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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Diving Regulations in Maldives - Things to Know Before You Dive in
Joanna James Joanna James
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Diving Regulations in Maldives - Things to Know Before You Dive in

Among the Maldivian Atolls, are some of the pristine diving locations in the world. Before you dive in, read through the following regulations. They can be different to those in your home country.


Minimum Certification Requirements

You need to get certified before you can take your first plunge. The minimum requirement is an entry level certificate from the Recreational Scuba Training Council (RSTC). If you have a similar qualification, you are required to show your certificate and diving log book as proof. If you don't have these documents, you must demonstrate your knowledge in the presence of a certified trainer. Don't be disheartened if you don't have these qualifications. Almost all resorts in Maldives offer in-house certification courses


Diving centre supervision

Unless the entries on your log book can prove that you have the expertise to dive in similar conditions, Maldivian law requires that a certified diving centre supervises the dive directly and indirectly. Even if you can prove your expertise, you need to partner up with another person with the same expertise.

However, signing up with a diving centre can make your life so much easier. They can make your dive even more pleasurable. This is because they know the best diving spots. If you are not an experienced diver, it is important that you look into the credibility of the diving agency.


Maximum depth limitations

The maximum depth of any recreation diver is 30 metres. This rule has no exceptions. If you are an entry level diver, the maximum depth for you is 20 metres. Any individual that violates this regulation will be banned from diving in the Maldivian waters. The official website of the Maldivian tourism ministry clearly states that the presence of your instructor will not constitute grounds for exceeding the maximum depth.


Dive centre requirements

When looking for a resort or liveaboard boat, make sure that the diving centre is registered with the ministry of tourism. Research on resorts and liveaboards that are reputed for abiding by regulations and guidelines. Recently, some Dhaalu Atoll Hotels partnered up to provide the best service to their customers and this partnership included facilitating safe dives. Knowing these things can be valuable when looking for a good diving centre.


Equipment and boats

All equipment and boats should be maintained in good condition. All divers must be equipped with the standard diving masks, snorkels, fins, regulators, BCDs (Buoyancy Compensator Device), time and depth measuring devices and emergency signalling devices. The Maldivian government also encourages the use of diving computers. Night time divers are required to carry an underwater torch and a night signalling device.

Diving boats must have a crew of at least 3 members. They must be fully committed to ensuring the safety of the divers. Also, they should carry the equipment to communicate with the diving centre. Despite the regulations, there can be faulty equipment and boats occasionally. The best way around this is to research reputed diving agencies or book yourself into a reputed resort. While the latter can be expensive, resorts like PER AQUUM Niyama Maldives provide good equipment and boats.