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Frequently Asked Questions

If the following frequently asked questions and answers about our services don't address your query
then please contact us at [email protected] or call 850-238-8760

Why should I get certified to dive?

Scuba diving can be a fun and relaxing sport, and most people who participate never have any problems.  Although beautiful and serene most of the time, the underwater world does not support human life, and participating in a scuba certification course will teach you the critical skills required to use scuba equipment and to move about efficiently underwater.

How long does certification take?

Certification is a goal, and the way that you reach that goal is by becomming comfortable and mastering the skills in the course, and this can take different lengths of time dependening on the person.  Most of our courses are scheduled for three days, however we will spend the time needed to be sure that you become a skilled scuba diver.

How do I get started?

RAD offers many paths toward certification, but they all start out the same. Your training will begin by completing a PADI e learning program (Insert link) and scheduling your course. Classes can be conducted in two, three or four days depending on your goals and availability. To schedule your classes, contact us at 850-792-8844.

Who can dive?

Diving is a safe and enjoyable sport which anyone can participate in.  There are very few health issues that are total contraindications to diving, but your level of participation may be limited.  RAD works hard to give everyone who is interested in diving the opportunity to experience the underwater world.

What if I wear glasses or contacts?

Glasses and contacts are not a contraindication to diving, prescription lenses are available for your scuba mask, or with a few adaptive techniques, you can wear your contacts.

Why should I choose Red Alert Diving?

RAD has made a conscious decision to only be the best.  The staff at RAD consists of many of the most highly trained dive professionals in the industry, the facility is purpose built for dive training, and the equipment that is offered is regularly rated among the best by Scubalab.  Every decision made by the staff at RAD has the end result for you in mind.  If we don’t think we are doing the very best thing for you, then we simply won’t do it.

What if I am nervous about learning to dive?

The staff at RAD understands that not everyone was born near the water, and that some people harbor strong emotional responses to being in the water. For anyone who is feeling nervous, we suggest enrolling in a private course so that you receive the one on one attention to help you become a confident, comfortable and safe diver.

Can I dive if I have asthma?

Asthma, and any other medical conditions do not preclude you from taking up diving as an activity.  However, we require anyone with questions about their medical history to complete this form  and seek a doctor’s advice on diving with their condition.  A great resource for divers is DAN (Diver’s Alert Network medical question line # 1-919-684-2948) which can guide you to the nearest doctor familiar with diving medicine.

Are there sharks?

Sharks can exist in many different types of water, from freshwater lakes in Nicaragua to the brackish waters in the Mississippi River delta, and of course in the Gulf of Mexico (where we dive most frequently). Unfortunately, we do not see them on every dive, in fact most dives are uneventful when it comes to seeing large animal life. If you are truly concerned about the possibility of seeing sharks, we have the option of diving in some of Florida's many freshwater springs for your certification course.

I was certified a long time ago, is my certification still valid?

A dive certification is for life, once a diver always a diver.  However, if you feel that your skills are a bit rusty, we would be happy to get in the pool here at RAD and spend some time brushing up. All our refreshers are conducted as PADI Reactivate courses and at the end of it, you will receive an updated PADI card that reflects your most recent training (if you were certified through PADI originally).

Do I need to know how to swim?

Knowing how to swim and being comfortable in the water prior to scuba training will improve the overall experience, but being Michael Phelps is not a requirement of the course.  We will teach you how to use all your equipment, including your fins and snorkel. If you are truly uncomfortable in the water, we suggest that you look at taking private lessons.

What do you charge for certification?

At Red Alert Diving, we offer many paths toward learning to dive from private lessons to regularly scheduled groups.  If you have restrictions on your time, call us to discuss how we can accomodate you.  Pricing varies depending on what schedule best fits your life.

Do you rent equipment?

We have a standard and premium line of rental equipment available for our students and for customers on our boat trips, however, our rental equipment line is limited in quantity, so for now, we are not typically renting to the general public. There are always exceptions, so please feel free to ask.

How much does it cost to learn to dive?

At Red Alert Diving, we charge $495 plus tax for the scuba diver and the open water diver course. This is the first step in learning to dive. For this price, you get:

  • PADI eLearning - Codes will be assigned to you upon enrolling in the course
  • Knowledge Development - Access to an instructor while you complete your eLearning
  • Training in the pool - This is where you learn to use all of the scuba equipment
  • Air, BCD, Regulator Weights and Wetsuit - All of the life support equipment needed for scuba diving
  • 4 Open Water Dives - Here you apply what you learned in the pool to actual dives with added depth, current and fish
  • Certification - Processing and Certification Card
What we do not include in our price:
  • Mask, Snorkel and Fins - This is personal equipment, fit and care are important. Of course we sell these but if you already have a set, you are welcome to bring your own
  • Entry into parks and springs - St Andrews charges $8 per car and Vortex Spring charges $25 per diver, We do not always dive these locations, so we did not build their fees into our prices.

How much should I tip my instructor?

Like all service industry workers, our crew always works to provide the best possible service for you and your family. We always appreciate tips and never expect them. We suggest 10-20% of the course costs, however any amount helps to let your instructor know that they did a good job and that you appreciate their efforts.

What dives can I choose from for my Advanced Open Water Course?

Underwater Navigation and Deep are required dives, but there are many others for you to choose from. -Boat, Delayed Surface Marker Buoy, Drift, Enriched Air, Fish Identification, Night, Peak Performance Buoyancy, Search and Recovery and Wreck are all available.