Can I Dive?

SCUBA diving is an exciting and rewarding adventure activity, but can also be physically demanding. There are several factors to consider before going diving to ensure your safety at all times. This page covers the health and medical requirements for scuba diving. (You can also check our Frequently Asked Questions page for more snorkel and dive info.)

Health Requirements

Our medical questionnaires are designed to find out if you need a doctor’s medical exam or clearance before participating in our trips or diver training. If you answer yes to a question, it won’t necessarily prevent you from diving, but it indicates a condition that may affect your safety and needs the advice of a medical practitioner, preferably one with experience in diving medicine.

The medical requirements for our trips and training courses are listed below – please read this information and complete the relevant form.

Some medical conditions may preclude a person from diving. Please check the medical conditions detailed in the below forms or contact us for further details. Please note that any medicals required should be completed well before the day of departure. If you’re in any doubt, please contact us in advance.

Upon arriving at our vessel, and before commencing any dive activities, all passengers must complete our liability forms. All information provided must be strictly accurate. If during the tour it becomes apparent that a form has been incorrectly completed, either by omission or false statement, we reserve the right to prevent any customer from undertaking any scuba diving or snorkelling activities while on board our vessel. Any decision made in this regard will be at the absolute discretion of the Dive Supervisor aboard the vessel.

All information sheets and forms linked below are in Adobe Acrobat PDF file format. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader you can download it for free from Adobe.

Intro Diving

(Discover Scuba)

If you are doing an introductory dive, we will ask you to fill out and sign a PADI Introductory Diving Form. If you’ve answered yes to any questions, you might need further medical clearance. This must be arranged prior to your day of departure.

PADI Open Water Students

(Learn to Dive)

If you are enrolling in an entry-level recreational diving certificate you must complete and submit a self-assessed medical declaration form before starting your training.

If it has been identified on the stated document that you: (a) have or have had any of the medical conditions mentioned in the medical declaration; or (b) are over 45 years old; or (c) have a body mass index over 30 AND a waist circumference greater than 102 cm for males and 88 cm for females; then you must provide an English language dive medical certificate from a doctor, certifying that you are medically fit to dive.

Everyone undertaking training for an entry level recreational diving certificate must be at least 10 years of age. If the diver is under 18, parental or guardian consent should be obtained for the diver to undertake training for an entry-level recreational diving certificate.

If the diver is under 12, we must be informed before the course starts, as a private instructor will be needed for the sea days.

Certified Diving

If you are a certified diver on our overnight experience or day trips, we will ask you to fill out and sign an Advice to Divers form. Certain medications and medical conditions may preclude you from diving in Australia. If you answer yes to any of the questions in the Sample Medical Questionnaire For Certified Divers below, you might require further medical clearance. (This must be organised at least the day before your trip start date).

In some circumstances you may be able to dive with a certified diver guide, for an additional cost.

Sample Medical Questionnaire For Certified Divers

  • Are you currently suffering from any illness or injury? (If so, please specify)
  • Are you currently taking any prescription medication (excluding oral contraceptives) (If so, please specify)
  • Since your last dive medical, have you suffered from any conditions that may affect your fitness to dive? (If so, please specify)

Scuba Kids Course

Please note some medical conditions including asthma and ADD medication may prevent your child from diving. A medical statement must be filled out for each participant. Please contact us before booking the Scuba Kids course if you have any queries or concerns.

Continuing SCUBA Education

(PADI Advanced, Rescue Diver)

We will ask you to fill out a medical statement similar to this PADI Continuing Education Administrative Document.

If you answer “yes” to any of the conditions in the statement, you must obtain a fit to dive medical.

PADI Professional Courses

(Divemaster or above)

You’ll need a valid diving medical to Australian Standards AS4005.1 (or Australian Standards 2299 if you plan to work in Australia) to attend any professional dive courses. These medicals are valid for 12 months.

If you want to find a doctor with dive medical experience in Cairns, Australia or around the world, you can search this dive doctors list.

Insurance

We strongly recommend travel insurance to cover you if your trip is cancelled due to illness, poor weather, travel delays, cancellation or alteration of the scheduled itinerary, lost luggage or legal costs. Travel insurance may not cover diving accidents and treatment/evacuation. For that we recommend separate insurance like that offered by the Divers Alert Network or Dive Assure. These organisations offer comprehensive insurance packages specifically for scuba divers.

In particular, Dive Assure offers a rider which includes coverage specific to overnight experiences, including flight cancellations or delays resulting in missed departures, vessel mechanical failures, medical inability to dive, inclement weather (in addition to named storms/cyclones) and other incidents. A severe storm or named cyclone in the region may delay our departure or require the trip to be cut short or cancelled. If travelling in the cyclone season (December to April) we advise the purchase of (well prior the due Travel Date), insurance that covers force majeure events (being events outside the control of the parties, such as natural disasters).

Scuba diving and in-water activities are not covered by all travel insurance policies, and policy wordings should be read carefully. It is important to note that in the event a customer requires medical emergency services; the evacuation, medical, and vessel relocation expenses are at the financial responsibility of the customer. Please note that current liability insurance and current personal dive injury/evacuation insurance are prerequisites for the PADI Scuba Diving Instructor Training Program.

Flying After Diving

Regulations state that for a single, no decompression dive, you should not fly or go to altitude for at least 12 hours. For multiple dives you should not fly or go to altitude for at least 18 hours.

We recommend waiting at least 24 hours after diving before going to altitude or flying. These are guidelines only – there is no guarantee that following these recommendations will prevent decompression sickness. Currently there are no guidelines regarding diving after flying.

Altitude is defined as 300m/1000ft above sea level. Certain other tourist attractions around Cairns and Tropical North Queensland involve travelling to altitude. These include the Atherton Tablelands and the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, so we recommend a gap between booking these experiences and any dive course or trip.

Our overnight experience diving usually finishes by midday and our day trips by 2pm, which makes it easier to plan some down time between diving and flying/going to altitude.