UTD Cave 3 is a “technical cave course.” This very demanding cave training seeks to refine the cave diving techniques of certified Cave 2 divers who have mastered the requirements of UTD Technical 1. To succeed, students must be experienced in the fundamental aspects of cave diving and comfortable in the use of stage bottles and a single deco gas for decompression.
- Must meet UTD General Course Prerequisites as outlined in Section 1.6.
- Must be a minimum age of 21 years of age.
- UTD Cave Diver with a minimum of 25 non-training dives at the UTD Cave 2 level or above.
- UTD Technical 1 or equivalent, with a minimum of 25 non-training technical decompression dives. Divers who were not previously trained by UTD must first secure the approval of the UTD instructor before entering this class and must be prepared to engage in supplemental training to remedy any training deficiencies. Additional time and fees are at the discretion of the instructor.
- Must have proof of at least 200 logged non-training dives, with at least 60 non-training dives in double tank/cylinder configuration.
- Must be able to swim at least 400 yards/365 meters in less than 14 minutes without stopping.
- Must be able to swim a distance of at least 60 feet/18 meters on a breath hold.
- Student to Instructor ratio is not to exceed 3:1 during any overhead diving activity.
- Gas consumption: maximum use of 1/3 of gas supply for cave penetration, variable based on team size, equipment redundancy and cave conditions.
- No training dives are to exceed a depth of 160 feet / 48 meters.
- Minimum 10 feet/3 meters of visibility to enter a cave.
Training requirements include a minimum of six (6) cave dives at a minimum of three different diving locations. Special emphasis will be placed on the demands of extended overhead penetration, advanced navigation techniques (including traverses, circuits and siphons) advanced gas management, restrictive passage negotiation procedures, precision propulsion techniques, decompression risk, management and protocol, and extensive stage bottle management.
UTD Cave 3 training is normally conducted over a 3 day period, and involves a minimum of 24 hours of instruction (lectures and in-water) designed to extend the divers’ overhead skills and appreciation for the dangers, challenges and beauty of the cave environment. Upon completion of Cave 3 students may conduct a rebreather endorsement if already certified as a UTD mCCR/pSCR rebreather diver.
- UTD Online Classroom – Cave Diver
- Gas Planning Worksheet
- Technical Diver DVD is recommended
- Reel and guideline use.
- Dive team order and protocols.
- Touch contact.
- Use of safety spools and reels.
- Basic navigation skills.
Land Drills & Topics
- Reel and guideline use in standard operating procedures.
- Team order and protocols.
- Use of safety spools/reels.
- Reel and guideline use in emergency procedures, including touch contact and air-sharing techniques, including zero visibility.
- Lost diver procedures.
- Lost guideline procedures.
- Basic and Advanced navigation skills including multiple gaps/jumps and circuits/traverses.
- Visual referencing skills.
Required Dive Skills & Drills
- All skills and drills as outlined in the General Diving Skills, Section 1.5.
- Pre-dive planning to include:
- Assess and review diving team limitations
- Dive plan review
- Equipment review
- Equipment familiarization.
- Map use
- Navigation, to include:
- Visual reference
- Guideline use
- Limited and simulated zero visibility
- Procedures for gas failures; including valve manipulation, air-sharing, and regulator switching (as appropriate).
- Air-sharing scenarios to include:
- Breath hold management:
- Out of air diver
- Air-sharing of at least 300 feet/90metres
- Comfortably swim at least 200 feet/60 meters without a mask while air-sharing
- Demonstrate adequate mask switching
- Use of various propulsion techniques according to conditions
- Use of touch contact for limited and simulated zero visibility situations.
- Use of line following techniques for limited/no visibility situations.
- Demonstrate the effective deployment of a reserve light in less than 30 seconds.
- Demonstrate excellent buoyancy control skills.
- Perform a Lost Diver drill while remaining calm and maintaining a horizontal attitude and neutral posture.
- Perform a Lost Line drill while remaining calm and maintaining a horizontal attitude and neutral posture in simulated zero visibility conditions.
- Demonstrate effective valve-management by switching regulators, shutting down a valve in less than 10 seconds and returning the valve to the open position again in less than 10 seconds.
- Demonstrate proficiency with guideline management in the following situation:
- Simulated zero visibility line following; this would incorporate touch-contact skills
- Efficient deployment of the guideline
- Efficient removal of the guideline
- Problem resolution, including line entanglement, navigation in restrictive areas, and multiple line management.
- Demonstrate advanced navigational technique by completing at least two jumps and by successfully completing at least 2 circuit and/or traverse.
- Demonstrate a calm demeanor while sharing air in a cave exit for at least 600 feet/200 meters.
- Demonstrate a calm demeanor while sharing air in simulated zero visibility for at least 200 feet/60 meters.
- Rescue and emergency procedures.
- Tanks/Cylinders: Students are required to use dual tanks/cylinders connected with a dual outlet isolator manifold, which allows the use of two first stages.
- Regulators: Two first-stages, each supplying a single second stage. One of the second stages must be on a 7ft/2m hose. One of the first stages must supply a pressure gauge and provide inflation for a dry suit (where applicable).
- Buoyancy Compensators: Back mounted wings, mated with a harness and back plate.
- At least one depth-measuring device.
- One timekeeping device.
- Mask and fins: fins must be of the non-split variety. Back up mask.
- At least one cutting device.
- Wet Notes.
- Three spools / reels, each with 100 feet/ 30 meters of line, per diver. Line must be knotted each 10ft.
- One primary reel per team, with a minimum of 300 feet/90 meters of line. Line must be knotted each 10ft.
- Primary light with 6hr burntime and at least 50watt equivalency (HID highly recommended). Recommend back up primary light head.
- Two backup lights with at least 5hr burn time and minimum of 6 watt equivalent, recommended LED type.
- Exposure suit appropriate for the duration of exposure. Argon bottle back mounted with balanced reg. Wet suits not permitted.
- At least ten line markers, of which at least five should be directional (line arrows) and five non-directional.