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by Dillon Waters

“Next in line please. Next. NEXT!!!”

The person behind you in line taps your shoulder just as you realize the angry looking woman in the light blue button up shirt is waving you through the body scanner. Your mind is several thousand miles away, but who could blame you, in less than 24 hours you will be checking into a hotel at your favorite dive destination.  As you make it through the TSA security check and start to gather your things, you quickly check your wallet, and your heart sinks. Your C-Card isn’t there, now your entire trip is ruined. Or is it?

Applying something you have previously learned during your scuba training will help you in resolving this dilemma you are now facing, along with many other issues you will face in life. Stop, Think, and Act.


Once you have realized you have an issue, the missing C-Cards, the first step you can take is simple. Stop for a moment, breathe, relax and remember that for each problem there is a solution.


Now that you’ve taken a few moments to gather yourself it is time for the most important step, to think. Think about what your instructor told you during the last scuba course you took, or think back to this article and what you read. When you’re done thinking, you should have come up with a minimum of two solutions for the problem just in case one doesn’t work as planned. Listed below are two quick and easy solutions for your problem, but being the problem solvers that we are as divers there are bound to be many more. (If you have another solution, or have dealt with this before, please share how you solved it in the comment section below. As divers, we must remember the best way to advance our sport is through sharing information amongst one another.)

Option 1: As a SDI/TDI/ERDI diver you have access to a digital C-Card available for download at Once you log into your user profile on our website the option to download any certification card you’ve earned is available anywhere your mobile devices have access to the internet. Just click the “Digital C-Cards” tab on the left side of the screen and choose which card you would like to download or even screenshot. The .pdf file will save to your phone and will be available to you whether you have cellular service or not at your destination.

Option 2: Once you arrive at the dive location, have the shop which you are using for your diving services look up your certification through the “Diver Certification Search” on Once on the website click the Certification Cards tab at the top of the home page. Then provide the dive shop with your first and last name, as well as your date of birth, and each of your earned certifications will show on screen after the search button is clicked. If there is any question about the certification, they call always call World HQ during business hours to verify as well.


After you’re finished thinking it is time to act. Start with Option 1 and make your way down your list of solutions until you find the one that works best for you.

Now you have everything you need to go enjoy your vacation, and you now have the knowledge to solve this problem should it ever arise again in the future.

When you return from your trip it may be wise to order a replacement or even a second C-Card to keep with your travel gear or passport to avoid these situations. Swing by your local SDI Dive Facility and ask them to print you one on their card printer, or call World HQ and have a replacement card shipped directly to your door.  As always dive smart, dive safe, and dive often. Scuba is still cheaper than therapy, and blowing bubbles is fun!

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