Maximum Diving Depth in the Maldives

02 Jul 2018

The Maldives is world-renowned as a top scuba diving destination and with the variety of marine life to see and varied dive sites it’s not surprising. There are colourful reef fish, manta rays, sharks and turtles all showcased amidst stunning reef formations – but what else makes the Maldives a great choice for a diving holiday? Another important consideration is diver safety, and despite the remote location of the islands, the country enjoys an excellent safety record for recreational diving – partly due to the rule about the maximum diving depth.

Maximum depth for all diving activities in the Maldives is 30 meters. This applies to any diver with a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver certification or equivalent, even those with deep diving or technical diving certifications. Divers with entry-level certifications such as the PADI Open Water Diver are limited to 20 meters or less, depending on the depth stated by their training agency.

The 30 meter maximum depth rule helps to prevent divers from experiencing debilitating effects of nitrogen narcosis, it allows for longer dives as gas in the tank lasts longer at shallower depths. Primarily though, the depth allows for no decompression diving, the No Decompression Limit (NDL) reduces very quickly at greater depths and according to the Ministry of Tourism rules, all diving in the Maldives has to be non-decompression diving. The occurrence of accidents greatly increases with decompression diving and specialist equipment should be used. The 30m. limit fits very nicely with the nitrox divers – the popular blend of EAN32 (almost standard at Kuredu) has a maximum operating depth of 30m – any deeper and the partial pressure of the oxygen would become a danger.

There really isn’t any need to dive deeper than 30 meters in the Maldives; the dive sites are at their best at shallower depths, that’s where most of the life and colour can be found. Even the deeper sites such as channel edges can be dived at 30m or less.
Divers wishing to extend their diving skills and learn how to dive safely at depths to 30 meters should consider the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course – get qualified to dive below 20 meters.