PADI Search & Recovery Specialty Course

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Become a Search & Recovery Specialty Diver on Koh Tao

It does happen and people lose things overboard on boats or anchors come loose from their chains.

As a search and recovery specialist you will have the skills and knowledge to find the lost object and safety bring it back to the surface.

Included in the Koh Tao Search & Recovery Specialty Course

  • PADI Search & Recovery Manual
  • 4 Search & Recovery specialty training dives
  • PADI Certification card
  • Rental of all scuba equipment
  • FREE use of Dive Computer
  • Log book
  • Maximum 4 students per PADI Instructor
  • Black Turtle Dive Customer (and environmental) promise

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To enroll on a PADI Search & Recovery specialty course you must:

1 Day Koh Tao PADI Search & Recovery Specialty Course

The course consists of two sections:

  • Knowledge Development – read the PADI Search & Recovery manual and complete the knowledges
  • Open Water training – 4 Search & Recovery training dives

At Black Turtle Dive we take our customer promise very seriously. All courses are conducted with a maximum of 4 students per PADI Instructor.

Our Dive Instructors are highly trained and will ensure you receive lots of attention and most importantly, progress at your own pace in a relaxed environment.

During your training we will slowly build your confidence and ability as you develop the skills necessary to become a PADI Search & Recovery specialist.

Koh Tao Search & Recovery Course Schedule

The PADI Search & Recovery course schedule at Black Turtle Dive is flexible and we can work around your own personal needs and timeframe.

Please feel free to ask if you have any special requests via email or on one of the messenger apps on this page. 

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PADI Search & Recovery Course Cost: 8,000 baht

Have you already completed the Search & Recovery Adventure dive?

Our 3 dive Search & Recovery diver course is priced at 6,500 baht

Course Schedule:

Day 1:

09.00 – 11.30: Orientation & Knowledge Development

– Practice expanded square & U-shaped search patterns on land

– Practice tying a sheet bend, 2 half hitch and a bowline knot on land

12.30 – 17.00: Search & Recovery training dives 1 & 2  

Day 2:

10.00 – 11.00: Knowledge Development

– Practice Jackstay patterns on land

– Discuss the organization & planning of the search & recovery dive you will be participating in as the final dive of the specialty

12.30 – 17.00: Search & Recovery training dives 3 & 4

Upon satisfactory completion of all the skills, you are now a certified PADI Search & Recovery diver.

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PADI Search & Recovery Specialty Course Information

Orientation & Knowledge Development

We start the PADI Search & Recovery specialty course at 09.00 with an Orientation that includes completion of some paperwork and the PADI Medical statement.

The PADI Search & Recovery specialty course consists of 4 training dives that we conduct in the ocean around Koh Tao.

There is also a Search & Recovery specialty manual to read and 18 question open book knowledge reviews to complete that your dive instructor will guide you through and review.

The Specialty Instructor led knowledge development is conducted during the morning of day 1. Some of the subjects you will cover include:

  • General steps in planning a search and recovery dive
  • How and when to use various search patterns such as expanded square, U shaped search pattern, jackstay and a circular rope search
  • Procedures for controlling, rigging and lifting an object using a lift bag
  • How to tie commonly used knots for search & recovery and review what you use each knot for
  • Review how bottom topography and water movement can affect a search
  • Procedure for pinpointing a fix on a submerged object while at the surface & how to relocate the object later using the fix.

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There are 4 Search & Recovery training dives to complete to become a PADI Search & Recovery specialist.

Search & Recovery training dive #1

This dive is action packed and lots of fun and we usually conduct this dive somewhere shallow and plan for a long dive.

Once you are underwater, your Dive Instructor will ask you to tie the three knots you practiced on land earlier before demonstrating how to safely rig and bring to the surface an object less than 10kg using an appropriate lifting device.

You will have an opportunity to practice this skill before making your first search.

The first search you make will be for a small submerged object that we will place in an area 15 metres by 15 metres.

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Search for a Missing Object & Recover it to the Surface

Once you have found the object using the lift bag, you will rig the object to the bag and bring it to the surface using a lift bag.

The second search will be in a larger area. This time the object will be placed in an area 30 metres by 30 metres and again when you find the object and you will need to use the lift bag to bring it back to the surface.

This dive is lots of fun and probably one of the busiest and longest dives you will have made.

Search & Recovery training dive #2

Following on from the action packed first dive and once again you will be using a compass, this time focusing on demonstrating an expanding square pattern, as you practiced earlier on land.

Your Instructor will place an object within an area approximately 18 metres by 18 metres and once you have found it you will bring it back to the surface using a lift bag.

A long and challenging afternoon, most of which you will have spent underwater but the dive is exciting and full of skill practice.

Search & Recovery training dive #3

More practical thinking underwater and this time you will be finding an object using a Jackstay search.

Having already practiced this on land, this time you will be using the search to find a submerged object in an area 60 metres by 60 metres.

Once you have found it, bring it back to the surface using a lift bag, ropes and the knots you are now an expert at tying.

Search & Recovery training dive #4

The final dive of the course is the finale and known as your Search & Recovery scenario.

You will now have the opportunity to put into practice and apply all the knowledge and skills you have learned during the past two days to plan and conduct a search and recovery dive.

Your Dive Instructor will set up a scenario where an object needs to be recovered and you will choose an appropriate search pattern based on information you have gathered about the lost object, to find it.

Then you will use a lift bag to bring the object back to the boat. Once successfully completed you are now a PADI Search & Recovery Specialist.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What do I learn on the PADI Search & Recovery Specialty course?

During the specialty course, you learn about different search patterns and in what circumstances to use them.

You practice these different search patterns on land before applying them to a real search & recovery scenario during your Open Water dives.

Once you have found the object(s) you get to practice how to use a lifting device to bring a heavy object to the surface.

How long is PADI Search & Recovery Specialty course for on Koh Tao?

The Search & Recovery Specialty course takes 1 or 2 days to complete on Koh Tao, depending on how many dives you need to complete.

If you have completed the Search & Recovery Adventure dive as part of the PADI Advanced Open Water course, you only need to do 3 more dives to complete the specialty. In that case, the course can be completed in 1 day.

What is the cost of PADI Search & Recovery Specialty course on Koh Tao?

The cost of the PADI Search & Recovery Specialty is THB 8,000 (4 dives) or THB 6,500 (3 dives).

Included in this price are all course materials, equipment rental (including dive computer), instructor fees, boat trips and dive insurance.

If you have completed the Search & Recovery Adventure dive as part of the PADI Advanced Open Water course, you only need to do 3 more dives to complete the specialty.

Food and accommodation are not included. However, you can contact us to find out about accommodation options. We have AC rooms available at discounted rates when taking a diving course with us.

Ex-students will enjoy a 10% discount on the specialty course price.

How many dives is PADI Search & Recovery Specialty course on Koh Tao?

The PADI Search & Recovery Specialty course consists of 4 Open Water training dives.

If you have completed the Search & Recovery Adventure dive as part of the PADI Advanced Open Water course, this dive credits towards the Specialty certification and you only need to do 3 more dives to become a certified Search & Recovery Specialty Diver.

In that case the course price is THB 6,500 instead of THB 8,000 and the dives can be completed in one afternoon.

Do I get a certificate for PADI Search & Recovery Specialty Diver course?

When completing the course you will gain the Search & Recovery Specialty Diver certification.

This certification counts towards the PADI Master Scuba Diver rating, the highest certification and black belt in recreational diving.

You have to be a certified (Junior) Advanced Open Water diver and 12 years of age to enroll in the specialty course.