PADI SMB Distinctive Specialty

A DSMB (Delayed Surface Marker Buoy) is an essential item of equipment for any diver, serving a dual purpose of warning passing seagoing traffic that you are underwater, near to, or about to surface and it will also help your dive boat locate you, especially if you happen to surface some distance away from the dive boat. It also will increase your visibility as a diver on the surface is difficult to locate in all but the slightest of swells.

Now days most dive boat operators insist that at the very least each buddy pair carry a DSMB, ideally each diver should have their own for several very good reasons including that you will have a backup in case the first DSMB you and your buddy launch breaks away or is otherwise lost during or after deployment, and that you both can deploy a DSMB if you and your buddy have to surface after becoming separated underwater.

Like all dive equipment, improper use could put your lives in danger instead of helping to preserve them. Therefore it is important that you learn all the skills and techniques which will help you to use Surface Marker Buoys in a safe and confident manner.

This SMB Distinctive Specialty covers all the essential knowledge and techniques, so that you will know when and how to safely deploy your DSMB, you will have the opportunity to practice under the direct supervision of an experienced PADI instructor.

Course Overview

Theory session – covering the uses and benefits of both the DSMB (Delayed Surface marker Buoy) and SMB (Surface Marker Buoy), includes the safe use in the water and different equipment options.

Open Water Dives – this is a minimum of two dives during which you will deploy a DSMB and continue with its use throughout the dive.


The use of SMB and DSMB equipment, rental of suitable scuba equipment if required, and PADI Certification, as usual any entry costs to the dive sites used in the open water section of this course are not included.