About the Course

Learn the fundamental skills required to work as a public safety diver or assist local authorities. Through scenario practice in real-world environments, gain experience as the primary diver, safety diver, dive supervisor and in a surface support role.

You do not need to be part of a public safety dive team to take this course.

Take This Course If You Want to
  • Become a public safety diver
  • Join a team or gain experience
  • Serve your community
  • ​​Improve your search and recovery skills
Learn How to
  • Size up and manage a scene
  • Rescue and recover victims
  • Communicate via rope pulls
  • Conduct an arc search

How to Become a Public Safety Diver

Public safety diving requires special training and the right mindset. In the PADI Public Safety Diver course, you’ll learn the basic skills required to pursue opportunities on a public safety dive team and earn a certification recognized worldwide.
Instructor with students at a table in a thatch hut.
Independent Study
PADI eLearning®
Complete the independent study part of your course online or offline, using a computer or mobile device. Contact a PADI® Dive Shop or PADI Professional who offers the PADI Public Safety Diver course to get access to Public Safety Diver eLearning and schedule in-water training.
  • eLearning time commitment: 6-8 hours
Student and instructor sitting at a desk reviewing.
At The Dive Shop
With Your Instructor

During four open water dives you’ll learn rope-pull signals, conduct arc searches, use cutting tools and practice self-rescue. You’ll also participate in realistic public safety diving scenarios such as underwater body recovery.


  • Prerequisites: PADI Advanced Open Water Diver (or qualifying certification)
  • Total time commitment: 2-4 days
  • Minimum age: 18

The PADI Difference

For over 50 years, PADI has undeniably been the Way the World Learns to Dive®, setting the standard for the highest quality dive training, underwater safety and conservation initiatives while evolving the sport of diving into a passionate lifestyle.


(and counting) PADI certified divers to date!


PADI dive centers and resorts across the globe


PADI Professional members worldwide

More Info

Gifting and Sharing Courses

Want to share the experience or give the gift of endless adventure? You can now purchase PADI eLearning® and share it with a recipient of your choice! Whether you are purchasing the course as a gift or need to assign it to family members – it’s super easy.

  1. Purchase an eLearning course.
  2. Follow the link in your confirmation email or sign into your account to go to your Dashboard.
  3. From your Dashboard go to 'Manage Your Courses' section.
  4. Select the course you'd like to gift and enter the email of the gift recipient.
  5. The recipient will receive an email to start the eLearning course.
Medical Requirements

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

Avoid disappointment, download and review the Diver Medical form to ensure you won’t need a physician’s approval to dive before enrolling in a scuba course. Instructors, divemasters and dive shop staff are not physicians and should not be asked for medical advice; only medical professionals can give medical clearance to dive.

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

Prerequisites & Minimum Age

Minimum Age: 18

Course prerequisites: PADI Advanced Open Water Diver (or qualifying certification), PADI Rescue Diver by the time of certification.

Other Costs & Equipment

This course requires both knowledge development and inwater training for certification. The total public safety diver course cost depends on class size, training location, environment and whether or not you need to rent equipment. 

In addition to basic scuba gear, you will need two scuba cylinders, two different cutting devices, visual and audible surface signaling devices and a rescue breathing mask. You may also need a dry suit and full face mask. Investing in your own scuba equipment for the course will help you become comfortable with how it works and the best way to maintain it.

Contact a PADI Dive Center or Resort for more information and pricing. Use the filter tool to search for dive centers offering public safety diver training.

Time Commitment

Independent learning: 6-8 hours

Entire course: 2-4 days

After this course

In the Advanced Public Safety Diver course, you’ll learn how to search for a missing vehicle underwater, perform vehicle-related victim rescue and practice marking and recovering evidence.

Completing the PADI Dry Suit Diver and Full Face Mask Diver courses may also help you be better prepared. Every PADI Specialty you earn gets you one step closer to becoming a PADI Master Scuba Diver™. Only 2 percent of divers ever achieve this elite rating.

More Courses

Dry Suit Diver
Learn how to control the air in your drysuit, buoyancy, common drysuit problems, and basic repairs and maintenance in order to dive more places.
Search and Recovery Diver
Help recover lost items, plan a search operation, improve your navigation skills, learn underwater search techniques and how to use a lift bag.
Full Face Mask Diver
Diving with a full face mask allows you to breathe from your nose and mouth, and provides added comfort in colder water. The mask can also be fitted with communication gear, which can be useful for various types of specialty diving.