Mike Gayle Scuba & Snorkeling Adventures
Let Your Underwater Adventure Begin!
Scuba diving is one of many sports that can be enjoyed by people of varied abilities. Every year, more people with disabilities are enjoying the fun, weightlessness, and positive therapeutic benefits of becoming scuba divers. With the As long as an individual obtains medical approval from a physician, they can enjoy the excitement, freedom, and joy of exploring the underwater world.
Mike Gayle Scuba & Snorkeling Adventures accommodates the training needs of people of ALL abilities. If you want to snorkel or learn to scuba dive, your adventure can start right here. While the following is not an exhaustive list, we train divers (and snorkelers) who live with a variety of impairments or disability types including:
Whenever possible, we certify divers
through our PADI affiliation.
However, for various
reasons, this is not always possible. That’s where the multi-tiered
certification process afforded
by the Handicapped Scuba Association
International (HSA) comes into play.
Handicapped Scuba Association
HSA was founded in 1981 by Jim Gatacre and the HSA diver training programs were developed with the close consultation of representatives from PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) and NAUI (National Association of Underwater Instructors). HSA has a network of instructors throughout the world who train divers and share information about accessible accommodations, dive boats and the like within their region and/or areas in which they have traveled.
HSA’s Multi-tiered CertificationsHSA has 3 tiers for certification. Level A HSA divers are certified to dive with a buddy who is a certified diver. This is identical to a diver trained by any other dive training agency. Level B HSA divers must have two dive buddies who are at least Level A HSA divers (or equivalent). Level C HSA divers are certified to dive with two dive buddies; one buddy must be at least a Level A HSA diver (or equivalent) and the other buddy (“assisting buddy”) must be at least a certified rescue diver. It is recommended that the assisting buddy be a certified HSA Open Water Dive Buddy.
HSA Scuba CoursesWith the exception of the HSA Dive Buddy course, all HSA scuba courses listed below are identical to PADI scuba courses. PADI instructional materials are used. To the extent possible, HSA student divers are taught along with any other student divers of the same level, however, depending on individual circumstances, additional confined or open water training sessions may be necessary or private instruction may be required/desired.
The HSA Open Water Scuba Diver course is designed to develop the knowledge and skills required to plan and conduct (with a buddy) open water, no decompression dives. The course has three primary components - knowledge development, confined water training, and open water training. The knowledge development portion of the course covers topics such as dive science, dive techniques, dive planning, and scuba equipment. The confined water training portion of the course allows the student divers to apply their knowledge by learning and practicing basic diving skills in a pool or pool-like environment. Finally, the open water training portion of the course provides student divers with a supervised transition to diving in the open water environment.
HSA Junior Open Water
course is designed to develop the
knowledge and skills required to plan and conduct open water, no
decompression dives. Student
divers as young as 10 years old may enroll in this course. The course
has three primary
components - knowledge development, confined water training, and open
water training. The
knowledge development portion of the course covers topics such as dive
techniques, dive planning, and scuba equipment. The confined water
training portion of the
course allows the student divers to apply their knowledge by learning
and practicing basic diving
skills in a pool or pool-like environment. Finally, the open water
training portion of the course
provides student divers with a supervised transition to diving in the
open water environment.
Upon certification as an HSA Junior Open Water Diver, divers 10-11
years old are certified to
dive when accompanied by a certified diving parent or a diving
professional (e.g., Divemaster,
Assistant Instructor, or Instructor) and dive depths are limited to 40
feet. As described above,
when not diving with a dive professional, Level B & C divers
require additional dive buddies
with certain qualifications.
HSA Advanced Open Water Scuba Diver
course allows divers to gain dive
experience and advanced skills under the supervision of a diving
instructor. This course consists
of 5 Adventure Dives. Each Adventure Dive has two components -
knowledge development and
open water training. The knowledge development portion of each
Adventure Dive covers
information to safely complete the dive and specialized information
related to that particular
type of diving. while pursuing individual interests and advanced dive
education. For the HSA
Advanced Open Water Diver, knowledge and skills for peak performance
buoyancy (focused on
control for mid-water and wall-diving), underwater navigation, deep
diving (to 100'), night
diving, and aquatic life identification.
Beyond the HSA Advanced Open Water Scuba Diver course, students can enroll in various PADI specialty courses.
The HSA Dive Buddy course is designed to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to be a safe and effective dive buddy for scuba divers with a wide range of disabilities. The course has three primary components - knowledge development, confined water training, and open water training. The knowledge development component focuses on learning about a wide range of disability types and the diving challenges that may be associated with them. The confined water training provides the venue to develop and practice the practical skills associated with being a dive buddy for people with a variety of disabilities. During this section of the course, you will learn/perform a number of dive buddy skills and engage in a number of simulations that are designed to let you experience some of the challenges that divers with disabilities may encounter. Once the confined water performance standards are achieved, the open water component permits you hone these skills in actual diving environments. To enroll in the HSA Dive Buddy course, you must be at least 18 years old, a certified Open Water Diver (or higher) with at least 40 logged dives within the last 2 years, and demonstrate proficiency of basic rescue and air-sharing skills. While not required, it is highly recommended that certified HSA Dive Buddy’s also become certified rescue divers. If certified as a rescue diver, you are qualified to serve as the “assisting buddy” with a Level C HSA Scuba Diver.
Last modified on: 4-July-13.
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