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September 2001 Vol. 16, No. 9   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Cayman Rules

from the September, 2001 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

The Cayman Islands Watersports Operators Association dictates to its membership how deep tourist divers may dive. Its policy is: “The recommended maximum depth limit with SCUBA customers is 100 feet. The required maximum depth limit with SCUBA customers is 110 feet. ”

The CIWOA is a voluntary association — not a government organization — to which nearly all the major dive operators belong. Its rules, as least those posted on its website at, don’t specify time limits for second dives, the number of dives, nor the surface interval, but they do prohibit decompression diving. The depth rule was developed before computers to ensure safe diving.

The depth limit is not necessarily problematical. Time limits that don’t account for computers are. Nevertheless, virtually all the operators on Grand Cayman set depth and time limits: 100 feet for 30 minutes, then 60 feet for 40 minutes. Many computer divers, especially photographers, feel ripped off by such restrictions. But, you get back at a pre-agreed time, so you and the divemasters can sit down for lunch — and the boat can be turned around for the afternoon dive.

So, if you want an operator that gives you more bottom time, refer to the Travelin’ Diver’s Chapbook to see who fudges a bit, then see what they tell you via e-mail or phone. Some to consider include the Cayman Diving Lodge, DiveTech, Dive’n Stuff, Cayman Marine Lab and Red Baron. On Little Cayman, the Southern Cross Club and Pirates Point. And, of course, the Cayman Aggressor.

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