NSS-CDS Training Program

DPV Cave Diver


Diver Propulsion Vehicles (DPVs) are, in many ways, the ultimate range extender. They’re also fun as Hell to ride. But all this enjoyment comes at a price. DPV use can substantially increase the risks associated with cave diving. This is why proper training is essential. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • If your DPV fails far enough into the cave, having kept twice your starting gas volume in reserve may not be enough to get you out of the cave. It might not even be close. Do you know how to determine how much gas you really need to keep in reserve to exit?
  • If diving in a team with another DPV pilot, your buddy can theoretically tow you out if your scooter fails. This is not as easy as it sounds. Especially if you have to do it while sharing gas.
  • If you take three seconds to look away from the guideline while swimming, you probably won’t lose it. Do this while scootering and you can easily end up 10 m/30 ft or more off the guideline and be unable to find it. Is this a risk you want to take?
  • When swimming, there is little risk of bashing your head on the ceiling and knocking yourself unconscious. With a DPV, this is surprisingly easy to do. Do you know how to prevent it?
  • DPVs have the potential to cause extensive environmental damage. This is why many sites ban scooter use. Do you know how to ride a DPV in a way which minimizes the potential for damage?

The DPV Cave Diver course provides the answers to these questions and the training and experience needed to put these answers into practice. It’s why some sites require DPV certification.

A DPV is a substantial investment. Getting the right training can make this investment pay off.


  • Be at least 18
  • Be certified to the full Cave Diver level or equivalent by a widely recognized training organization
  • Have at least 50 non-training-related cave dives past initial Cave Diver certification
  • Stage Cave Diver certification or equivalent experiences is pretty much essential


  • Typically two days
  • Typically three or more dives

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