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PADI Speciality - Delayed Surface Marker Buoy (DSMB)

Minimum Age



1 Day OR 2 Evenings

About the Course

Boats and currents are two common factors associated with many dive sites. Boaters don't always recognise that divers are in the area and current can carry you further than expected. Launching a delayed surface marker buoy (DSMB) before you surface can alert others to your location in advance of your ascent.

Adding another layer of safety, you can also use the DSMB line to complete your safety stop, which is advantageous in a current or when there are no other visual references. Take this course to learn about all the beneficial uses of a DSMB.

Marker buoys serve a range of purposes and you'll learn about common types of DSMB along with the reels used to control them.

In the UK this is an essential skill whether diving from a boat or the shore. We'll begin with some e-learning which you can do at home or on the go via the PADI app. Then we'll hit the water for two training dives for skill practice, look at different types of DSMB/SMB's and then master this skill in midwater.

Why take this course

Stay safe while diving from shore or a boat

Learn how to get the attention of pickup boats when diving from a boat or liveaboard

Deploy a DSMB and line from midwater to aid safety stops and ascents

Practice towing SMB's during shallow water dives

What you'll learn

Preparing and stowing your DSMB and reel.

Deploying the DSMB from a stationary position and from mid-water.

Swimming while towing a DSMB and managing the reel and line.

Making a safety stop using the DSMB line.

Get credit! The first dive of this PADI Specialty Diver course may credit as an Adventure Dive toward your Advanced Open Water Diver certification - ask your instructor about earning credit

Course Prerequisites 

You must be at least 15 years old. Due to our location and sites used we cannot currently enrol anyone under this age onto most of our courses. Please speak to us about alternative options for younger divers.

Course prerequisites: PADI Open Water Diver (or higher) or equivalent from another recognised agency (please speak to us before booking)

Equipment & Extra Cost

By this stage you should have your own dive gear. Only hire weights and cylinders are included in the course cost. If you need to borrow other equipment we charge £15 per person/per course for complete kit hire.

You'll be using reels, lines and DSMB's on this speciality which we will happily include for hire free of charge in the course. We encourage you to buy your own after the course.

We offer discount on TUSA, Waterproof, TovaTec and Beaver Sports gear and equipment. We can have this ready for you ahead of your course. Chat to us before hand to discover what we have in stock or to order in your preferred colour!

After the course...

If you loved this course then we recon you'll really benefit from some of the following specialities:

RNLI Sea Survival - taught by our instructor and current boat crew on the local lifeboat this course will go beyond DSMB's and look at sea survival techniques if you get stranded in the sea. We'll look at Personal Locator Beacons amongst other equipment AND you'll also get to visit the local station and see how all of the learning comes together on board the lifeboat. If you're lucky some of these courses run alongside live crew training and a portion of the course fee is donated to the RNLI.

Peak Performance Buoyancy - being able to deploy DSMB's from depth is one thing but the skill of doing it midwater is one that comes from great buoyancy control. Why not spend some extra time focusing on this during the Peak Performance Buoyancy speciality.

Medical Requirements

Scuba diving requires a minimum level of health and fitness. Certain health conditions, medications and/or recent surgery may require you to get written approval from a doctor before diving.

Avoid disappointment, download and review the Diver Medical form to ensure you won’t need a doctor’s approval to dive before enrolling in a scuba course. You can find this on the About page of our website under 'key info'. Only medical professionals can give clearance to dive. In the case of the UK this is a specialist area and you may need to speak to a HSE Approved Medical Examiners of Divers (AMEDs)

If you (or your doctor) have questions about medical fitness to dive, contact the experts at Divers Alert Network (DAN) or a HSE AMED.

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