Can You Scuba Dive If You Can’t Swim?

There is an excellent in-depth article on non-swimmers diving at Abyss Scuba.

I don’t totally agree with one or two things and here’s why.

As an ex-water phobic, I learned to swim at age 52. I was so bad I would often panic in the shower. I did conquer my fear and go on to qualify as an instructor and lifeguard, then take my PADI diving qualifications.

So my first point is that trying to dive when you still have that fear leaves you open to making matters far worse. For the record, after many failed attempts, I learned to swim with Total Immersion.

If you really want to go ahead, an understanding fully qualified diving instructor on a one to one basis is the way to go.

Medical issues like breathing you will be told ‘no way’, especially if you can’t swim. That said, I proved to my asthma consultant that I was determined, and promised to dive one to one with a qualified instructor, and he signed the certificate.

Another sticking point is well muscled men, especially body builders, and for that matter female body builders as well.

It’s imperative that you learn to overcome this by buoyancy techniques such as Total Immersion teaches. Because water is 1000 times denser than air, water resistance (drag) is the largest factor limiting how far or fast we swim. Fish and aquatic mammals are naturally streamlined. For human swimmers it’s a learned skill.

If you think you can’t learn to swim then let me assure you that you can. I have taught many many non-swimmers and water phobics with not one single failure.

To gain a PADI qualification, there is a minimum distance you are required to swim. That aside, you will get a lot more out of your diving sessions if you feel fully comfortable in the water.

PADI Discover Scuba Diving (DSD)

We offer try diving programs for non-certified divers. You will be under our guidance and follow the highest of safety standards.

The difference between these experience programs and a PADI Diving Course is that, after completion, you do not receive a diving license, but you can repeat the programs as many times you want, and will always be accompanied by a PADI Professional.