Who Can Learn?
Just about anybody who is comfortable and relaxed in the water — and who has the desire — can learn to scuba dive. This includes children as young as twelve and seniors well into their seventies.
- Do you have to be an athlete or a competitive swimmer? Hardly. The only requirement here is that you be able to swim 200 yards/meters (no time limit, any stroke); or 300 yards/meters with mask, fins and snorkel (no time limit). You also need to be able to tread water, drownproof or float in water too deep to stand for ten minutes. Rarely do we find anyone who has difficulty with this.
- What about kids? Children ages 12 to 14 can qualify for Junior certification, which requires they dive with an adult until age 15.
- Don’t certain medical conditions disqualify you from diving? Only very few. So long as you are in good cardiovascular and respiratory health, and not on any drugs that might cause complications under water, getting a physician’s approval to dive is generally easy. And, if you can honestly answer No to all of the questions on the Medical History form, you won’t even have to get your doctor’s okay.
You would be surprised at the range of people who dive. There are even special programs to help paraplegics and quadriplegics experience the underwater world. More than anything else, it just takes desire.
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