PADI Surface Marker Buoy Distinctive Specialty
Minimum age: 12
Minimum qualification: PADI Junior Open Water Diver
The SMB Distinctive Speciality teaches a skill that all divers must have and is usually taught following the successful completion of your Open Water Diver course. The Surface Marker Buoy (SMB) is deployed from either the seabed prior to your ascent, or from your safety stop. It is a standard piece of equipment that is carried on every dive in order to alert surface traffic to your presence underwater. The SMB marks your position in order for the dive boat skipper to track his divers from the boat.
If you can safely deploy an SMB, you and your buddy are on the path to being free from being guided on every dive!
The general rule is that each buddy pair must have at least one SMB between you or you will not be allowed in the water independently. Your instructional team would most likely have had one each during your Open Water course. In reality of course, one between two is OK unless you get separated and your buddy is the one carrying it…
This Instructor led course is extremely practical and requires no formal classroom input. It consists of two dives learning the various methods of safely deploying the SMB in all diving situations. You will send it to the surface using both a line and reel as well as a ‘drop weight’ system both of which are common techniques here and overseas. For reasons of safety, this Distinctive Specialty must be completed in its entirety in one go. Dive one cannot be undertaken as part of the Advanced Open Water Course as an Adventure Dive and later credited towards the respective Specialty rating.