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College of Arts & Sciences
Maritime Research Division

2016 Volunteer Diver Requirements

By Nate Fulmer, MRD

Becoming a volunteer diver with the Maritime Research division is a great way to take an active role in preserving South Carolina maritime history. The 2016 field season is almost upon us, and there may be a couple of opportunities to get wet with us this year, so now is a good time for prospective volunteer divers to start the application process.  Diving in South Carolina waters can be quite challenging, so the Division must ensure each potential volunteer is healthy and prepared with the skills necessary to conduct themselves in a safe and professional manner while in the water with us.

To qualify as a volunteer diver with the Division, you must meet the following minimum requirements:

1) You must be a certified diver with a recognized accrediting agency

2) You must have black water/low visibility experience

3) You must be First Aid/CPR and O2 certified

4) You must have passed a physical in the last 3 years (within 2 years for over 60 years of age)

5) You must have primary health insurance as well as supplemental diving insurance

In addition to copies of your certification cards, medical dive clearance, and proof of insurance, each volunteer applicant must complete a Diving Resume, Medical Statement, and a Liability Waiver each year to participate on our field projects.   Even if you've volunteered in the past these forms must be updated with us on an annual basis to maintain eligibility to dive with us   All three forms may be downloaded on our Volunteer Oportunities page.  

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your volunteer diver status for the 2016 field season, please contact me at (843) 762-6105 or email

The Maritime Research Division also offers non-divers opportunities to participate in maritime archaeology projects as volunteers.  Volunteers assist in all aspects of projects, including surveying tasks, hull documentation, and artifact cataloging. Under the supervision of Division staff, volunteers have also conducted local underwater archaeology projects, given lectures and presentations, as well as produced project reports.  For more information on some of these volunteer projects, please visit our Avocational Projects page.  We also use volunteers for many of our education and outreach initiatives, from setting up for courses to being a part of public events to promote South Carolina maritime heritage.   For any questions about non-diving volunteer opportunities, feel free to contact us at