You could become a PADI Wreck Detective with the distinctive speciality written by the Nautical Archaeology Society, to help you enjoy wreck dives even more.

Have you ever sat on the boat after a dive and felt like you must have been swimming round a different site to everyone else? Do you struggle to work out the bow from the stern, never mind all of the features in between?

If so then this is the course for you.

Becoming a Wreck Detective will open your eyes to the common features found on both metal and wooden shipwrecks, key identifiers to look out for and what to do next if you would like to find out more about a particular wreck site.

The course is ideal for anyone who is interested in wrecks but doesn't wanted to go inside one or be in an overhead environment. 


The Fun Part 
Discovery is just the beginning, by the end of this course you will have the skills to identify what kind of shipwreck you are investigating and will be able to recognise some of its key features.  

Diving on wrecks appeals to most divers and whether it is your first or your hundredth dive on a wreck, the dive will be a challenge as you investigate what it is you are looking at. Wrecks are historic time capsules that are just waiting to be explored and their story unravelled.

In a video shot exclusively for, Jeff  Goodman joins Atlantic Scuba in Falmouth, Cornwall for the PADI Wreck Detective Course.


Wrecks can be a range of sites from ships to aircraft, cars, trains and even tanks. These sites will range from those open to novice explorers to those which are only accessible by the most experienced technical divers. 

The goal of this course is to teach student divers to become Wreck Detectives. By exploring and understanding the wreck sites that divers love to visit, student divers will develop their knowledge and techniques involved in investigating a wreck site while diving within recreational limits. While this course focuses on the wrecks divers visit students should also be aware of the marine life that lives on and around these sites.


The best way to learn how to become a Wreck Detective is by doing it. This course philosophy therefore, expands student diver knowledge about wreck sites, limitations and laws, key features of wreck sites, diving equipment required and what to do with the information you collect. Student divers will apply the knowledge they gain by reading the Wreck Detective Student Manual and on two open water dives practicing and demonstrating the practical aspects of this course.


What You’ll Learn
• Expands student diver knowledge regarding wreck sites
• Understand wreck dive site limitations and laws
• Develop skills to recognise key features of common wreck sites
• Wreck identification and information gathering
• Experience in planning, organising and making at least two wreck dives under the supervision of your DM Scuba Instructor


Your Next Adventure
Many shipwrecks are often found in deeper water. That’s why the NAS Wreck Detective course is a natural companion to the PADI Wreck Diver and PADI Deep Diver course.

Other training to consider is the PADI Enriched Air Diver course to extend your bottom time or the PADI Boat Diver course on your way to PADI Master Scuba Diver.


Some of our Wreck Detective Approved Dive Centers

Atlantic Scuba, Penryn, UK

Dive World, Sheffield, UK

AquaTechnique, Leicester, UK

DM Scuba, Bristol/Bath, UK

Immerse School of Diving, Telford, UK

Confederation Divers, Canada

Pro Sport Divers, South Africa

Acquatica, Italy

ScubaMaster, Fujairah, UAE


Use the map below to search for approved PADI Wreck Detective Instructors and Centres


Want to become a Wreck Detective Instructor?

There are two ways a PADI Instructor can become qualified to teach this speciality course.

  1. You can attend a course with a PADI Course Director who is qualified to teach the course (At the moment we do not have many Course Directors who are able to teach this course – please see list of instructors for full details).
  2. You can apply to us and then to PADI directly.

If you are not based in the UK or nowhere near a Course Director we would recommend you apply through us.

To apply through us and then PADI, you must first have to submit to us a copy of their CV, wreck diving experience, a completed NAS approved instructor application form (below) and any other supporting information as to why you would be suitable to teach this course.  You must also submit proof that they are an ‘in status’ PADI Instructor. 


The instructor application forms (in MS Word and Adobe pdf) can be found below.

Wreck Detective Instructor Application - Word version

Wreck Detective Instructor Application - pdf version

If you have questions please feel to contact us on [email protected]