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PADI Delayed Surface Marker Buoy Course


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Many divers wouldn't think of diving without carrying a delayed surface marker buoy (DSMB, and in some locations it's considered required safety equipment. Knowing how to properly deploy and manage a DSMB are valuable skills learned in this course.

Boats and currents are two common factors associated with many dive sites. Boaters don't always recognize that divers are in the area and current can carry you further than expected. Launching a delayed surface marker buoy (DSMB) before you surface can alert others to your location in advance of your ascent. Adding another layer of safety, you can also use the DSMB line to complete your safety stop, which is advantageous in a current or when there are no other visual references. Take this course to learn about all the beneficial uses of a DSMB.

You need to be a PADI Open Water Diver who is at least 12 years old to enroll in the DSMB Diver course.


Your training starts by reviewing reasons for using a DSMB and how important it is to know how to use one. During two dives with your instructor, you’ll go over:

  • Learn the techniques of deploying DSMBs
  • Diving with a surface marker buoy
  • Techniques of how to tying off markers buoys underwater
  • Different types of reels

You may be able to get college credit for the DSMB Diver course – ask your instructor.

Also, the first dive of this PADI Specialty Diver course may credit as an Adventure Dive toward your Advanced Open Water Diver certification – ask your instructor about earning credit.


You’ll need a reel with a line and a DSMB along with the rest of your basic scuba equipment. Your PADI Instructor may suggest other gear appropriate for local diving.