• Who should take this course?

    It happens: People accidentally drop things from docks, off boats or even while scuba diving. If you’ve ever lost something in the water and wanted to go find it, then the PADI Search and Recovery Diver Specialty course is for you. There are effective ways to search for objects underwater that increase your chances of success. And there are good and better methods to bring up small, large or just awkward items. Search and recovery can be challenging, but a whole lot of fun. 

    PADI (Junior) Advanced Open Water Divers who are at least 12 years old can enroll in the Search and Recover Diver course. PADI (Junior) Open Water Divers with a PADI Underwater Navigator certification also qualify.

    What will you learn?

    Gathering information and resources, then carefully planning a search are the first important steps you learn. During four scuba dives you’ll practice:

    • Swimming search patterns using your compass and natural navigation.
    • Locating large and small objects using various search patterns.
    • Using a lift bag for large or heavy objects, plus other recovery methods.
    • Planning a search operation based on facts gathered about a lost object prior to the dive.


    You may be able to get college credit for the Search and Recovery course – ask your instructor.

    Also, 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.

    How can you start learning now?

    Visit your local PADI Dive Center or Resort to enroll in the course and get a PADI Search and Recovery Crew-Pak that includes your manual and video. By studying before class, you’ll be better prepared to start practicing your search and recovery skills when you meet with your instructor.

      What scuba gear will you use?

      Besides your basic scuba equipment, you’ll need a compass and underwater slate. Your PADI Instructor or local dive center staff may suggest other gear that may help with your searches, such as a dive light, marker buoys, lines and reels.

      Next Step

      Stop looking and earn your next certification: