Delayed Surface Marker Buoy (DSMB): PADI

Delayed Surface Marker Buoy (DSMB): PADI

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PADI Delayed Surface Marker Buoy (DSMB)

Be Seen Be Spotted, dive safely

So why do you need a course to use a Surface Marker Buoy?

There are lots of reasons. As many instructors will tell you, the deployment and use of a Surface Marker Buoy can be tricky. Using it incorrectly can lead to accidents.

​But at the same time, SMB's are a valuable piece of advanced diving equipment that provides a vertical reference line during open-water ascents. They also provide a visual surface reference for a diver’s location, which is invaluable to your boat skipper and a vital staging point for completing decompression and safety stops.

This Speciality certification counts as one of the five Speciality certifications required for your Master Scuba Diver certification.

Course Overview

A highly practical course where you will learn about the different types of SMB and the differences between them.  Learning and practising deployment whilst using each of the different types and different types of reels.

You will also learn how to resolve potential issues that can occur underwater allowing you and your buddy to remain safe.

All of this is to allow you to assess which combination of Reel and SMB works for you and how to configure it in conjunction with your existing dive equipment whilst maintaining trim and buoyancy.

What do I need to Start?

  • Be a PADI Open Water Diver (or equivalent certification from another organisation)
  • At least 12 years old
  • Mask / Snorkel and Dive Computer

What will I do?

Open Water Dives: Two Dives

  • Learn how to prepare the different SMB's and the different ways to configure them.
  • Learn how to configure your dive equipment to accommodate carrying them without affecting your trim and streamlining
  • Learn the different methods of deploying each SMB previously discussed
  • You will learn and practise single person and two person deployment in normal diving scenario's
  • Discuss the risks and hazards of deploying (and maybe experience them)
  • Discuss the effects of tides and currents and impact to deploying your SMB

How long does it take?

Theory Session, followed by 2 Dives over one day in open water

What do I need to know?

We loan you various SMB's and Reels for you to practise and use during your training with us.

If you have your own DSMB & Reel then make sure you bring them along, you can use yours to gain confidence in your own equipment. ​

If you do not yet own other pieces of dive equipment like Drysuit and Baselayers we will provide if you are the holder of a Drysuit Speciality

Any Other Costs?

Entrance fees for open water site and personal travel costs.

What is Next?

  1. Join our Dive Club

  2. Come diving

  3. Go Diving 

  4. Gain five PADI Specialities and apply to become a PADI Master Scuba Diver

Prior to any Diver training course students need to complete a Mandatory Medical Questionaire.

Please ensure that you have read the Medical Statement and are sure that you will be able to commence any diver training PRIOR to paying as our Training Terms Conditions apply after payment has been made.

A doctor's confirmation of fitness to dive is required if you answer YES to any medical condition on the Medical Statement.

You can check out the Medical Statement here:

PADI Courses:

PADI Medical Statement

SSI Courses:

SSI Medical Statement

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Our team of highly experienced instructors will be on hand to guide you through every step of the way, and to make sure you have a safe and enjoyable diving experience.

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Don't take our word for it


I cannot rate Dive Rutland high enough. Tracey, Bridget and all the team have shown me unending patience and understanding and I have got my open water certification. Thank you to you all for sharing your knowledge and tips. Can't wait to start my next course.

Carrie Spence

Northampton, UK


We are lucky to have a top notch Dive school on our doorstep in the form of Dive Rutland, My thanks to Bridget my instructor for her endless enthusiasm both in the theory and the practical applications of diving. Then to Tracey again for your skill and excellent support and for putting together a great community of divers who have helped and supported us.

Trikes of Bytham

Bytham, UK


Friendly, professional and committed to ensuring you get the best diving training and diving experiences, whilst upholding the highest of standards. Tracey and her team offer everything you need from newbie to experienced diver. Highly recommended.

Joanna Aitkens

Leicester, UK