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PADI Search & Recovery Specialty

Learn how to retrieve lost items big or small, heavy or light and which swimming pattern is best suited for objects that have fallen overboard or off a dock. Learn how to use a lift bag for heavy objects more than 4 kilograms.

Misty Woodland

It happens: People accidentally drop something off the boat, while diving or off the dock. Your first response may be to go back down and find it, but how? There are effective ways to search for it that increases your chances of finding it.  

Your search begins with knowing the size of the object and the general area to search. You’ll use different methods according to the bottom contours, depth and resources available to you. Then you will determine the most appropriate search pattern. If the object is large and/or heavy, you will need to use a lift bag. This course is challenging but can be a lot of fun!

Gathering information and resources, then carefully planning a search are the first important steps you learn. During the Search and Recovery dives you’ll practice:

  • Swimming search patterns using your compass and natural navigation.

  • Locating large and small objects using various search patterns.

  • Using a lift bag for large or heavy objects, plus other recovery methods.

  • Planning a search operation based on facts gathered about a lost object prior to the dive.

Misty Woodland


12 years old

(Junior) Advanced Open Water Diver

Course Length:

2 Days - 4 open water dives


Gear rental is not included


Transportation is included

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