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140213-N-CG436-031 PANAMA CITY, Fla. (Feb. 13, 2014) Students at Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center (NDSTC) conduct training operations in the center's 40-foot-deep Aquatic Training Facility. NDSTC, the largest diving facility in the world, trains more than 1,200 military divers from every branch of service each year. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael Scichilone)
Prospective students will need to physically prepare for their prospective rate in accordance with MILPERSMAN 1220-410

1. Candidate should be able to fill mask with water while wearing it and breathing comfortably through mouth. Practice should include speaking/singing with mask flooded. Additional practice includes doing flutter kicks or push-ups on pool side while mask is flooded with water while counting cadence.

2. Candidate should be comfortable breathing through snorkel on water surface.

3. Candidate should be comfortable filling mask with water while submerged and then forcefully exhaling in order to clear mask.

4. Candidate should be comfortable filling mask and snorkel with water while submerged and then forcefully exhaling in order to clear mask and snorkel without breaking the surface of the water with face and then continuing to breathe comfortably.

5. Candidate should be comfortable swimming with mask and fins while breathing through a snorkel. Practice should consist of swimming at a comfortable pace while intermittently flooding snorkel with water (i.e., submerging 2 to 3 feet), then surfacing, without face breaking the surface of the water, forcefully exhaling water out of the snorkel and then continuing to breathe normally from snorkel. This exercise should be continued for several minutes without signs of panic or inability to continue clearing snorkel.

6. Candidate should be comfortable retrieving mask and snorkel on bottom of pool (12 feet), donning (putting on) mask and snorkel on bottom, clearing mask, ascending to surface, then clearing snorkel via forceful exhale upon reaching surface without breaking the surface of the water with face, and then continuing to breathe comfortably.

1. Candidate should be comfortable floating on surface with hands held together behind back with ankles crossed for 5 minutes (at a minimum).

2. The goal is to rest comfortably on the surface exerting minimal effort. Focus should be placed on utilizing lungs for buoyancy and gently rolling head to side to take breaths when necessary.

3. Practice should consist of fully inflating lungs on the water surface and attempting to relax and float for as long as possible. When necessary, roll back or to the side by utilizing a gentle leg thrust to breach the surface and take a deep breath; relax and wait for the buoyancy of your lungs to return you to the surface. Repeat steps as necessary until at least five minutes have elapsed.

1. “Bay Swims” are a regular and mandatory aspect of training at NDSTC. Bay swims are a unique and somewhat difficult skill to perfect outside of the Dive School environment.

2. Each candidate must display that they are able to combat a one-knot current by finishing each surface fin evolution in the allotted time limit.

3. It is in the best interest of the candidate to practice for bay swims (500 yd, 1000 yd, 2000 yd, etc.) by focusing on flutter kicks while training/preparing to arrive for school.

4. The key component to successfully passing Bay Swims is to master proper form utilizing the flutter kick technique: in the prone position, face up, using only the legs kicking with fins for propulsion. Candidate is not allowed to utilize their hands for propulsion and must maintain contact with the emergency flotation vest around their neck. It is especially helpful to practice flutter kicking outside of the water as well, using fins, if available, or some form of weight/resistance.

5. Optional preparation includes finning on back in any available pool or open water (with a safety observer).

1. One of the more challenging evolutions during SCUBA training will be the In-Water Proficiency (IWP). In this evolution the student will be required to tread water in full SCUBA gear including a weight belt and twin SCUBA cylinders for at least one minute and then orally inflate their horse collar flotation device.

2. This requires strong lower extremity strength and finning technique.

3. It is recommended that prospective students practice treading water with fins while carrying substantial extra weight and then trying blowing up a balloon while remaining on the surface.
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