Diver registration and scuba diver safety awareness
Fathom Five National Marine Park
Thanks to the Diver Registration Program, Fathom Five offers one of the safest diving experiences in North America. Your registration fees support this safe and enhanced diving experience.
Diver Registration is available at the Parks Canada Visitor Centre 7 days a week..
Diver Registration provides divers with:
- personal contact with trained park staff about diver safety and resource protection,
- And funds the mooring float program, park infrastructure (e.g. washrooms at Tugs and Big Tub), research projects, marine emergency responses and the Tobermory Hyperbaric Facility.
Visit the fees page for updated information.
- Annual Tag (valid to March 31st the following year)
- One day wristband
All divers must register in person. To expedite this process please print and complete the diver registration form below and bring it to the Visitor Centre to register.
To accommodate larger groups we offer the pre-registration option, as well as, several other options. Please contact us at 519-596-2233 ext. 221 or firstname.lastname@example.org for information on:
- Pre/Group payment options
- Set registration times
- Information/education packages
In 2005 Parks Canada, with the help of the Ontario Underwater Council and the Tobermory Hyperbaric Facility, created new scuba diver safety guidelines for Fathom Five. Click here for a pdf version of these guidelines.
Fathom Five - Scuba Diver Safety Recommendations & Regulations
Welcome to Fathom Five and Tobermory, “Shipwreck Capital of Canada” and home to some of the best freshwater diving in the world! To help make your visit to Fathom Five more safe and enjoyable, please read the following carefully:
- Prior to diving in the Park, every diver is required to register and pay a fee at the Visitor Centre. Proceeds go towards scuba diver safety & support services and your registration is good from the date of purchase until March 31st of the following year. Proof-of-registration Tags issued are not transferable.
- All divers should be trained and certified by recognized scuba diving certification organizations (ACUC, NAUI, PADI, BSAC, CMAS, etc.). Any divers not yet certified (e.g. student divers) should dive only under the direct supervision of a Dive Master or Scuba Instructor.
- Fathom Five is classified as “cold water diving” all year-round. As such we recommend that you:
- Plan all your dives 3 meters / 10 feet deeper than your actual depth. (See the fine print on your dive tables!)
- Make allowances for and/or take adequate protection measures against factors such as hypothermia, delayed reaction times, decreased mobility due to thermal protection, stress of carrying extra weight, etc.
- Limit your depth and bottom times until such time as you become an experienced & comfortable cold water diver!
- Some of Fathom Five’s shipwrecks (e.g. the “Arabia” and the “Forest City”) pose higher safety risks due to their unusual orientation and/or greater depth, and have proportionately higher accident and fatality statistics*. These wrecks are identified in Fathom Five’s “Diving Guide” brochure with a symbol. We recommend that you dive on these shipwrecks only if you meet all of the following four (4) considerations:
- You hold a minimum certification level of Advanced Open Water Scuba Diver (or equivalent) AND
- You have recent (within 90 days) experience diving deep (>25 meters / 80 feet) in cold water ( OR you will be accompanied by a Dive Master or Instructor who does have recent deep cold water diving experience ,) AND
- You factor in safety margins appropriate to your age, health, and physical & psychological fitness to dive, AND
- You have all the appropriate equipment and it is all in excellent working order.
*Available for viewing on request at the Registration Desk.
- Always dive with a certified Buddy. Always perform a Buddy Check. Dive only as a member of a 2-diver team. Never dive alone or as a member of an odd-numbered diver team.
- You must prominently display the red-and-white dive flag at all times when you are in the water (so that boaters can see you). While at the surface, you should stay within touching distance of your flag. If a boat is directly approaching you, DO NOT ASSUME THE OPERATOR CAN SEE YOU! We recommend that you descend as quickly and safely as possible to a depth of 3 meters / 10 feet and not resurface again until the boat has safely passed or stopped!
- If you are diving from a boat, the boat must display the internationally-recognized blue-and-white “Alpha” Dive Flag at all times when divers are in the water. At least one responsible person must be left on board when the boat is anchored or moored. Never leave a boat unattended.
- Diving inside vessel channels, docking areas, or inner harbour areas, is strictly prohibited.
- Diving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is unsafe and may have disastrous consequences on your life.
- Only properly equipped, trained, and prepared divers should engage in night diving. Each diver should be equipped with a primary underwater light, a back-up underwater light, and a tank-light.
IN THE EVENT OF A DIVE EMERGENCY CALL 911
Fathom Five - Scuba Diver Self-Evaluation
- Do I have the training and experience to safely complete this dive today?
- What is my physical condition today… does my fitness level match these cold water dive plans?
- Am I feeling mentally prepared and confident about this dive?
- Am I taking any prescription drugs or other medications? Am I aware of the physiological / psychological effects of these drugs on my body / mind when diving?
- If I have a pre-existing medical condition, do I know how this dive will affect it and what effects will this have on my diving ability?
- Has all my equipment been serviced for this season… especially my regulator?
- Do I have the right thermal protection for diving in Fathom Five’s cold water conditions? Am I mentally prepared for the reduced flexibility / manoeuvrability that this additional thermal protection might result in?
- Am I prepared to deal with any additional weighting that this additional thermal protection might require?
- Am I prepared (mentally & equipment-wise) for Fathom Five’s lower ambient light conditions at depth?
- In the event that I (or my buddy) have an out-of-air emergency in Fathom Five, will we both be able to perform the necessary basic skills effectively?
If you have any concerns about these points, we strongly recommend that you reconsider your dive plans, or factor in extra safety margins.
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