Scuba Diving at Hart Springs

 

General Diving Rules:

No diver training shall be conducted within the Hart Springs Cave.

No Diver Propulsion Vehicles (DPVs/Scooters) are permitted. (Exception provided for guides performing cave maintenance.)

No solo diving is allowed; all divers shall enter and exit the cave together with the exception of in-water decompression.

No collection of artifacts or fossils is permitted.

All Guest Divers must complete the approved Hart Springs Waiver and Release of Liability, and the Statement of Understanding/ Acknowledgment of Rules and Responsibilities.

All Guest Divers must be accompanied by an approved Active Guide on all dives that make sure of the Black Lagoon.  A Guide is not required to enter/exit using Little Hart Spring.

Guided Dive teams shall be limited to two Guest Divers and one Active Guide; provided that there may be an additional diver if that diver is experienced with the cave system.

Guides shall assure that proper check-in/check-out procedures are adhered to and check necessary diver credentials. A Credentials Confirmation for the Guest Diver shall be completed by the Guide.

Guides shall have the right to deny access to individuals or terminate dive activities as needed; Guides shall have final judgment and discretion. Guest Divers also have the right to terminate any dive at any time.

Guides shall have an emergency procedures and contacts list.

Guides shall make sure that all Guest Divers have left the Black Lagoon site area after diving activities are complete.

ACTIVE GUIDES:

Cave Diver Rating (“Full” Cave) or higher.

Recognized cave diving experience award (100+ cave dives) or equivalent experience.

DAN insurance or equivalent.

Guides will list Hart Springs Park, Gilchrist BOCC, etc. on any leadership insurance that they may be carrying.

Active Guides must guide at least 2 times per year to maintain guide status, or be reviewed by the Guides Committee if less.

Guides will volunteer one day per year in support of the Guide Program or Hart Springs Park.

Minimum of 10 dives into the system before becoming a Guide. Minimum of 2 dives into the downstream portion of the system.

Current CPR rating.

Review and approval of Guides Committee, with final OK by Advisory Board.

All Guides must complete the approved Hart Springs General Release and Waiver of Liability Agreement to be kept on file.

Note: Divers that meet the eligibility to become a guide can dive, but choose not to become a guide, may dive with other equally qualified divers.

GUEST DIVERS MUST MEET THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS

Cave Diver Rating (“Full” Cave) or higher.

DAN insurance or equivalent.

Recognized cave diving experience award (100+ cave dives) or equivalent experience.

Guides may take cave divers with less than 100 cave dives in Little Hart only. This exception requires approval from Park Management.

 

ACCESS PROCEDURES

You must select and contact a guide to make sure they are available for your desired diving date & time.

To contact a Diver guide please contact Hart Springs Park. 

The guide will refer you to the Hart Springs website to review the rules & policies.

Verbal contact will be established between you and the guide.

The guide will verify the cave availability (Park Access and Conditions).

The guide will make a courtesy call to Hart Springs to notify them of your scheduled date and time.

The guide will meet you at an appropriate location in Hart Springs.

The guide will check and verify your credentials including rating, DAN insurance or equivalent, and proof of experience.

You will verify that all credentials and waivers are up to date with Park Staff. 

The guide will supervise your completion of the waiver and other forms.

The guide will now conduct the dive with you. The guide will make sure any gates (if used) are locked and secure.

The guide will coordinate a safe entry and exit plan for all teams if more than one team is present.

The guide will follow established check-out procedures upon completion of the dive.

The guide will report any problems, line damage, injuries, or other incidents to the Gilchrist County Diving Advisory Board.