No, this course does not advocate nor promote in any way solo scuba diving! Rather, it is an important educational and skill development course which builds upon most of the benefits of the Buddy System while recognizing that there may be circumstances when a diver's Buddy has;
The Buddy System: Diving with a Dive Buddy or Dive Team remains PADI's highly recommended and safest manner of scuba diving whenever and wherever possible.
All certified divers holding Advanced Open Water Diver Certifications or higher, having logged a minimum of 100 dives, and being 18 years of age or older are eligible to take the PADI Self-Reliant Diver Distinctive Specialty Course.
Students must first undergo a "skills assessment" in order to demonstrate a high level of proficiency in basic scuba abilities such as buoyancy and other basic skills learned in the PADI Open Water Diver courses. The course requires that students have an alternative air supply in the form of a pony bottle capable of providing air for the student for a minimum period of two minutes while swimming at depth. Several "redundant" pieces of basic scuba equipment are required in addition to a reel for inflating a lift bag or delayed surface marker buoy (DSMB).
Certification requires the completion of several skills to be performed during three open water dives as well as the completion of a Knowledge Review following a Knowledge Presentation and Discussion session.
Learn how to determine your gas consumption rate and how to use it to plan your dives as well as gas cylinder size and pressure requirements.