PADI Wreck Diving Course

Subic Bay, Philippines

padi wreck diving course subic bay philippines

Have you ever wondered why some divers are fanatical about wreck diving?


Have you ever considered why wreck diving is one of the most popular and sought after diving experiences in the scuba community?


The lure of exploring sunken vessels, airplanes and automobiles is something most divers can’t resist once they have experienced it.  Andy Davis‘ exclusive PADI Wreck Diver course in Subic Bay, Philippines, will introduce you to magic and excitement of wreck diving. This Wreck Diving Specialty course is intended as a safe, supervised introduction to recreational wreck diving, with emphasis on fun, challenge and safety.

“I am always moved by the sight of a hull lying at the bottom of the sea.

To me, it seems that a ship in that situation has entered the “great beyond”,
into another existence. A world of shadows.”
Jacques Cousteau

At A Glance:

Course Goal:  Introduction to Wreck Diving
Course Location: Subic Bay, Philippines
Course Duration: 2 Days
Number of Dives: 4
Key Areas:  Wreck Hazards, Shipwrecks and the Law, Equipment considerations, Core Diving Competencies, Guideline Deployment and Retrieval, Penetration Techniques, Overhead Environment Risk Mitigation, Zero Visibility Familiarization, Critical Emergency Protocols.
Course Cost: See Price List

Please read on for more detailed course information…

Course Instructor:

You will train with Andy Davis…a highly experienced and respected technical wreck explorer and instructor, who has 22+ years of wreck diving experience around the world. No effort will be spared to give you the maximum value from this course, regardless of your existing skill level.

The course is run in Subic Bay, Philippines, with access to amazing military shipwrecks dating from the Spanish-American War to WWII.

It’s important to note:  this course significantly exceeds the minimum requirements of the basic PADI Wreck Diver course!  It draws upon many ‘best-practice’ techniques, procedures and training-methods common with higher-level overhead environment courses, such as; cave and technical wreck training.

padi wreck diver course philippines



Wreck Diving Course Outline


Recommended Wreck Diving Course Subic Bay Philippines

Good skills and training keep you safe in shipwrecks. Learn overhead environment survival skills from a specialist wreck explorer

The PADI Wreck Diver Specialty Course is designed to familiarize you with the skills, knowledge, planning, organization, procedures, techniques, problems, hazards and fun of wreck diving. The course will serve as a safe, supervised introduction to wreck diving. During the course you will develop the ability to explain the historical value of wrecks, the social and moral issues surrounding them and local and national laws regarding wrecks around the coast of your own country. You will know how to research a wreck to find it’s history and background, and you will also know how to plan and organize your wreck dives to make them as safe and fun as possible. You will be able to identify the potential hazards and dangers of a wreck so avoiding any chance of injury or accident. These will include being able to identify the dangers and hazards of a wreck penetration dive and the procedures required to minimize those hazards.

  • To demonstrate practical wreck diving knowledge, including recognizing and avoiding potential hazards, and planning procedures that make wreck diving fun.
  •  To explain the historical value of wrecks, social and legal issues surrounding that value, and describe some implications of wreck diving, including the pros and cons of removing artifacts from wrecks. Plan and organize dives to safely explore wrecks found within depths and conditions as good as or better than those he has been trained in.
  • Identify the hazards of wreck penetration diving and demonstrate the techniques and procedures required to minimize those hazards.

As this is only an introductory course, those divers who aspire to progress into serious wreck penetration are advised to consider combining this training with the Overhead Environment Protocols clinic or the ANDI Level 2 ‘Techniques of Wreck Diving’ course.  This allows substantially more development of wreck penetration techniques and experience.

ANDI Wreck Diving Course Philippines

For those wishing to go beyond the basics, the ANDI Level 2 Wreck Course introduces redundant buoyancy (doubles) and focuses entirely upon wreck penetration skills


Wreck Diving Course – Timescale

wreck diving course philippines

Wreck penetration skills feature highly on my Wreck Diver courses


The recommended training time for this course is 48hrs. There are 4 open water dives over at least two days.

Pre-study of course materials/completion of knowledge reviews can shorten the course duration. This is highly recommended. You may obtain your own copy of the PADI Wreck Diver manual in advance, or I can email handouts/reviews.

The course is performance based, not time based. Performance requirements for each section must be satisfied to allow progression and certification.


Wreck Diving Course – Theory

Typically the course would begin with theory training and discussions about wreck diving. You will be expected to read the Wreck Diving manual and complete the knowledge reviews within that. There is no theory exam on this course. Wreck diving topics will include:

  • The planning, organization, procedures, techniques, problems and hazards of wreck diving
  • The preparation and use of lights, air supplies, special equipment, penetration lines and reels
  • Limited-visibility diving techniques and emergency procedures

Wreck Diving Course – Dives

padi wreck diving course philippines

Taught by a qualified 'technical-level' wreck instructor, you can be assured of the latest and most refined techniques for wreck penetration

During the training dives, participants are required to prepare their equipment, plan the dives and demonstrate good diving skills appropriate to that environment. Particular emphasis is placed upon the use of appropriate non-silting propulsion techniques, effective buoyancy control, diver trim and equipment streamlining.

Like all training courses where certain levels of performance are required to pass it is important to realize that you must reach the required levels of proficiency for each aspect of the course in order for the instructor to certify you, (just like on a driving test). If you fail to achieve the required standards we will endeavor to give you the opportunity for further training, however this would incur additional cost.

Wreck penetration-training dives are limited to within the light zone and within 40 metres/130 feet from the surface, vertical and horizontal distance included. If the wreck used for training is located in deep water (over 18 metres/60 feet), the Deep Diver rating is recommended as a prerequisite for the Wreck Diver program.


Wreck Diving Course – Training Dive Performance Requirements

Wreck Training Dive One

By the end of this dive, the student should be able to:

  • Swim on the outside of a wreck, maintaining proper buoyancy control, and identifying and avoiding potential hazards, under the direct supervision of a Teaching Status PADI Instructor.
  • Navigate on a wreck so that the ascent point can be located without surfacing, with the assistance of the instructor.
  • Maintain neutral buoyancy and body position so that the bottom is avoided.



Combined with sidemount training, the PADI Wreck Course gives you a really professional approach.

This is the ‘wreck introduction’ that many divers will experience on their AOW course as an elective dive. The training focus on this dive is about hazard identification, buoyancy, trim and non-silting propulsion techniques. We use this dive to demonstrate zero viz (not inside a wreck), along with issues such as sharp edges, collapse and hazardous marine life etc.

The remainder of the dive is spent as a ‘primer’; working on buoyancy and trim, with some tuning of the weighting and distribution to enable a good horizontal position to be achieved, followed by work on horizontal hovers. We also work on non-silting propulsion, including frog kick, modified flutter kick, helicopter turns and back kick.

Wreck Training Dive Two

By the end of this dive, the student should be able to:

  • Swim along the outside of a wreck, in a buddy team, identifying and avoiding potential hazards.
  • With a buddy, map a wreck (or portion of a wreck), determining approximate size and marking points of interest.
  • Survey a wreck for a penetration dive and evaluate possible entrances.
  • Navigate on a wreck, returning to the ascent point without surfacing.

best wreck diver course subic bay philippinesDuring this dive, there is more work to fine-tune buoyancy, trim and fin techniques. The student takes a slate and makes notes/maps the wreck with the goal of planning a penetration on subsequent dives. The notes/map enable post-dive discussion of penetration options, including a critical risk assessment. Depths, times, air consumption, planned routes and dive computers/tables are used to formulate a no-deco dive plan and gas management plan for the penetration. If student doesn’t already know their SAC/RMV, then we record it on this dive. We also introduce the concept of team diving, discussing the various team roles and how divers can support each other to achieve objectives.

Wreck Training Dive Three

By the end of this dive, the student should be able to:

  • Demonstrate the deployment and retrieval of a penetration line, for practice, on the outside of a wreck, while working in buddy teams.
  • Swim along the deployed penetration line so as to maintain contact with the line without kicking up silt and holding on to a dive light.
  • Navigate on a wreck so that the ascent point can be located without surfacing.

padi wreck diver course subic bay philippinesThis is the guideline-laying practice dive. At least 1 hour spent deploying and following a guideline. Practice is developed over the session, until the student can follow the guideline blindfolded (zero viz simulation) and can communicate via basic tactile signals. The team have to navigate a guideline that they have laid, ‘escaping’ from a silted-out wreck scenario whilst maintaining team cohesion.  Open-water emergency protocols (i.e. air-sharing) are also developed in the context of confined spaces and limited visibility.

This dive also introduces light signals and places emphasis on team roles. We also like to ensure that students are comfortable applying all their core skills; such as air-sharing, mask clearing, regulator retrieval, whilst following the line, maintaining neutral buoyancy and team cohesion.

Wreck Training Dive Four A or B – There are two final dives to choose from in this specialty course. Dive Four A outlines an actual penetration dive for training on a wreck that can be safely penetrated. Dive Four B outlines a non-penetration wreck dive for training on a wreck that cannot be penetrated. Unless the student has a strong preference not to conduct penetration, then Option A will always be provided. Subic Bay has some magnificent ship wrecks and there are many safe options for penetration dives within the limits of this course.

Wreck Training Dive Four A


Sidemount-Wreck-Diving Philippines

Only for the adventurous!

By the end of this dive, students should be able to:

  • Plan and perform an actual wreck penetration:
  • Determining air supply and penetration limits.
  • Swimming without causing excessive silt disturbance.
  • Maintaining contact with the line.
  • Using a dive light while following a penetration line.
  • Navigate on a wreck so that the ascent point can be located without surfacing.

This dive is the crux of the course. It allows the instructor to enable a comprehensively planned team dive, with pre-designated goals and objectives. Divers conduct Gas Management and comprehensive dive planning, to determine turn-points based on the rule of thirds, along with pre-calculation of their air consumption requirements. Previously made maps are used to plan the penetration, bearing in mind calculated turn-points, no-decompression limits and gas contingencies.



Diving beyond the 'light zone', through 'restrictions' and over no-deco limits requires higher-level training, i.e. the Technical Wreck course

Where possible, further training elements are incorporated on to the training dives, or onto optional skill reinforcement dives (a good option if you really wish to ingrain the wreck penetration skills).

wreck diving course philippines

Further information to help your choice:

 Read/Download PDF Wreck Courses Brochure

Contact me to discuss your training requirements.



Want to go further?  Check out the Overhead Protocols and Technical Wreck courses…

Sidemount Technical Wreck Course-Flow-Diagram