Wreck diver: specialty or designated training course?

As most of you maybe already noticed, cave diving (overhead environment) have a media supremacy over the wreck diving (overhead environment) and this is a unfair misleading information. Maybe this due the fact that some old (and new) diving explorers are doing more cave diving then wreck diving.

Some agencies are classifying cave diving as overhead environment as designated course(s) (TDI, GUE, ANDI, UTD), while wreck diving is called “specialty” (PADI, TDI/SDI) and less “overhead curse”.

But there are training agencies (ANDI, IANTD, SSI, NAUI, UTD) were are dedicated overhead cave & wreck courses. At some other agencies, the “wreck” definition does even not exist in their curriculum (BSAC, CMAS).

But what the divers need to understand is the fact that an overhead environment is there, called “cave” or “wreck” and must be treated with maximum responsibility at all the times.

Each overhead environment is coming with its own particularities, related with specific areas characteristics, periods of the year, degradation over the years, other external (variable) factors. This makes dive planing quite difficult sometimes, with various alternatives & back-up options (especially when talking about exploration). What diving plan and gear configuration apply perfect to one team & dive, might not be so good for other team at the same dive.

Wreck diving must be taken step by step. There is no one single big and overall level to cover everything. The progress in wreck diving must be completed in small and solid steps, based on your background training (OC or CCR, NSR or deco etc). The complexity of wreck diving is way beyond just ticking off another “wreck”…. or a pile of iron.

Wreck diver certification does not automatically qualify  as a wreck diver if you don’t have a proper equipment, updated training, good team & support. Stay updated with your skills and knowledge and always, always put safety first.