Overhead Environment Protocols


Wreck Diving Safety


The Overhead Environment Protocols Clinic (OEPC) is advanced-level diving training, which aims to develop the skills, knowledge and procedures required for existing wreck divers to operate safely in the wreck overhead environment.

The training focuses on penetration skills and guidelines protocols; along with a team approach for safe and controlled exploration of overhead environments within the limits of their qualifications.

 If you aspire to becoming a serious wreck diver – this is the course for you!

In a nutshell:

Course Goal:  Penetration Skills for Wreck Divers
Course Duration: 3 Days
Number of Dives: 4
Key Areas:  Guideline Deployment and Retrieval, Team Skills, Situational Awareness, Fundamental Diving Competencies, Lost Line Emergency Protocol, Lost Diver Emergency Protocol, Entanglement Protocol, Cut/Snapped Line Protocol, Visual and Tactile Communications, Guideline Marking, Reel Selection and Preparation, Safety Spool Use, Zero Visibility Familiarization.
Course Cost: See Price List

overhead-environment-protocols course

Read on for more detailed course information….


Overhead Environment Protocols – Outline

advanced wreck diving course subic bay philippines

Advanced training for wreck penetration - a unique opportunity and an enjoyable challenge

This advanced diving training explains the dangers, risk mitigating procedures and necessary techniques involved while recreational diving in the overhead (wreck/cavern/cave) environment, within the daylight zone, within 40m/130ft linear distance from the surface, in restricted spaces and when there is a risk of silt-out.

This is specialist wreck development designed to increase diver competence for operating in the limited overhead environment.  It provides a continuation and progression of the basic introduction to guideline procedures provided by entry-level overhead environment courses (i.e. PADI Wreck and Cavern diver classes) and bridges the gap between basic recreational and advanced technical overhead environment diving.  

It also adds critical practice of teamwork skills, precision buoyancy control, non-silting fin techniques, gas management and zero-viz contingency drills.

For those who want serious proficiency for wreck diving penetrations – this is the ‘must-have’ course!

With 22+ years of overhead environment diving, and qualifications to teach Advanced Technical Wreck Exploration, Andy Davis can offer extreme value to this course.  This training is absolutely exclusive and not available elsewhere. Be prepared to be challenged and have a lot of fun!

Perfect for -

  • Serious Wreck Divers
  • Recreational divers who enter overhead environments
  • Guideline and Overhead Environment protocols
  • Refinement of advanced level diving skills
  • Developing teamwork and self-confidence

Overhead Environment Protocols – Content

  • Knowledge Development
  • Practical Applications
  • 4x Open Water Dives (1-2 cylinders, depending on qualification)
  • Can be combined with Intro-to-Doubles, Tech Basic or Sidemount Diver

Overhead Environment Protocols – Prerequisites

Student divers are expected to display a good standard of core diving skills, including; precision buoyancy, trim, weighting, non-silting fin kicks, situational awareness, gas management and dive planning.  
This course will improve all of those aspects of your diving, but it is more beneficial for the student if the course focuses upon advanced diving skills, rather than remedial basic skills.

overhead environment protocols course subic bay philippines

Overhead Environment Protocols – Durationtechnical-wreck-training-courses-philippines

3 days* with classroom, practical workshops and 4 dives

Day 1 – Classroom theory, equipment workshop, surface practice of penetration protocols.
Day 2 – Core skills dives 1 – 2
Day 3 – Guideline protocols dives 3 – 4

*A 4 day program is recommended if you prefer a more relaxed training program or more time to refine skills.

Overhead Environment Protocols – Topics

  • Equipment configuration for overhead diving
  • Gas redundancy options – pony, doubles, sidemount
  • Equipment matching and Pre-Dive check protocol (on surface).
  • Team/buddy descent check and safety drill  (S-Drill).
  • Gas planning and management
  • Effective Team Communication, hand signal, light and touch contact
  • Guideline deployment, following and retrieval, maintaining team contact.
  • Mask remove/replace in contact with a guideline (horizontal and vertical)
  • Non-Silting Fin Techniques
  • Valve shutdowns exercise (if in doubles) whilst maintaining contact with the guideline.
  • Partial and full cylinder removal techniques (if in sidemount) for entering restrictions.
  • Air Share and Exit to Out-of-Air diver within confined space.
  • Guideline following as a team whilst air sharing  (touch contact).
  • Guideline following as a team in simulated zero visibility (touch contact).
  • Guideline following as a team Air Sharing in Simulated Zero Vis (touch contact).
  • Lost Guideline Search Protocol in simulated zero visibility
  • Primary light failure and back up light deployment.
overhead environment protocols training wreck diving

Overhead Environment Protocols – Training Dives

Training Dive One

Environment: Shallow Open Water
Depths: Minimum: 2.4 metres/8 feet
Maximum 12 metres/30 feet
Gases: Air or EANx
Ratios: 2:1

Training Dive Two

Environment: Open water
Depths: Minimum: 12 metres/40 feet
Maximum: 24 metres/80 feet
Gases: Air or EANx
Ratios: 2:1

Training Dive Three

Environment: Open Water
Depths: Minimum: 12 metres/40 feet
Maximum: 30 metres/100 feet
Gases: Air or EANx
Ratios: 2:1

Training Dive Four

Environment: Overhead
Depths: Minimum: 12 metres/40 feet
Maximum: 30 metres/100 feet
Gases: Air or EANx
Ratios: 2:1

sidemount technical wreck course philippines

Overhead Environment Protocols – Equipment Requirements

  • Double cylinders of at least 12 l/70 cf each
  • OR.. sidemount independents of at least 12 l/70 cf each
  • OR.. large capacity single cylinder at least 14l/100cf, plus a 4l/30cf pony cylinder
  • Primary regulator with two metre/seven foot hose for air sharing. Short hose AAS in bungee necklace.
  • Pony cylinder (if used) configured as per technical stage cylinder with regulator, short-hose SPG and bungees
  •  BCD(s) and harness (backmount single/double or sidemount)
  • Dive computer and dive planning tables/software.
  • Exposure suit appropriate for environment and dive duration
  • Weight system (if needed).
  • Inflatable signal tube, whistle and/or other visual and audible surface signaling devices. Note:  a sausage type DSMB may double for the inflatable signal tube.
  • Knife/cutting device and back up
  • Slate / Wetnotes
  • Back up mask
  • Compass
  • Primary Penetration Light
  • 2x Back-Up Lights
  • Primary Penetration Reel
  • 2x Safety/Jump Spool
wreck diving training philippines


Further information to help your choice:



Black mask (zero visibility) guideline drills on advanced wreck training

Contact me to discuss your training requirements



Sidemount Technical Wreck Course-Flow-Diagram