How to Support Scubility Diving

Interested in scubility diving as a participant or buddy? Read on for more information about the program and our recent class.

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Man assisting man in a wheelchair with his dive boots.

What is Scubility Diving and How Can You Help?

According to the Scuba Diving International (SDI) website, “The SDI Scubility Diver Program is designed to give physically disabled divers the necessary skills and techniques used to conduct open water dives in conditions similar to their training without the direct supervision of a SDI Scubility Instructor. However, some SDI Scubility divers require supervision of a qualified SDI Dive Buddy.”

Interested in learning about a Scubility class? Check out our October 2023 Utah trip.

Group of divers with LifeWaters sign

What are the Certification Levels for Scubility?

DB1: All of the performance requirements have been met. Additionally, the diver has demonstrated the ability to perform self rescue and can provide equal assistance to his/her buddy. This diver can dive with any other certified diver.

DB2: All of the performance requirements have been met. However, while the diver can perform self rescue, he/she is not able to provide assistance to his/her buddy. This diver must dive with 2 adult certified divers, one of which must be a qualified SDI Scubility Dive Buddy.

DB3: The physical performance requirements have been met; the diver has demonstrated the ability to safely use scuba in an open water environment. But the diver does not have the ability to perform self rescue or provide assistance to his buddy should it become necessary. This diver must dive with 3 adult certified divers, one of which must be a qualified SDI Scubility Dive Buddy.

Assisting a Scubility Diver

Scubility divers may need a range of assistance based on their particular strengths and weaknesses. For example, divers without use of their legs may need assistance getting in and out of the water, carrying their gear, adjusting the trim of their body in the water, utilizing special dive gear (like DeeAnne’s amazing dive fin that attaches to her prosthetic leg), and modifying propulsion techniques.

What is a Scubility Dive Buddy?

Divers that complete the SDI Scubility Dive Buddy Program develop the knowledge and necessary skills to effectively perform as a dive buddy for a disabled diver. Minimum age 18. Provide proof of: Current CPR and first aid, Rescue diver or Advanced Diver with 40 logged open water dives.

Convinced that you want to become a Scubility Buddy? Give Ashley Arnold of Jade Scuba Adventures a call at 360-233-6825 a call or email at

Examples of Scubility Adaptations

Here, one of our support staff is sharing his experience of working through panicking underwater to help a student diver. There are many ways to approach obstacles students face in learning to dive. It’s fascinating to hear the input from many different backgrounds!

Two people sitting outside of a building talking.

Here, instructor Ashley is reviewing various types of entries to diving areas. Scubility is about embracing what you CAN do to get into the water. All divers may not be comfortable or able to perform a giant stride entry, but these divers have all found low-risk ways to enter and exit scuba areas.

Divers at the edge of a pool.

How does LifeWaters Support Scubility?

LifeWaters is a US-based nonprofit with a vision to “inspire hope and contribute to health and well-being by providing a supportive enivornment for fellowship through scuba diving for paralyzed veterans, first responders, and civilians.” Furthermore, their mission is to provide “adaptive scuba diving training and camaraderie by bringing adventure and healing to Veterans, First Responders, and Civilians with disabilities.” LifeWaters coordinates funding and volunteer recruitment to provide free scuba training to qualifying individuals. Also, buddies for Scubility Divers can often receive training at a reasonable cost. Find out more here.