Cave Diver Level 3
GUE’s Cave Diver Level 3 course is designed as a mastery level course with an emphasis on the techniques necessary to sustain longer range cave dives. Among its course outcomes are: advanced cave diving strategies, advanced gas management, efficient manipulation of multiple penetration stage cylinders, cave survey techniques, and DPV diving.
Applicants for a Cave 3 course must:
- Submit a completed registration form, a medical history, and a liability release to GUE Headquarters.
- Be physically and mentally fit.
- Hold insurance that will cover diving emergencies such as hyperbaric treatment, e.g. DAN Master-level insurance or equivalent.
- Be a nonsmoker.
- Obtain a physician’s prior written authorization for the use of prescription drugs, except for birth control, or for any prior medical condition that may pose a risk while diving.
- Be a minimum of 21 years of age.
- Be Cave 2, Tech 1, Documentation diver and DPV certified.
- Have at least 100 cave dives with 75 cave dives beyond Cave 2 certification.
The GUE Cave 3 course is normally conducted over seven days; it requires ten cave dives and a minimum 30 hours of instruction, encompassing classroom, land drills and in-water work.
Cave 3 Specific Training Standards
- Student-to-instructor ratio is not to exceed 6:1 during land drill or surface exercises, but cannot exceed 3:1 during any overhead diving activity.
- Gas consumption: maximum use of 1/3 of gas supply for cave penetration.
GUE training materials and recommended reading as determined by the course study packet received via online download after GUE course registration.
- Introduction: GUE organization and course overview (objectives, limits, expectations)
- Logistical planning, project support, and operational planning
- Advanced diving techniques, including scooter diving, use of multiple stage/deco cylinders, navigation, extended penetration, advanced gas management, and decompression strategy
Land Drills and Topics
- Use of safety spools/reels
- Reel and guideline use in emergency procedures, including touch contact and gas sharing techniques
- Lost diver procedures
- Lost guideline procedures
- Basic and advanced navigation skills, including gaps, jumps, and survey techniques
- Visual referencing skills
Required Dive Skills and Drills
- Demonstrate proficiency in safe diving techniques; this would include pre-dive preparations, in-water activity and post-dive assessment.
- Demonstrate awareness of team member location and concern for safety, responding quickly to visual indications and dive partner needs.
- Demonstrate a safe and responsible demeanor throughout all training.
- Demonstrate proficiency in underwater communication.
- Demonstrate basic proficiency managing a GUE equipment configuration.
- Demonstrate safe ascent and descent procedures.
- Must be able to swim at least 500 yards/450 meters in less than 14 minutes without stopping. This test should be conducted in a swimsuit and, where necessary, appropriate thermal protection.
- Must be able to swim a distance of at least 60 feet/18 meters on a breath hold while submerged.
- Comfortably demonstrate at least three propulsion techniques that would be appropriate in delicate and/or silty environments; one of these kicks must be the backward kick.
- Demonstrate proficiency in the use of touch contact for limited and simulated zero-visibility situations.
- Use of line-following techniques for limited/no visibility situations.
- Demonstrate efficient deployment of a reserve light in less than ten seconds.
- Perform a lost diver drill while remaining calm and maintaining both a horizontal and neutral position in the water.
- Perform a lost line drill in simulated zero-visibility conditions while remaining calm and maintaining both a horizontal and neutral position in the water.
- Demonstrate effective valve management by switching regulators, shutting down a valve in less than ten seconds, and returning the valve to the open position again in less than ten seconds.
- Demonstrate proficiency with guideline management in the following scenarios (1) simulated zero-visibility line following; this would incorporate touch-contact skills; (2) efficient deployment of the guideline; and (3) efficient removal of the guideline.
- Demonstrate proficiency in problem solving, including line entanglement, navigation in restrictive regions, and multiple line management.
- Demonstrate advanced navigational skills by completing at least two jumps and successfully completing a circuit and/or traverse.
- Demonstrate a calm demeanor while sharing gas in simulated zero visibility for at least 300 feet/90 meters.
- Demonstrate proficiency in the use of stage cylinders.
- Demonstrate proficiency in gas sharing while managing multiple stages.
- Demonstrate safe and efficient operation of a DPV.
- Demonstrate proficiency in gas sharing while piloting a DPV.
- Demonstrate the skill required to run a guideline while using a DPV.
- Demonstrate the skill required to tow a diver with a failed DPV.
- Demonstrate the ability to mentally record depth, time, and gas consumption during a dive and apply these parameters to future dive planning.
- Demonstrate facility with advanced decompression techniques by: 1) explaining trends in decompression tables, and 2) explaining how to manage decompression in the event of a lost decompression gas.
- Demonstrate the skill required to carry out all decompression obligations, assuming the loss of all back gas.
- Demonstrate the ability to manage failed regulators, first and second stages.
- Demonstrate good buoyancy and trim, i.e. approximate reference is a maximum of 20 degrees off horizontal while remaining within 3 feet/1 meter of a target depth.
GUE base configuration as outlined in Appendix A, plus:
- GUE double tank configuration
- Primary and back-up lights
- Two bottom stages
- Two decompression stages
- Approved DPV
- Back-up mask
- One primary reel per team
- One safety spool with 150 feet/45 meters per person
- At least two jump spools per person
- At least 12 line markers; six directional (arrows) and six non-directional (cookies)
Prior to the commencement of class, students should consult with a GUE representative to verify equipment requirements and appropriateness of any selected equipment.