COURSE PURPOSE

The AIDA Level III course is an intermediate course which builds on the skills learnt in the AIDA Level II course. It is designed to cover the necessary skills and knowledge for a recreational freediver to be able to safely freedive with or without a guideline. The aim of the course is to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to independently plan and participate in freediving activities with similarly experienced freedive buddies.

The course is also designed to develop new skills and a higher knowledge of safety procedures and techniques for freediving such as free falling, Frenzel equalizing, training tables, the risks of increasing and decreasing pressure and how to minimize these risks.

  • Static Apnea – breath hold with face immersed in water
  • Dynamic Apnea – breath hold whilst travelling horizontally underwater
  • Constant Weight – the diver descends and ascends using fins

This will be achieved through:

  • Knowledge Development – this will involve three theory sessions and an examination in the classroom
  • Confined Water Sessions – these two sessions will involve static and dynamic practice in a pool to teach you how to train for tolerance to high CO2 and low O2 levels and maximum performances
  • Open water sessions - you will learn new skills including operating freediving equipment, Frenzel equalisation, freefalling, warm ups and turning. You will also practice your rescue, duck dives, safety, budding and breathing skills.

KNOWLEDGE DEVELOPMENT

HOW IS THE KNOWLEDGE DEVELOPMENT SESSION TAUGHT?

The knowledge development will take place in a classroom-like environment. It will be a minimum of 3 theory sessions with a duration of 2 hours per session depending on the number of questions you ask. The time to take the exam is NOT included in the minimum theory time mentioned above.

The knowledge development will be conducted using the AIDA Level III Freediver Powerpoint slides. You will be provided with a hand-out of the slides to take away for future reference and to use to prepare for the exam (see below).

THE THEORY SESSIONS INCLUDE:

  • Physics – Dalton’s Law, Boyle’s law, Buoyancy applied to deep diving
  • Physiology – The cardiovascular system, Hyperventilation, black outs and equalisation
  • The lungs at depth
  • Mammalian dive reflex
  • Training concepts
  • Ethics
  • Planning diving sessions
  • The Buddy System

HOW DO I PASS THE KNOWLEDGE DEVELOPMENT SESSION?

You must pass the AIDA Level III Freediver exam which has a passing score of 75%. Any missed questions will be explained to you and you will sign the bottom of the exam to indicate that this has taken place. If you do not pass the exam on first sitting, you may resit after 24 hours.

CONFINED WATER DIVES SESSIONS

This part of the course is intended to refresh the student diver’s existing rescue skills. It also introduces you to Static Apnea and Dynamic Apnea training tables and the benefit of warm-ups as a preparation for a maximum performance.

STATIC APNEA

This session will be conducted in a swimming pool or similar confined water. After this session you should be able to:

  • Train for high CO2 tolerance - Design an appropriate Static Apnea Training Table for building your tolerance to high carbon dioxide levels (CO2 table).
  • Train for low O2 tolerance - Design an appropriate Static Apnea Training Table for building tolerance to low oxygen levels (Hypoxic Table).
  • Rescue - Demonstrate the appropriate rescue technique for a buddy experiencing a loss of motor control or blackout during static training.
  • Plan and perform a static session - Safely perform a breath hold for at least 2 minutes 45 with a training buddy, including appropriate surfacing and recovery breathing

HOW DO I PASS THE STATIC APNEA SESSION?

You will have to successfully complete all of the requirements above including at least a 2 minutes 45 seconds breath hold.

DYNAMIC APNEA

This session will be conducted in a swimming pool or similar confined water. After this session you should be able to:

  • Train for high CO2 tolerance - Design and perform an appropriate Dynamic Apnea Training Table in order to build CO2 and lactic acid tolerance.
  • Buddy - Demonstrate an appropriate safety dive for a buddy performing a dive of at least 55m.
  • Rescue - Demonstrate the appropriate rescue technique for a buddy experiencing a loss of motor control or blackout during dynamic training.
  • Swim underwater for 55m – Safely demonstrate a dynamic apnea dive of at least 55m, with attention to breathe up, head and arm positioning, finning motion, turns, surfacing and recovery breathing.

HOW DO I PASS THE DYNAMIC APNEA SESSION?

You will have to successfully complete all of the requirements above including at least a 55m dynamic apnea swim.

OPEN WATER DIVE SESSIONS

Four dive sessions over two days will be conducted in open water with a fixed line to be used as a point of reference for you. You will be secured to the line via a lanyard. You will be given adequate time for debriefing, rest and relaxation and briefing between the dives. In open water the maximum depth of the freedives will be limited to 30 meters.

Open Water Dive Session One - Technique & Equalisation Practice

After open water session 1 you will be able to:

  • Operate & prepare equipment - Demonstrate the ability to operate all the quick releases on the safety lanyard and assist with the setting up of ropes & weights for freediving.
  • Be safe - Demonstrate how to adjust weighting for deeper freedives, identify the point of neutral buoyancy and start to freefall
  • Duck dive & fin - Perform efficient, effective duck dives, remaining oriented to the guide line while descending and ascending with an efficient swimming technique, including correct fining technique and body positioning
  • Recover - Demonstrate appropriate surfacing and recovery breathing after a dive
  • Equalise using the Frenzel technique - Describe and practice The “Frenzel” equalisation technique

Open Water Dive Session Two - Free Falling, Self Rescue & Safety Diving

After open water session 2 you will be able to:

  • Prepare for dives - Identify hazards and points of interest for the chosen open water dive site
  • Turn - Descend to 10m and make a controlled turn, without touching the rope
  • Freefall – Learn how to freefall from the point where you become negatively buoyant
  • Train - Complete at least three dives to practice all your skills including, Frenzel equalizing, duck dives, guide line orientation fining, breathing and buddying.
  • Rescue - Demonstrate the self rescue technique for a leg cramp suffered at depth, ascending from 15m using the arms only

Open Water Dive Session Three - Training & Rescue

After open water session 3 you will be able to:

  • Train – We will continue to practice your free falling, Frenzel equalizing, duck dives, guide line orientation fining, breathing and buddying.
  • Rescue - On at least three dives, act as a safety diver for other freedivers and demonstrate rescue techniques for both a freediver who:
    • arrives at the surface, experiences black out and does not recommence breathing within 10 seconds
    • loses consciousness at 10m on ascent, to include bringing the diver to the surface and demonstrating effective surface rescue

Open Water Dive Session Four - Warm Up & Maximum Performance

After open water session 4 you will be able to:

  • Warm up – Learn how to warm-up and relax for a deep dive
  • Dive to 24 meters - Warm up for and perform a constant weight dive to a depth of at least 24m (Maximum 30m), equalizing using the Frenzel technique and free falling, whilst respecting buddy and safety procedures
  • Buddying - Effectively safety dive for a freediver attempting a constant weight dive, timing departure from the surface to meet the freediver at a depth of around 10m
  • Be confident - Descend to 10m, remove the mask and ascend with the mask in the hand to simulate the loss of a mask
  • Rescue - Tow an inert freediver to shore/boat a minimum distance of 50m

How do I pass the open water sessions?

You will have to successfully complete all of the requirements outlined in the open water sessions above.

EQUIPMENT

To take the course students will need the following equipment:

  • Low volume (smaller than a scuba mask), clear lensed and flexible mask
  • Long, full footed fins
  • Rigid snorkel
  • Close fitting wetsuit with integrated hood and no zips
  • Rubber weightbelt

These items are available for hire from FreedivingUAE in addition to the basic course cost.

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INSTRUCTOR SUPERVISION

The AIDA Level III Freediver course will be conducted by an Active AIDA Instructor with current Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and First Aid training (completed within the last two years). The instructor will carry liability insurance for teaching freediving in the UAE.

The maximum student diver-to-instructor ratio in confined water is eight students per instructor (8:1). The maximum student diver-to-instructor ratio for open water training dives is four students per instructor (4:1). This may rise to six students per instructor (6:1) when the instructor is assisted by another freediver qualified to at least AIDA Level IV.

PRICE

The price for the AIDA Level III Freediver Course with FreedivingUAE is 2518 AED.

This includes boat hire, pool access, guide line, weights, lanyard, dive centre access and a minimum of 17 hours of instruction by a qualified AIDA instructor. The price also includes processing of the certification (refer to Post Course Certification section below).

The price does not include the hire of mask, fins, snorkel, weight belt and wet suit. Also the price does not include any hotel costs if the open water session needs to be held in Korfakkan due to poor weather in Abu Dhabi. This costs will not exceed 550 AED per night.

We require a 1000 AED deposit to confirm the booking.

COURSE PREREQUISITES

To enroll in the AIDA Level III Freediver course, an individual must:

  • Have completed the AIDA Level II Freediver course or equivalent
  • Be 18 years of age or older (16 years with parent or guardian consent)
  • Be able to swim at least 200m non stop without fins and at least 300m non stop with mask, fins and snorkel

Before commencing any in-water training, the following forms must be completed, (for students aged under 18 years, both must be co-signed by a parent or guardian):

AIDA Medical Form – this must be completed in full with students marking YES or NO to each of the medical conditions listed. If the student answers YES to any condition, they must seek medical approval before taking part in any in-water activity. The physician must sign the form to indicate this approval. Whether or not the student then is then accepted onto the course is left at the discretion of the instructor.
AIDA Liability Release Form or local equivalent

POST COURSE CERTIFICATION

Freedivers who meet all the performance requirements outlined above will be certified as an AIDA Level III Freediver.

Students will receive their full certification from AIDA within 2 months. This will be adminstrated by FreedivingUAE.