Flying After Diving


In 1989 DAN diving workshop advised no-flight times as following: 12 hours after a single no-stop dive, 24 hours after multi-day repetitive dive, and 48 hours after dives that required decompression stops.

Later this was considered overly conservative. Subsequently, DAN proposed a simpler 24-hour no-flight time after any recreational diving.

There were objections to this 24-hour wait on the grounds that the decompression sickness (DCS) risks of flying after diving (FAD) were also too low to warrant such a long delay after simple dives and would result in lost business for island diving resorts.

DAN flying after diving trials

DAN’s 1992-1999 research at Duke University examined flying after recreational diving. Key findings:

  • For single dives to 60 feet (18 meters), wait 11 hours before flying to avoid DCS.
  • For repetitive dives, wait at least 17 hours to prevent DCS.

The U.S. Navy updated its no-flight times procedures based on these findings in 1999, and no DCS cases were reported.

Flying with DCS symptoms

Flying with symptoms is a more significant concern than symptoms occurring during or after flight. This is an education, not a science, issue. Divers must learn to seek medical advice if they experience potential decompression illness symptoms rather than flying.

Diving nitrox and pre-breathing oxygen reduces risk of DCS in flying after diving

Diving with nitrox is a straightforward way to reduce DCS risk when flying after a dive. Nitrox lowers tissue nitrogen levels, decreasing the likelihood of DCS symptoms during post-dive flights and further reducing no-flight times required.

Trials by SOCOM confirmed oxygen pre-breathing benefits after air diving. They tested dry divers breathing air at 60 fsw for 60 minutes, followed by flights at 25,000 feet (7500 meters). DCS was observed without previous diving. However, with a 24-hour surface interval and preflight oxygen use, no DCS occurred in 23 trials.

Key findings:

  • DCS risk is low for dry divers flying after diving, and
  • Preflight oxygen can reduce DCS risk effectively.

The consensus process

Science is primarily a quantitative endeavor, whereas ensuring safety involves a social process that takes into account factors like the likelihood, severity, and associated costs of injuries. Ultimately, informed societal representatives make safety decisions based on the available information to protect the well-being of the broader community.

After broad discussions, it was evident that new, uncomplicated recreational diving guidelines were required due to the inadequacy of existing ones. These guidelines would apply to three groups of divers:

  • Uncertified individuals in introductory experiences;
  • Recreational certified divers on multiple no-decompression dives;
  • Technical divers performing decompression dives or using helium mixes.

Consensus recommendations for flying after diving

The recommendations for no-flight times surface intervals are as follows:

  • At least 12 hours after a single no-decompression dive or multiply shallow dives (less than 10 meters deep);
  • A minimum of 18 hours between multi-day repetitive dives;
  • Significantly longer intervals, exceeding 18 hours, following dives requiring mandatory decompression, or the use of heliox and trimix.
DAN recommended No-flight times
DAN recommended No-flight times


The importance of considering longer guidelines for divers who are immersed and actively exercising was emphasized. It was acknowledged that the effects of exercise and immersion on preflight surface intervals required further experimental investigation. Subsequent studies have been conducted, and their results will be continue published.

And what, is scuba diving utterly safe in the end?

No, nevertheless, diving is considered a potentially hazardous activity and if you do not already have insurance covering the risks of diving, we recommend that you take out appropriate insurance for the duration of participation in diving courses, diving in caves, caverns, ocean and other diving activities.

Cave Ha Diving Mexico is a DAN Europe partner. At your request, we can provide you with appropriate insurance for the duration of the courses and trips, as well as for the year.

You can learn the complete list of options at the following link.


  1. Guidelines for Flying After Diving. Vann RD. Executive Summary. In: Flying After Diving Workshop. Vann RD, ed. 2004. Durham: Divers Alert Network. ISBN 0-9673066-4-7. 16-19.

Partnership Program

"Bringing the experience of organizing and hosting the Olympic Games into diving operations and customer satisfaction"

“Both in cave diving and in life, the darkness of uncertainty was beckoning. I was scared, but I knew that if I could be brave enough to step over the brink into the blackness, my eyes would adjust and new possibilities would be revealed.”

—Jill Heinerth, Into the Planet:
My Life as a Cave Diver

9 of 10 world’s biggest underwater caves are here

Why Cave Ha Diving?

Turnkey dive trips

We specialize in arranging complete diving trips, including:

The full range of diving products and services

Recreational diving experience

Technical and Full Cave diving experience

Over the years, we have gained extensive experience working with tourist groups.

Would you be interested in knowing more about your group flight, crossing the border in Mexico, accommodation, and other local information? We’ll gladly share our deep local knowledge with you.

We will provide your clients with everything they need to feel comfortable and safe during their unbelievable holidays at our friendly and welcoming resort in the heart of the Caribbean.

Become a Cave Ha Diving partner now

About Alexander

Cave Ha Diving Mexico founder and owner, IANTD/TDI/SDI Technical Cave and DPV Instructor, GUE Member, TDI ER/Trimix, mCCR Fathom, RYA Skipper

Before fully dedicating himself to the diving industry, Alexander served many years as Executive Vice-President for Technology, Broadcasting and Press Operations, Medical and Anti-Doping, Accreditation of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Organizing Committee; President of iTeco International Ltd, Chairman of Board iTeco LLC; Chairman of Expert Board of Bigitex consulting company (finance and IT technology); First Deputy of the Chairman of the Board of Banking Organisation “Inkakhran” and College Professor (Broadcasting and Information Technology).

Chevalier of the orders: Silver Olympic Order and National Order “For Merit to the Fatherland”


Treasure of the Mayan Abyss: The Underwater Quest

Dive into the mysterious world of the ancient Mayan jungle with a brand-new adventure game: “Treasure of the Mayan Abyss: The Underwater Quest”. This exhilarating underwater quest game is exclusively designed for certified scuba divers. Embark on a thrilling adventure to uncover the secrets hidden in the depths of a remote cenote concealed amidst the lush foliage of the Mayan rainforest.

Game Synopsis

Congratulations! As a certified scuba diver, you have been personally selected to join an exclusive team of underwater archaeologists and treasure hunters on an extraordinary expedition for the Underwater Quest. Your objective is to explore the mysterious hidden sinkhole cenote and retrieve the locations of the long-lost treasure chests that hold immense historical and cultural value.

Game Features

Immersive Mayan Jungle Setting

Embark on your adventure by first solving a diving-related puzzle game. This will provide a clue for navigating the dense Mayan jungles and encountering exotic wildlife to find the hidden sinkhole map.

Authentic Scuba Diving Experience

Discover the mesmerizing underwater world of the sinkhole, where transparent waters unveil a magnificent landscape of underwater cenote whose depths are shrouded in a thousand-year-old mystery cloud, and walls are adorned with a peculiar submerged forest. Let yourself be captivated by this breathtaking scenery and immerse yourself in its enchanting beauty.

  • Maximum depth 30 meters.
  • AOWD certification is required. 
  • A Nitrox certificate will give you a significant advantage in the time it takes to find all the hidden treasures.
  • Maximum bottom time: 30 minutes on Nitrox and 15 minutes on air. 

Challenging Puzzles and Obstacles

Navigate a challenging underwater path, overcome obstacles, and discover treasure chest locations during underwater quest.

Treasure Hunting

Your main objective is to find the legendary “Heart of Xibalba treasure boxes,” which are believed to contain priceless artifacts with mystical powers. However, the treasure is heavily guarded, so you must outsmart traps and avoid the guardians rumored to protect it.

Team Collaboration

Team up with other divers, communicate with the team, and work together to solve the mysterious path and face challenges, fostering a strong camaraderie.

Realistic Gameplay

Experience the thrill of underwater exploration with realistic scuba diving mechanics, including buoyancy control, air management, and underwater propulsion techniques.

Stunning Visuals

“Treasure of the Mayan Abyss: The Underwater Quest” boasts breathtaking visuals that bring the Mayan jungles and the underwater cenote to life, ensuring an unforgettable gaming experience.

Are you ready to embark on an adventure of a lifetime? Dive into the “Treasure of the Mayan Abyss: The Underwater Quest” and uncover the mysteries of the ancient Mayan civilization hidden beneath the jungle’s surface. This game offers a unique combination of adventure and underwater exploration, which will captivate both scuba divers and treasure hunters.

Do you have what it takes to unearth the “Treasure of the Mayan Abyss: The Underwater Quest”?

The experience begins with Playa del Carmen hotel pickup between 8:00-8:30 in the morning. Expected time to come back is 14:00-16:00.

Hotel pickup and drop-off from Playa del Carmen, Cenote entrance fee, Cave guide/instructor, 2 Tanks al80 with Air, weights and belt, Bottled water, and fruits are included.

Not included: Nitrox 32% fills ( 5 USD / tank ), Foto/Video service, Diving insurance, Camera fee (depend on Cenote policy), Equipment rental ( Recreational Scuba set - 25 USD / Torchlight - 5 USD / Decompression comp - 10 USD ), Tips for guide/instructor

Check the dates and prices on our Cavern diving page

Order your Underwater Quest now


Safety of Diving

DAN annual report 2020

Scuba diving is practiced by tens of thousands of people worldwide every day and is considered a significantly lower-risk activity than many other outdoor sports and recreation. Even such widespread activities as swimming, jogging, and quad biking have higher rates of fatal accidents than diving.

What is the probability of getting ill or injured while diving?

The most common medical problems associated with scuba diving are sunburn, seasickness, and dehydration (all easily preventable). In reality, there are very few diving-related injuries that require any medical attention. On average, there are only 1,092 diver casualties annually in the U.S. emergency.

Compared to other popular sports and outdoor activities, the statistics for medical attention in the United States are as follows:

  • Diving – 1092 per year
  • Snowboarding – 4438 per year
  • Bowling – 19802 per year
  • Volleyball – 57303 per year
  • Fishing – 170216 per year
    Source: agency NCBI

Well, and what about sharks?

Dogs, snakes, crocodiles, and even hippos kill many more people yearly than sharks. In Australia alone, for example, there are approximately 20 horse-related fatalities annually – compared to only an average of 1.7 shark deaths per year since 1980: maybe it’s time to start Horse Protection Week? Most divers like sharks, and they try to remove unfair accusations from these animals.

What if I run out of air?

Your diving equipment includes a gauge that shows you how much air you have in your tank, just like the fuel gauge in your car. You will learn to check this sensor regularly, so it is very unlikely that you will run out of air during a dive. If you run out of air, your buddy has an additional air source (spare regulator) explicitly designed to share air with another diver. At the same time, you ascend to the surface together. Some divers also prefer to dive with a small backup air source.

Anyway, do people die while diving?

Unfortunately yes. As with any activity in the natural environment, there are inherent risks in diving that cannot be completely eliminated. However, with proper training and adherence to safe diving practices, the likelihood of a fatal accident is extremely low—in the United States, there were only 65 diving-related deaths of US citizens in 2019 (this is the latest year for which statistics are currently available). According to a survey by the Diver Alert Network (DAN) Foundation, the diver population is estimated at 3 million and the death rate is about 2 per 100,000, with “the rate looking relatively stable even over time”.

Compared to other common sports and recreational activities, the diving fatality rate is as follows:

Death number by Active Sports and Activities
Death number by Active Sports and Activities

Looking more closely at the statistics of diver deaths, we find that about 45 percent of diving deaths are health-related, with about 25 percent caused by heart disease, mainly in the elderly. One of DAN’s annual reports states: “Older, overweight divers with heart or blood pressure problems are at increased risk of diving deaths compared to younger, healthier divers. Fifty-three percent of the affected men and 54 percent of the women were over 50 years of age.”

You can find on our website the latest DAN Annual Report 2020, based on 2018 data.

Are there any other ways to mitigate the risks for yourself?

Of course, diving accidents are rarely the result of a single problem. Problems most often arise from a combination of several circumstances:

  • Poorly or incompletely resolved problems generally escalate;
  • Escalating difficulty creates stress;
  • Stress makes problems worse and straining resources.

How do accidents occur?

  • Exceeding level of training and ability
  • Exceeding the range of the breathing gas
  • Lack of standardization/team orientation
  • Lack of situational awareness and planning
  • Weak foundation of basic skills
  • Improper or insufficient equipment:
    • Overweighting/insufficient lift
    • Inappropriate breathing gas
    • Poorly maintained equipment

Problems encountered by a well-focused team rarely result in accidents.

Accident Dynamics

The Incident Pit
The Incident Pit

Accident Prevention

Sound diving practices are the most crucial element in accident prevention:

  • Dive planning
  • Personal fitness
  • Risk assessment
  • A solid foundation of basic skills
  • Teamwork and support
  • Diving within personal limitation
  • Standartization
  • Situational awareness

Stress management

Stress is a reaction to any emergency and may result in:

  • An inability to think clearly and rationally
  • Increased breathing/heart rate
  • Perceptual narrowing

Divers must recognize personal and team stress. Stress management is a cornerstone to safe diving.

  • Stress must be controlled to prevent panic
  • Panic is essentially uncontrollable

Factors leading to stress may include:

  • Peer pressure
  • Seasickness or injuries
  • Poorly fitted equipment
  • Fatigue
  • Poor fitness
  • Poisoning by CO2 caused by increased shallow breathing

Managing Problems Underwater

The Thinking Diver

  • A solid foundation of basic skills is crucial for maintaining a high level of situational awareness
  • Such capacity is key to anticipating problems
  • Further to this, solution thinking is essential for preventing problems from escalating into accidents

Solution thinking

  • What has happened and with what result?
  • What resources are intact within the team?
  • What is the most efficient way to safely return to the surface/shore?

Insulating from Risk

  • Diving should be fun with challenges that are selected responsibly
  • Lack of standardization or teamwork, as well as careless planning, introduces unnecessary risks
  • Situational awareness and a solid foundation of basic skills are key in preventing accidents
  • The holistic training system insulates divers from risk while maximizing efficiency, safety, and fun.

And what, is scuba diving utterly safe in the end?

No, nevertheless, diving is considered a potentially hazardous activity and if you do not already have insurance covering the risks of diving, we recommend that you take out appropriate insurance for the duration of participation in diving courses, diving in caves, caverns, ocean and other diving activities.

The most professional diving insurance agency on the market today is DAN.

Cave Ha Diving Mexico is a DAN Europe partner. At your request, we can provide you with appropriate insurance for the duration of the courses and trips, as well as for the year.

You can learn the complete list of options at the following link.


Diver Certification Equivalences

Diver Certification Equivalences

Have you ever wondered how diving training courses can be compared between diving training organizations? Are you uncertain if your “advanced diver” certification meets the dive center’s criteria for evidence?

Different terminology to say the same thing from different agencies

Although dive training organizations aim to train excellent divers, they may use different terms to convey the same message. Knowing equivalent ratings will help determine how your certification compares to other organizations. It will also inform you if you have the requirements for a course, especially if you have a certificate from one dive training organization and want to take a subsequent course with another.

Lately, we have received numerous calls and emails from individuals seeking confirmation regarding comparable ratings offered by different organizations. In response, we have created a table that outlines the equivalent ratings provided by three agencies listed under the WRSTCSDI (Scuba Diving International), SSI (Scuba Schools International), and PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors).

On the chart below, you will see every dive training organization; their certifications are listed below. You can easily compare the ratings between different dive training organizations. If a certificate is not equivalent to the other organizations, the field will display “not applicable.”

Compare diver certifications with the equivalency chart (PADI, SDI, SSI)

Skin DiverSnorkelerSnorkel Diver
Discover Scuba DiverScuba DiscoveryTRY SCUBA DIVING
Bubble MakerFuture BuddiesScuba Rangers
ReActivate™ – Scuba RefresherInactive Diver / RefresherScuba Skills Update
Not ApplicableShallow Water DiverNot Applicable
Not ApplicableSupervised DiverNot Applicable
Scuba DiverNot ApplicableScuba Diver
Open Water DiverOpen Water Scuba DiverOpen Water Diver
Not ApplicableAdvanced DiverAdvanced Open Water Diver
Rescue DiverRescue DiverDiver Stress & Rescue
Master DiverMaster DiverMaster Diver
Not ApplicableScubility DiverClassified Diver
Advanced Open Water DiverAdvanced Adventure DiverAdvanced Adventurer
Peak Performance BuoyancyAdvanced Buoyancy ControlPerfect Buoyancy
Altitude DiverAltitude DiverAltitude Diving
Aware – Fish IdentificationMarine Ecosystems Awareness DiverNot Applicable
Aware – Coral Reef Conservation DiverMarine Ecosystems Awareness DiverNot Applicable
Boat DiverBoat DiverBoat Diving
Cavern DiverTDI Cavern DiverExtended Range (XR) Cavern Diving
Multilevel DiverComputer DiverNot Applicable
Enriched Air DiverComputer Nitrox DiverEnriched Air Nitrox Diver
Deep DiverDeep DiverDeep Diving
Diver Propulsion Vehicle DiverDiver Propulsion VehicleNot Applicable
Discover RebreatherTDI Rebreather DiscoveryNot Applicable
Drift DiverDrift DiverNot Applicable
Dry Suit DiverDry Suit DiverDry Suit Diving
Equipment SpecialistEquipment SpecialistEquipment Techniques
Not ApplicableFull Face Mask DiverFFM
Ice DiverIce DiverIce Diver
Project AWARE® SpecialistMarine Ecosystems Awareness DiverEcology
Night DiverNight/Limited Visibility DiverNight & Limited Visibility
Not ApplicableResearch DiverNot Applicable
Search and Recovery DiverSearch and Recovery DiverSearch & Recovery
Not ApplicableShore/Beach DiverWaves, Tides, & Current
Sidemount DiverSidemount DiverRecreational Sidemount Diving
Self Reliant DiverSolo DiverIndependent Diver
Rebreather DiverNot ApplicableRebreather Diver
Not ApplicableUW Hunter and CollectorNot Applicable
Underwater NagivatorUW Navigation DiverNavigation
Digital Underwater PhotographyUW PhotographerUnderwater Photography
Underwater VideographerUW VideographerNot Applicable
Not ApplicableVisual Inspection ProceduresNot Applicable
Wreck DiverWreck DiverWreck Diver

All information presented in this table is current at the time of publishing. However, as organizations update their standards and introduce new courses, the information in this table may become outdated and subject to change without notice. Therefore, we recommend you refrain from copying or taking screen captures of this table, as it may not be accurate in the future.

If you haven’t been diving for an extended period, it is highly recommended that you take a refresher course. While there is no set timeframe, it is generally advised to take the approach after about a year. If that is your case, diving with a professional to refresh your knowledge and skills is still wise, even if you have already obtained certification.

Regardless of the dive training organization you choose, we hope you have a fantastic dive experience ordering our cave, cavern, and ocean guided tours or continue advancing your dive education.

If you want to discover the beauty of caverns but still need to obtain a diving certification, you can still take measures. In that case, we offer a complete set of recreational diving courses to become certified divers and join the underwater world in 3 days of intensive training.

For recreational divers who want to learn how to dive deeper and longer and take part in our technical and cave diving courses, we offer a set of all the tech diving courses from Essentials / Intro to Tech up to Full / Stage / Multistage cave courses.