Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) is the leading organization for scuba diver training in the world. PADI Dive Centers and Resorts are found at over 6200 locations across the globe. The organization boasts more than 136,000 PADI-certified professionals who have awarded over 23 million divers around the world with their own diving certifications.

PADI Courses Offered

There are multiple levels of diver training available through PADI certification courses. Most of these can be found in different locations in the Bahamas. If you’re wanting to learn to scuba dive, or to improve on your basic skills, here’s the general courses PADI offers:

• PADI Discover Scuba Diving. This course is the first step in learning to dive. The course duration is one day, and the minimum age is 10. The course gives you the opportunity to practice basic diving skills in a pool setting. This is followed by a hypothetical session and one open water excursion. Upon completion, you’ll receive a certificate of recognition that is valid for up to 12 months.

• PADI Scuba Diver. This is the pre-entry level certification for the Open Water diving course. The course lasts 2 days, on average, and the minimum age is 10. In this course, you learn the basics of scuba diving. You’ll learn about the scuba equipment and the various techniques used in scuba diving. There will be a few hours of classroom instruction, followed by wet time in the swimming pool with your instructor. The course culminates in two open water dives under the supervision of your Divemaster. Upon completion, you are awarded an international license to dive worldwide to a depth of 12 meters.

• PADI Open Water Diver. This level in the PADI system allows you to dive independently once you’ve completed the certification training. You’ll receive a license that doesn’t expire, is valid the world over, and allows you to dive up to 18 meters maximum depth. The course runs for 4 days and has a minimum age of 10. During the course, you’ll review the basics with your instructor before you go exploring the underwater world with your PADI professional. The course includes 5 sessions of pool diving and 4 dives into the open ocean.

• PADI Open Water Diver and Adventure Diver. This level of the PADI system requires 2-3 days to complete, a minimum age of 12, and you must have open water diver certification. In this course you’ll learn more advanced ways of diving. You’ll have the options of wreck diving, a deep dive, or a night dive.

• PADI Rescue Diver. This is the top level course available and requires 3-4 days to complete. The minimum age for participation is 12. Adventure Diver certification with Underwater Navigation is required. The Rescue Diver learns to focus on the health and safety of someone else. This intense course uses various scenarios of diving accidents to teach you how to avoid and prevent diving mishaps. You’ll learn to coordinate rescues and handle diving emergencies, the principles of first aid, how to cope with divers’ stress and divers’ panic, artificial respiration techniques, and exit techniques.

Once you’ve obtained the certification you desire, plan your diving trips with Underwater Explorers Society (UNEXSO), Grand Bahama Island.

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