Most of the SCUBA Certification agencies have multiple levels of certifications, which
include Junior and regular levels of certification. So, I believe that you are eligible to
become a certified diver at the age of ten. Swimming competency seems to vary with level of certification and agency.
Because I am not qualified in Scuba at any level, I can only presume that one should be fairly rproficient in the rudiments of swimming. Scuba Diving is an entirely different facet of the water, whether it be recreational or otherwise, but whatever the reason, a person should have learned all the basics of swimming and water safety before "GRADUATING" to the next level. Although most of ones' activities occur underwater with scuba gear, one never knows what predicament that arises in order to be prepared to deal with it in a safe manner. As a beginning novice at this, I would treat Scuba Diving as I would Water Skiing..........I wouldn't dare attempt either until I have learned to swim fairly well.. It is the same analogy as trying to drive a race car, without taking Driver's Education. and recieving your drivers license......You are invariably doomed for destruction!!!!!!!!!!
Your opinion is valid, with merit! There is a school-of-thought in the dive world which believes that with technology and push-button diving, one is capable of becoming a safe and capable diver without knowing how to swim beyond the dependency of your equipment.
You are right! With that mind-set, we don't have to concern ourselves with you becoming an unsafe SCUBA diver. In addition my Brother, as most of us dive in the "Buddy System," a good and safe diver needs to be able to render help and assistance when and if needed by your dive "Buddy." In order to do that, you have to be a competent swimmer with rescue skills. Now, what's taking you so long? By some of your great comments and encouragement on the DAP, you need to get certified as an Open Water SCUBA Diver and enjoy the beauty and adventure beneath the Sea. - Ric P.
One of my goals is to become certified as a Scuba Diver so I can join the ranks of the many Brothers and Sisters who are privileged to enjoy such distinction. But first, I must recertify in all areas(i.e. Lifesaving, First Aid, CPR, and WSI) My next goal is to continue keeping myself informed and educated via the forums, programs, discussions, and sheer will, as well as remain in the Will of God, to be persistant and vigilant in my pursuit in bugging my local officials until they get tired of seeing me at their meetings with my proposed agenda, facts, stats, and reason why we need a swimming complex built in our neck of the woods. You, My friend, will be the first to know when I am ready to take my scuba class, and don't think for one second that I won't seek out your guidance and divine leadership to help me along the way. Then I can ask "When and Where is the next diving trip, so I too, will be able to say, "I Did It" Thanx so much for the encouragement, and please do keep me in your prayers that I remain humble in the service for others. Darrick..a.k.a dswimmerman
This is an interesting discussion going on. The questions are good, and the responses are all valid. I believe that the bottom-line skill level to scuba dive is that you know how to swim to enjoy the sport. Most scuba agencies, to include PADI (I am a certified scuba instructor) strongly recommend that you swim 200 yards without swim aids (goggles OK), or a greater distance with mask, fins and snorkel, plus tread water or survival float for 10 minutes. These skills suggest comfort in the water, and being able to breathe freely is essential to demonstrate this comfort level. Scuba diving for non-swimmers is not recommended because they may not know how to breathe properly in water, may choke on water and not know how to open the airway, etc. Learn to swim to enjoy the sport of diving. I guarantee it will be much more fun when you can "do the do"! Thank you, Ric; I hope you did not mind my sharing my thoughts on the subject matter.