Cave 1

This course is not sold directly online.  If you'd like to sign up or have questions:

Introduction

The Cave 1 course is designed to be the first step in educating and refining students' skills within the cave environment to both protect the cave and to become a certified Cave Diver.  This is achieved through an intense diver education program that acquaints individuals with an understanding of established cave conservation procedures and an appreciation for the subtle dangers often associated with this overhead diving.  This course covers the basic principles of cave diving, introducing the skills and knowledge required to penetrate and navigate the mainline of an underwater cave environment.  Training includes an emphasis on awareness, cave dive planning, cave environments, stress management, conservation, standard procedures, emergency procedures, techniques, problem solving, and the hazards of cave diving.

Upon completion of Cave 1, divers will be able to safely dive for up to 24 months penetrating the cave, and following the mainline with 1/3rd of their gas or a maximum of usable gas to penetrate.  Usable gas is total gas less the amount needed to safely surface from an emergency with a diver and a buddy (rock bottom).

Unlike other UTD certifications, the Cave 1 certification expires after 24 months.  You must complete Cave 2 (full cave diver) within the 24-month period otherwise you must retake Cave 1 to receive the certification again.   Cave 2 (full cave diver) has no expiration.  To qualify for this type of instruction participants must be proficient divers with advanced buoyancy control skills and foundation in the protocols.

Cave training is not for everyone.  In fact, only very capable divers, who are quite comfortable in the water, should consider this form of diving.

Cave 1 and Cave 2 can be combined into a single 6-day program.

Course Information

The Cave 1 course is normally conducted over a 3 or 4 day period following Overhead Protocols, and involves a minimum of 24 hours of instruction (lecture and in-water) designed to instill divers with an appreciation for the dangers, challenges and beauty of the cave environment.  The fourth day is typically used for experience dives.  Special emphasis here will be placed on the unique challenges posed by overhead exposure and the identification, management and resolution of life-threatening adversity.

Course requirements include nine hours of academics and 8 dives at a minimum of 2 different locations.  At least four of these dives will be beyond the daylight zone.  One experience dive should be at a different cave site, conditions permitting.

Course Limits

  • Maximum depth 100’/33m
  • Standard gas is air (21% O2) or Nitrox 32
  • Must stay within no-decompression limits
  • No passing through cave restrictions
  • Mainline only while in the cave; however unlimited navigation decisions are allowed while in the cavern zone only
  • No scooters or rebreathers
  • No original exploration or line/line marker modification
  • No additional stage bottles

Requirements

  • Minimum age of 21
  • Must have completed UTD Essentials of Overhead, or a technical endorsement, or equivalent
  • Must have completed UTD Overhead Protocols within 12 months
  • Must have at least 75 non-training dives
  • Must complete UTD online registration process
  • Must be able to swim 300 yards/275m in less than 12 minutes without stopping
  • No smoking
  • Use of prescription drugs must be authorized by a physician prior to training

Equipment Requirements

Prior to the commencement of the course, students should consult with a UTD representative to verify equipment requirements.  All participants are responsible for providing all equipment or for making provisions to secure all necessary equipment before the start of the course.

In general, it is better for the student to learn while using their own equipment.  However, students should exercise caution before purchasing new equipment to avoid acquiring substandard or unnecessary equipment.  Please contact us prior to making any purchases.

Sidemount Equipment Requirements

  • Cylinders:  sidemount pluggable double cylinders with appropriate stage rigging and quick disconnects
  • Low pressure distribution system such as a Z-Distribution Block or Z-Isolator Manifold
  • Regulator system: primary second stage with a donatable 5’ or 7’ hose stowed in a wrapped fashion around the diver’s neck, and a backup second stage bungeed around the diver’s neck in a necklace fashion
  • Buoyancy compensator/trim device: rear inflation-type/wing or trim device
  • Z-System harness or equivalent
  • Depth-measuring device
  • Time-keeping device
  • Compass
  • Mask
  • Non-split fins with spring-straps
  • Cutting device
  • Exposure suit appropriate for the duration of exposure
  • Primary light and backup lights
  • Spool with minimum 150'/50m of line
  • Line marker kit with at least 5 directional and 5 non-directional markers
  • Two thigh-mounted pockets
  • Neoprene hood
  • One primary reel per team, with a minimum of 400'/120m of line
  • Optional:  spool with minimum 70’/21m line and a surface marker buoy
  • Optional:  wetnotes and writing utensil

Backmount Equipment Requirements

  • Cylinders: backmount double cylinders
  • Regulator system: primary second stage with a donatable 5’ or 7’ hose stowed in a wrapped fashion around the diver’s neck, and a backup second stage bungeed around the diver’s neck in a necklace fashion
  • Buoyancy compensator/trim device:  rear inflation-type/wing or trim device
  • Backplate and harness system
  • Depth-measuring device
  • Time-keeping device
  • Compass
  • Mask
  • Non-split fins with spring-straps
  • A cutting device
  • Exposure suit appropriate for the duration of exposure
  • Primary light and two backup lights
  • Spool with minimum 150'/50m of line
  • Line marker kit with at least 5 directional and 5 non-directional markers
  • Two thigh-mounted pockets
  • Neoprene hood
  • One primary reel per team, with a minimum of 400'/120m of line

  • Optional:  spool with minimum 70’/21m line and a surface marker buoy
  • Optional:  wetnotes and writing utensil