Search and Recovery Diver Course
The time: the late 1600′s. The place: a moonlit strait in the Caribbean. With barely a whisper a four-mast caravel slips quickly through the foam. It has just left a small Spanish colony, but the call was anything but social. For the crew of this boat is made up of rough men who go by many names – corsairs, buccaneers, and sea dogs – but are remembered best as pirates. And they’ve just relieved a treasure house of gold and precious stones. Slipping between two small islands, the ship swings to port and into the range of a man ‘o war’s cannons. While the navy has the element of surprise the pirates rally and fire back. The fight is quite brief, and soon both ships are sliding beneath the waves – along with a fortune in treasure…
The time: 2012. The place: The Matanzas River just south of St. Augustine. While enjoying a sunset sail in your sloop, you and your wife pull into a small cove to pour a glass of champagne and await the onset of dusk. While fish feed along the reeds and pelicans soar overhead you drop anchor and wipe a bit of grease off of your hands. But your fingers are quite slippery and the rag sends your wedding ring sliding right off. After striking the rail, it tumbles overboard and disappears into the cloudy water with a quiet splash.
Many things draw people to scuba diving, but few are so strong and tantalizing as the possibility of finding sunken treasure. Individuals like Mel Fisher have inspired many to study nautical maps and get scuba certified in the hopes of striking it rich or starting a unique collection. And there’s no shortage of things to seek, what with centuries of items finding their way into the water all over the world. Whether you’re searching the ocean floor for Spanish pieces of eight or swimming along a river bottom in hopes of locating a cavalry sword, the possibilities are endless.
Of course, what you yourself treasure doesn’t have to be decades old and worth millions. It can be as simple as a button, a tin box or an old toy. And it’s loss doesn’t have to be the result of swashbuckling or storms – it could be due to your very own clumsiness (don’t worry, we’re not judging you). Whatever the case, Scuba Lessons Jax can prepare you for the hunt the right way (and if you still need persuading, keep in mind that although Fisher hauled up $450 million worth from the Atocha, the richest part of the cargo has yet to be found).
Why is a search and recovery course important?
In order to find and move objects underwater successfully, certain skills and knowledge can be helpful. As far as locating is concerned, factors such as visibility, depth, bottom conditions and currents must be taken into consideration. For those going after specific treasure troves, study of the site’s history is critical. Bringing items to the surface can be tricky, especially with large, awkward pieces or delicate material submerged for long periods of time. And knowing where it’s okay to search for artifacts and where such action is prohibited is a must. Plus, for those seeking an education, you may be able to earn college credit by taking the course!
What exactly will I learn in the course?
Our search and recovery course covers the following ground:
- Organizing and planing for a dive
- Techniques and procedures useful for search and recovery
- Dealing with any problems that might arise
- Using search patterns for locating objects
- Tips on searching in areas of limited visibility
- Recovery methods including the use of a lift bag
What is required for me to take the course?
Participants must be at least twelve years of age and have previously taken a (jr.) advanced open water diver course (or received a qualifying rating) OR a (jr.) open water diver course with PADI underwater navigator specialty. An underwater compass and lift bag will be required.
Although not a requirement, the skills taught in our underwater navigator course can aid you in finding sites.