Section 2.00 – Diving Regulations for SCUBA (Open Circuit, Compressed Air)


No person shall engage in diving operations under the auspices of the campus’ diving program unless he/she holds a current certification issued pursuant to the provisions of this manual.


2.21 Dive Plans

Dives should be planned around the competency of the least experienced diver. Before conducting any diving operations under the auspices of the MBL, the diving supervisor for a proposed operation must formulate a dive plan which should include the following:

2.21.1 Divers’ qualifications, and the type of certificate or certification held by each diver.

2.21.2 Emergency Plan (see Appendix 10) with the following information:  Name, telephone number, and relationship of person to be contacted for each diver in the event of an emergency.  Nearest operational recompression chamber.  Nearest accessible hospital.  Available means of transport.

2.21.3 Approximate number of proposed dives.

2.21.4 Location(s) of proposed dives.

2.21.5 Estimated depth(s) and bottom time(s) anticipated.

2.21.6 Decompression status and repetitive dive plans, if required.

2.21.7 Proposed work, equipment, and boats to be employed.

2.21.8 Any hazardous conditions anticipated.

2.22 Pre-dive Safety Checks

2.22.1 Diver’s Responsibility: Each scientific diver shall conduct a functional check of his/her diving equipment in the presence of the diving buddy or tender. It is the diver’s responsibility and duty to refuse to dive if, in his/her judgement, conditions are unfavorable, or if he/she would be violating the precepts of his/her training, of this manual, or the campusÍ diving manual. No dive team member shall be required to be exposed to hyperbaric conditions against his/her will, except when necessary to prevent or treat a pressure-related injury. No dive team member shall be permitted to dive for the duration of any known condition which is likely to adversely affect the safety and health of the diver or other dive team members.

2.22.2  Equipment Evaluations Each diver shall insure that his/her equipment is in proper working order and that the equipment is suitable for the type of diving operation. Each diver shall have the capability of achieving and maintaining positive buoyancy.

2.22.3  Site Evaluation

The environmental conditions at the site will be evaluated by the dive team members.


2.31 Solo Diving Prohibition

All diving activities shall assure adherence to the buddy system (two comparably equipped scuba divers in the water in constant communication) for scuba diving. This buddy system is based upon mutual assistance, especially in the case of an emergency.

2.32 Refusal to Dive

2.32.1  The decision to dive is that of the diver. A diver may refuse to dive, without fear of reprisal, whenever he/she feels it is unsafe for them to make the dive (see Sec. 2.22.1).

2.32.2  The ultimate responsibility for safety rests with the individual diver. It is the diver’s responsibility and duty to refuse to dive if, in his/her judgement, conditions are unsafe or unfavorable, or if he/she would be violating the precepts of his/her training or the regulations in this manual.

2.33 Termination of the Dive

2.33.1 It is the responsibility of the diver to terminate the dive, without fear of reprisal, whenever he/she feels it is unsafe to continue the dive, unless it compromises the safety of another diver already in the water (see Sec. 2.22.1).

2.33.2 The dive shall be terminated while there is still sufficient cylinder pressure to permit the diver to safely reach the surface, including decompression time, or to safely reach an additional air source at the decompression station.

2.34 Emergencies and Deviations from Regulations

Any diver may deviate from the requirements of this manual to the extent necessary to prevent or minimize a situation which is likely to cause death, serious physical harm, or major environmental damage. A written report of such actions must be submitted to the Diving Control Board explaining the circumstances and justifications.


2.41 Post-Dive Safety Checks

2.41.1 After the completion of a dive, each diver shall report any physical problems, symptoms of decompression illness, or equipment malfunctions.

2.41.2  When diving outside the no-decompression limits, the divers should remain awake for at least one hour after diving, and in the company of a dive team member who is prepared to transport him/her to a hyperbaric chamber, if necessary.


Each campus will develop emergency procedures which follow the standards of care of the community and must include procedures for emergency care, recompression and evacuation for each dive location (See Appendix 10).


Divers should have a minimum surface interval of 12 hours before ascending to altitude.


2.71 Personal Diving Log

Each diver shall log every dive made under the auspices of the campus program, and is encouraged to log all other dives. Standard forms will be provided by each campus. Log sheets shall be submitted to the Diving Safety Officer to be placed in the diver’s permanent file. Details of the submission procedures are left to the discretion of the Diving Safety Officer. The diving log shall be in a form specified by the campus and shall include at least the following:

2.71.1  Name of diver, partner, and Lead Diver.

2.71.2  Date, time, and location.

2.71.3  Diving modes used.

2.71.4  General nature of diving activities.

2.71.5  Approximate surface and underwater conditions.

2.71.6  Maximum depths, bottom time and surface interval time.

2.71.7  Diving tables or computers used.

2.71.8  Detailed report of any near or actual incidents.

2.72 Required Incident Reporting

All diving incidents requiring recompression treatment, or resulting in moderate or serious injury, or death shall be reported to the Diving Control Board, MBL, and the AAUS. The campus regular procedures for incident reporting, including those required by the AAUS, shall be followed. The report will specify the circumstances of the incident and the extent of any injuries or illnesses. Additional information must meet the following reporting requirements:

2.72.1 The campus shall record and report occupational injuries and illnesses in accordance with requirements of the appropriate Labor Code section.

2.72.2  If pressure-related injuries are suspected, or if symptoms are evident, the following additional information shall be recorded and retained by the campus, with the record of the dive, for a period of 5 years: Complete AAUS Incident Report Form (Appendix 13). Written descriptive report to include:  Name, address, phone numbers of the principal parties involved.  Summary of experience of divers involved.  Location, description of dive site and description of conditions that led up to incident.  Description of symptoms, including depth and time of onset.  Description and results of treatment.  Disposition of case. Recommendations to avoid repetition of incident.

2.72.3  The campus shall investigate and document any incident of pressure-related injury and prepare a report which is to be forwarded to the Office of the Chancellor and the AAUS during the annual reporting cycle. This report must first be reviewed and released by the campus’ Diving Control Board.