COVID-19 Dive & Boat Resources

The UCSB Diving & Boating Safety Program has responded to the current COVID-19 pandemic and is working to help ensure that any scientific diving and boating can be conducted as safely as possible, while continuing to uphold scientific diving & boating safety standards.  At this time in order to participate in research diving and boating, a research project must complete the following:

  • Receive approval from the Office of Research
  • Receive approval of the dive and/or boat plan from the Diving and Boating Safety Officer (DBSO)
  • Adherence to the current COVID-19 Scientific Diving & Boating guidelines in addition to all other UCSB Dive and Boat Safety requirements.
  • All divers and boaters must get direct approval from the DBSO before joining an approved project

Specific procedures will be determined for each plan but as a general rule of thumb, UCSB scientific boaters and divers should always remember: 

Clean / Distancing / Cover 

Clean:  Clean and disinfect any shared surfaces or equipment and wash hands frequently. 

Distancing:  Practice current social distancing recommendations (min of 6ft).  

Cover:  Cover mouth and nose with a face covering anytime social distancing might be difficult to maintain.  The use of gloves or eyewear / eye protection is at the discretion of the individual unless required when using a disinfectant or by university policy. 

Additional information concerning CDC's current cleaning, distancing and face-covering guidelines available on their website

NOTE: Per our standards, a diver or boater has the right to refuse a dive or boat related activity without fear of penalty if s/he feels the conditions are unsafe or unfavorable or the operation violates the precepts of their training or the regulations of UCSB's Diving and Boating Safety Program.  Also, each team member should be asymptomatic for at least 2 weeks prior to field day and will not participate should they feel ill or have reasonable cause to believe they have been exposed to COVID-19.

UCSB COVID-19 Guidelines for scientific diving and boating, as well as sanitation protocols are available in the documents section.  Additional information and useful links concerning the Dive and Boat Safety Program, equipment and supplemental training are available below:

Hands-on Training

  • All hands-on related training associated with the Dive and Boat Safety has been suspended until further notice.  This includes the Dive Safety Scientific Diver Course, CPR/O2/First Aid training & our check-out/refresher dives.   Additional info is available below. 

Diver Emergency Management (CPR/O2/1stAid) Training 

SCUBA Equipment

  • Each diver must only handle, test and clean his/her own SCUBA equipment. 
  • Divers must prep their own SCUBA gear in a predetermined "diver zone" on the boat or at the dive site to help ensure appropriate social distancing is maintained.   A mask defogger solution, not spit from a diver, should be used if mask defogging prep is required before a dive.
  • During pre-dive checks, divers must not breathe from their own secondary second stage (octopus). Pre-dive functional testing must be accomplished via depressing the purge and listening for free flows.
  • All regulators must have an octopus second stage, not an Air 2 or Air Source, since auxiliary second stages integrated into a BC inflator require the sharing of a regulator in an out-of-air situation.  Contact the Dive Safety Officer concerning a short-term loan of an octopus second stage or to purchase a new octopus and hose for about $90.
  • Please contact the Dive Safety Officer concerning gear inspections.  Regulators requiring servicing will need this completed by a dive shop prior to scheduling an inspection.
  • The following shops are offering regulator overhaul services and additional information is available in the documents section:

Cleaning and Disinfection of Shared Surfaces, Equipment and SCUBA Gear

  • SCUBA gear should not be rinsed in a shared container or tub.  
  • Shared surfaces, equipment and SCUBA gear (masks / snorkels/ wetsuits/ BCDs/ Regs) are required to be cleaned, disinfected and dried before use.  Any disinfecting product used should be on the EPA's "N-List."
  • Some liquid disinfectants to consider for SCUBA gear include: 
    • Envirocleanse-A 
    • Simple Green D Pro 5
  • CDC's and DAN's websites have additional information concerning disinfection techniques and considerations.  
  • Diver's Alert Network has a video on Disinfecting SCUBA gear as part of their COVID-19 Webinar Series.

Health and Dive Physicals

  • A diver must be re-evaluated by a physician prior to using SCUBA following any significant injury, illness, including COVID-19 related, or possible contraindications to SCUBA diving.
  • Contact UCSB's Student Health to determine if they are taking appointments for diver physicals (for UCSB undergraduates and graduate students).

eLearning Resources