documentation of at least four open water scuba training dives as part of the certification course completed.

    PADI Rescue Diver course- Certification beyond entry level and documentation of at least 20 open water scuba dives demonstrating experience in deep diving and navigation.

    PADI Divemaster course- Certification from a recognized training agency specific to scuba rescue and documentation of at least 20 logged open water scuba dives demonstrating experience in deep diving and navigation. Additionally, you'll you need a CPR and first aid certification within the past 24 months and need to be at least 18 years of age.