Academy Requirements

Underwater Search & Rescue Academy Requirements

Thank you for your interest in joining our extraordinary team. As SCUBA divers we place a priority on fitness of body, ability, and resources for work. The following requirements apply to new applicants to our Academy program:


Candidates must be:

  • Certified as an Open Water SCUBA Diver from a nationally recognized certification agency.
  • Certified as an Advanced Open Water SCUBA Diver and/on demonstrate skills equivalent to an advanced certification:
    • Good watermanship skills
    • Good physical condition
    • Knowledge of / comfort with SCUBA and personal gear
    • Water entry / exit skills
    • Understanding / application of proper buoyancy
    • Underwater navigation ability
    • Diving technique
  • Possess a Rescue Diver Certification (may be obtained concurrent with the dive academy)
  • A resident of Ventura County or immediate vicinity.
  • A minimum of 21 years of age.
  • Possess a valid California Driver’s License.
  • Successfully pass a law enforcement background investigation conducted by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Human Resources Bureau.
  • Possess First Aid / CPR Certification (may be obtained concurrently with the Dive Academy).


  • Photocopy of Driver’s License
  • Photocopy of First Aid / CPR (or Lifeguard) Cards
  • Photocopy of SCUBA Dive Certification Card(s)
  • Signed “Liability Release and Express Assumption of Risk” form
  • A Current “Medical Statement.” This item will be reviewed and must be approved by our Dive Team’s own physician upon completion.
  • Submission of a completed Sheriff’s Office “Personal History Statement” prior to background investigation.


The following personal SCUBA diving equipment is required to be provided by each diver:

  • Plain, Unmarked, Cardinal or Cherry Red Jacket – black accents are ok
  • Bathing Suit and Towels
  • Low Profile Mask
  • Removeable Snorkel
  • Fins
  • Soft Gear Bag (for helicopter work)
  • Exposure Suit (wet or dry)
  • Hood
  • Gloves
  • Booties
  • Regulator
  • Gauges – Submersible Pressure Gauge (SPG), Underwater Compass, Dive Computer, Depth Gauge, Timing Device
  • SCUBA Cylinder (2), min. 63 cu. ft. capacity
  • Buoyancy Control Device (BCD)
  • Power Inflator
  • Alternate Air Source
  • Weight Belt (2) or Integrated Weight System, 1 each for fresh water and salt water, must have quick releases
  • Knife or Other Cutting Device such as shears, line cutters, etc. (2) with Chest or Waist Mounts
  • Signaling Device (whistle, flasher, etc.)
  • Pony Bottle with Redundant Regulator
  • Underwater Lights (3)
  • Side Cutters
  • Pelican Float
  • First Aid Kit with CPR Mask Fitted with 1-Way Valve
  • Lift Bag
  • Small Mesh Bag
  • Waterproof Decompression Tables and Worksheets
  • Save-a-Dive Kit / Spare Parts / Repair Kit
  • Slate and Pencil
  • Cellphone and Charger

Prior to the conclusion of the Training Academy all SCUBA Dive Team candidates must acquire and maintain all individual equipment necessary for conducting underwater search and rescue and recovery operations on their own time and expense. Information on what this equipment is and how to build it (when applicable) is provided in the course relating to the following:

  • “Mini Mother” with 25-30 lb. base anchor (furnished)
  • Ascending / Descending Reel (furnished)
  • Search Reel with 100 ft. min. search line
  • Perimeter Marker
  • Area Marker
  • Low Visibility Search Line (AKA “Ring Line”)
  • Wrist Bungee with Strap
  • Buddy Line
  • Double-ended Snap
  • Safety Clip
  • Full Face Mask with Communications System (furnished)