PADI Self Reliant Diver

In order to become a great diver, you need time underwater in a variety of conditions.

It’s comparable to driving. When you learn to drive, you learn the rules of the road and have to pass written tests before you get behind the wheel to drive. Once behind the wheel, you drive first with the patient people in your life, to get comfortable in a variety of situations.

Once you are confident, an instructor tests your skills, issues a license and, you are now a certified driver! Yet still a beginner. It’s the experience behind the wheel, in a large variety of situations that gives you experience & that feeling of self-reliance.


It’s the same for diving. You earn your certificate, but you still need to learn to dive in currents, cold water, poor vis, warm water, on coral reefs or on wrecks. You need to learn to read maps, navigate, follow safe diving rules and adjust to conditions. You learn about nitrox and the benefits of different gas blends. Depending on your interests, there are many courses available from re breather diver to RNLI Sea Survival, the variety if huge. There’s a mass of ways you can advance your skills diving with a PADI Pro like a divemaster or instructor to increase your confidence and competence after your initial open-water cert.

But unlike driving, no scuba police show up if you reach your limits or break safe-diving rules. It’s up to us as certified divers to understand our equipment, follow the rules, know our limitations, plan our dive and dive our plan, all while taking care of ourselves and our buddies. All the best gear in the world won’t help you if you don’t have the foundation to use it. My favourite buddies are experienced divers who have the skills to take care of themselves underwater because the mindset and capabilities of a competent diver are different from those of a beginner.

With proper training, equipment and the right attitude to accept the risks involved in independent diving, an experience diver can responsibly engage in dives without a buddy. Self-reliant diving is an adventure activity that is not for everyone, but does have its place. If you have the mental discipline and commitment to learn and follow self-reliant diving techniques, you’ll bolster your skills and confidence when diving alone, in a dive pair or as part of a team.

How do I start:

You need to be a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver who is at least 18 years old and has 100 logged dives to enroll in the Self-Reliant Diver course. You’ll also complete a skills assessment with your PADI Self-Reliant Diver Instructor before diving into the course.

What’s involved:

Learning how to compensate for situations you would normally handle with a buddy is the focus of the Self-Reliant Diver course. This includes proper dive planning using air consumption rate calculations, life support system redundancy, and independent management of dive emergencies. During three self-reliant training dives, you’ll practice:

  • Performing an air consumption rate swim to gather information for later calculation.
  • Switching to a redundant air supply system during simulated emergency situations.
  • Swimming without a mask.
  • Navigating to various points, including your exit.
  • Using a DSMB.

The special equipment needed:

Besides your basic scuba equipment, you’ll need a DSMB, redundant gas source, redundant dive computer and redundant surface signaling device. We will suggest other gear as appropriate.


As a dive professionals, we enter the water as self-reliant divers. While teaching students, we are always mentally and physically prepared to take care of not just our students, but also ourselves. There’s no such thing as being overprepared. It’s an ideal specialty course and it’s not just for professionals because the core philosophy and skills apply to many different diving situations. At Stellar we firmly believe that all divers should become PADI Rescue Divers, and then consider becoming PADI Self-Reliant divers when ready.

To start this course simply Contact the Dive Team. To view all Stellar Divers PADI Course options & our latest prices please visit our full PADI Course List, we look forward to hearing from you soon.