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The Recreational Standard Dress Course with OLYMPUS DIVE CENTER

The Recreational Standard Dress course is an exciting adventure into a revival of “Standard Dress” or “Classic Diving” from days gone by. This is neither a commercial diving course nor a replacement for SCUBA diving’s ecologically friendly approach to exploring the underwater world. This old gear was meant for working underwater.

Standard Dress Land photo

The Fun Part

The intent is to keep diving this wonderful old style “heavy metal” Mark V hard hat gear safely.  This is the same gear as seen in the movie “Men of Honor” starring Cuba Gooding Jr. as the real-life Carl Brashear. The Recreational Standard Dress Diver course is a bit of history, it includes a lot of the “why” things were done a century ago and hopefully we won’t be the last generation seeing and using these historic artifacts.  During the class we do our best to keep it all as historically accurate as possible.

There will be a photographer in the water making pictures and videos of your dives.

What you will learn

We include training in all the surface positions with the understanding those on the surface hold the diver’s life in their hands. There is pre and post dive maintenance, storage tip for those that have their own gear.

The open water course and includes written evaluations, a final exam, repeatable buoyancy skills in the Mk V gear and a target bottom time of 2 hours.


To participate in the course, you must be a certified SCUBA diver with at least 20 dives.  Any higher level is a great advantage, and Dry Suit Specialty the most helpful.

The Gear you use:

 In the course and during the dives, you will use the US Navy Mk V (Mark Five) helmets, rubberized canvas dry suits similar to what the Navy used and of course the 50-pound weight belt and the shoes at 12 pounds each. While it is heavy, once in the water the suit becomes a huge BCD and will take most of the weight off you.

Course price includes:

 5 Day course, use of all gear (supplied by the instruction team), certification fees, red watch cap with the DESCO logo, challenge coin, training manual, a DVD with the referenced material and tee shirt.

 Price: $1,200/person.  Class size is limited to 7 students.

Location: Vortex Springs, Florida

Stay at the Vortex Springs Treasure Chest bunk house, including three meals a day for $100 per person per day. 

For more information or to schedule your Recreational Standard Dress class, please contact Olympus Dive Center at (252)726-9432.

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