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The PADI Distinctive Specialty Courses with Patriot Dive Center

PADI Instructors who have special scuba diving interests and expertise can write their own specialty diver courses. Some of the more popular distinctive specialty courses are described here, but your instructor may teach others that are specific to your local area. Be sure to check with a local  PADI dive shop about what is available and unique to the location.

AWARE - Shark Conservation Diver

Sharks are crucial to marine ecosystems, yet sharks are in a global decline. Learn about the value of sharks and what is causing the rapid loss of shark populations. The course may include two scuba dives or may be presented as a nondiving education program. The first dive of this distinctive specialty course may credit as an Adventure Dive toward your  Advanced Open Water Diver certification, ask your instructor about earning credit.

Whale Shark Awareness

Whale sharks are the largest fish in the sea, yet are known as gentle giants with little known about their activities or population size. Research and monitoring programs are helping fill these knowledge gaps. Learn about whale shark biology, behavior and distribution. During two scuba dives or snorkeling excursions, practice passively observing these large creatures.

PADI Self-Reliant Diver

Although most scuba dives are made with a buddy, an experienced diver may want or need to make dives without a partner. During the Self-Reliant Diver course, you learn about potential risks of diving alone and the value of equipment redundancy and necessary back-up gear. During three scuba dives, you develop skills for self-reliance and independence, while becoming a stronger partner in a dive pair or team.

PADI Surface Marker Buoy Diver

Surface marker buoys (SMBs) allow scuba divers to mark boundaries for mapping or search and recovery, alert boat traffic, or provide a line as a visual reference for ascending divers. During two dives, learn the proper techniques and protocols for using surface marker buoys and delayed surface marker buoys (DSMBs) in the local area.

Zombie Apocalypse Diver

Zombie apocalypse diver offers a combination of search and recovery, rescue skills, underwater navigation and fun! Stay alive as you encounter zombies and survive the challenges with your dive buddy. This course includes a lecture and two dives, and the opportunity to dive in zombie makeup.

Next Step

Dive in and earn your next certification:

  • Browse the PADI Course Catalog.
  • Check out the PADI Master Scuba Diver rating.