North Florida Cave and Technical Diving

Apprentice Cave Diver Course

Apprentice Cave Diver

This is the third in the NACD series of cave diver development training courses. Emphasis is on dive planning and skill perfection through actual cave dives. Techniques learned through the earlier Cavern and Basic/Intro to Cave course are critiqued and expanded. Exposure to different cave diving scenarios is the foundation of this training.

The Apprentice Cave Diver course represents the first half of the training required to complete the NACD Full Cave Diver level and will result, upon successful completion, in the issuance of a one year time-limited training card. While you are introduced to the more complex navigation techniques refined at the Full Cave Diver level, students are required to complete the next level of training before attempting to plan and execute complex cave dives.

Additional equipment required for this level of training include dual cylinders capable of at least 142 cubic feet of volume, dual outlet manifold with isolator bar, gap reel with 50 feet of guideline, primary light with appropriate intensity and burn time for the dives planned and an in-water decompression cylinder (40 cubic foot aluminum cylinder is acceptable) with first and second stage regulator.

Please review the Equipment Considerations section of this website for further discussion of dive gear.

Please be aware that enrollment in an NACD course, at any level, does not assure certification. Due to the risks involved in penetration cave dives involving the use of one-third gas supply in double cylinders, only those students who meet specific performance criteria will earn their certification. Of key importance as the diver progresses from Intro Diver to further within the cave environment is above-average buoyancy control, trim control and propulsion technique, a high degree of comfort in the water and a high degree of awareness of the environment. In-water skills include a low light exit, air-share exit, no-lights exit, no lights and air-share exit, lost line drill and fundamentals of complex navigation.

The Apprentice Cave Diver course requires two days, four dives with at least one dive site being different from those utilized for previous training. Curriculum consists of decompression procedures, additional gas planning and management, dive planning and execution and in-water skills and emergency procedures.

The Apprentice Cave Diver course is quite easily combined with Full Cave Diver over four days, eight dives.

Prerequisites: NSS-CDS or NACD Basic/Intro to Cave, GUE Cave I or equivalent certification.

Certification Available: Combined with TDI Full Cave (four day course).

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Course Fees 

Full Cave Diver Course 




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North Florida Cave
and Technical Divers

PO Box 489 • Branford
Florida 32008-0489

(352) 404-5501

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