The GUE Recreational Diver Level 3 course is a limited decompression course structured to prepare divers for deeper recreational diving while using sound equipment, efficient diving skills, and advanced breathing mixtures. Course outcomes include, but are not limited to: skill cultivation and refinement, knowledge of relevant physics and physiology, familiarity with the theory and practice of decompression, correct ascent procedures, the use of double back-gas tanks/cylinders, the use of Nitrox for decompression, the use of normoxic Helium (30/30 and 21/35) to minimize narcosis, CO2, gas density, and post-dive “nitrogen stress,” and the use of a single decompression cylinder for stage decompression techniques.
Applicants for a Rec 3 course must:
- Submit a completed registration form, a medical history, and a liability release to GUE Headquarters.
- Be physically and mentally fit.
- Hold insurance that will cover diving emergencies such as hyperbaric treatment, e.g. DAN Master-level insurance or equivalent.
- Be a nonsmoker.
- Obtain a physician’s prior written authorization for the use of prescription drugs, except for birth control, or for any prior medical condition that may pose a risk while diving.
- Be a minimum of 18 years of age.
- Have passed GUE Recreational Level 2 or GUE Fundamentals with at least a “recreational” pass.
- Have completed the GUE Doubles Primer course or be proficient in doubles with at least 25 experience dives.
- Have a minimum of 75 non-training dives.
The Recreational Diver Level 3 course is normally conducted over five days, and includes eight dives and at least forty hours of instruction, encompassing classroom, land drills and in-water work.
Rec 3 Specific Training Standards
- Student-to-instructor ratio is not to exceed 6:1 during land drill or surface exercises; it cannot exceed 3:1 during any in-water training.
- Maximum depth of 130 feet/39 meters.
- No overhead diving.
- Dives should not be planned to incur more than 15 minutes of total ascent time as established by GUE’s DecoPlanner.
- Critical skills may only be performed up to a maximum depth of 30 feet/9 meters.
Required Training Materials
GUE training materials and recommended reading as determined by the course study packet received via online download after GUE course registration.
- Introduction: GUE organization and course overview (objectives, limits, expectations)
- Applied diving physics
- Applied diving pysiology
- Introduction to normoxic trimix
- Nitrogen narcosis
- Gas density
- Carbon dioxide
- Oxygen limitations
- Dive planning and gas management
- Decompression dynamics
- Understanding inert gas on-gassing and elimination
- Decompression theories
- Decompression practices while using nitrox
- Decompression planning using tables and DecoPlanner
- Decompression illness
- GUE Equipment configuration
- Dive planning and logistics
Land Drills & Topics
- Situational awarenenss
- Dive team order and protocols
- GUE-EDGE and Pre-dive drill
- Out of gas scenarios and touch contact
- Valve management including failure procedures
- Use of safety spools and lift bag
- Ascent and decompression protocols
- Gas switching protocol
- Unconscious/Toxing Diver
- Descent/Ascent Drill
Required Dive Skills & Drills
- Must be able to swim at least 300 yards/275 meters in less than14 minutes without stopping. This test should be conducted in a swimsuit and, where necessary, appropriate thermal protection.
- Must be able to swim a distance of at least 50 feet/15 meters on a breath hold while submerged.
- Demonstrate proficiency in safe diving practices; this would include pre-dive preparation, in-water activity, and post-dive assessment.
- Demonstrate awareness of team member location and a concern for safety, responding quickly to visual indications and dive partner requirements.
- Demonstrate proficiency in lift bag/surface market buoy deployment.
- Demonstrate good buoyancy and trim, i.e. approximate reference maximum of 30 degrees off horizontal while remaining within 5 feet/1.5 meters of a target depth.
- Efficiently and comfortably demonstrate how to donate gas to an out-of-gas diver in multiple gas-sharing episodes.
- Demonstrate three propulsion techniques. Students should demonstrate comprehension of the components necessary for a successful backward kick.
- Demonstrate proficiency during gas-sharing scenarios, including a gas-sharing horizontal swim and a direct ascent while managing decompression obligations.
- Demonstrate proficiency in the use of touch contact communication during out-of-gas situations.
- Demonstrate proficiency in the use of the primary light including passive and active communication.
- . Demonstrate proficiency with a single decompression cylinder.
- Demonstrate proficiency with valve-management by conducting a GUE valve drill.
- Demonstrate proficiency with proper ascent/descents, deep stops and safe gas switches.
- Demonstrate proficiency in surfacing an unconscious diver from depth.
- Demonstrate basic equipment proficiency and an understanding of the GUE equipment configuration.