Course Dates: Scheduled course dates can be found on our training calendar. We also schedule classes on demand, so if you don't see something that works for your schedule, please contact us to see if we can work something out for you. 

Course Locations: ​This course is taught at any open water location where we are already training. With instructor approval, we can teach this course locally in the Patuxent River. Students wishing to complete the course in the local waters will need to be evaluated by one of our instructors prior to being authorized to complete the dives locally.

​Course Fee: $195.00

What will you learn?

The scuba gear you'll use

Students must have the following equipment to take this course. Most gear is available as rentals.

1. Standard Dive Equipment (mask, snorkel, fins, appropriate thermal protection, tank, regulator, etc)

2. Surface marker buoy or lift bag w/spool or reel with at least 100ft of line.

3. Redundant gas source -  pony cylinder, twin cylinders with isolation valve or sidemount configuration. Redundant gas supply must be configured so that the diver can access it with one hand.

4. Redundant Depth Gauge and bottom timer or dive computer
5. Redundant surface signaling devices (both visual and audible)
6. Knife/cutting tool (except where locally prohibited)
7. Slate and pencil
8. Back-up mask (recommended)

PADI Self-Reliant Diver Course

If you’re interested in taking the PADI Self-Reliant Diver course you must meet the following minimum requirements:

- Be at least PADI Advanced Open Water or equivalent certified

​- Have a minimum of 100 logged dives (proof of dives must be presented to the instructor before the course)

​- Be at least 18 years of age​

Southern MAryland's Premier Scuba Shop


Who should take this course?

​​Southern Maryland Divers, llc 

Although most scuba dives are made with a buddy, an experienced diver may want or need to make dives without a partner. During the Self-Reliant Diver course, you learn about potential risks of diving alone and the value of equipment redundancy and necessary back-up gear. During three scuba dives, you develop skills for self-reliance and independence, while becoming a stronger partner in a dive pair or team.

  • The importance of the buddy system
  • Briefing and informing those closest to you and your shore support system on your motivation to dive independently and your dive plan.
  • Self-reliant equipment set-up guidance to increase safety and independent problem resolving
  • Equipment redundancy and back-up gear. How to double up on crucial equipment and gear – how to assemble and set up gear – how to use gear in different situations
  • Establish Surface Air Consumption rates (SAC rates) and how to plan safe independent dives using the rule of thirds
  • Over the course of three dives practice various scenarios of different levels of complication practicing self-reliance in situations of entanglement, out-of-air, navigation, no-mask diving, equipment failure among others