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Have you ever stood at the edge of the ocean and thought, “I wish I could just have fun playing in the surf and not be so scared of it…?”.

Have you ever had a near-drowning experience and been unable to get past the fear…?

Or are you simply new to aquatic environments and would like to build your confidence from the bottom up...?

The Basic Watermanship Programme was designed specifically to address these needs - to help people overcome their fears and get into the ocean with a big smile on their face!


Course Overview

The BWP is designed to give students the skills, knowledge and confidence to safely and confidently enjoy ocean environments. Whether it be deep ocean drop offs, open surf beaches or rocky points, this programme provides the key foundations needed to get you into more aquatic adventures.

The BWP uses the following phrase as a stepping-off point: Irrational fear can render a person useless and lead to dangerous situations. With knowledge and skills this irrational fear is removed.

The programme begins with a series of theory-based lectures aimed at giving students the understanding of why we do things and how the body reacts to certain situations.

This is followed by fun, challenging and realistic confined-water training which is tailored to individual experience and local beach conditions. 

Practical training covers areas such as:

  • Breath Hold

  • Swimming in the surf

  • Marine environment hazard identification

  • Ocean preparedness

  • Sea Survival

  • First aid and Rescue

  • Panic and Fear Management

course length

1 day.

Who is this course for...?

This course is suitable for beginner-level watermen, waterwomen and watergrommets. Typically, we specify that BWP students have less than 5 years experience in any ocean discipline. 



Starting from AU$300 (excluding GST)

Minimum standards

Students must be able to swim and be medically fit (see below).

Minimum age is 16.

To obtain the Basic Waterman certification, students must:

  • Pass a theory test with a score of at least 80%

  • Perform a static apnea of at least 1’45”

  • Perform a dynamic-no-fins underwater swim of 25 m

  • Complete a 200m swim in under 8min

  • Correctly demonstrate survival swimming techniques

  • Perform a black out rescue on the surface

  • Tread water for 5mins (without wetsuit)


  • Freediving mask and Flotation aids

what to bring

  • Towel

  • Wetsuit (board shorts/bikini/swimsuit minimum)

  • Water

  • Lunch and snacks

  • Zink/sunscreen

  • Pen and notepad

  • Lunch

Medical Fitness

You will be asked to complete a medical declaration as part of your course registration. Unless you suffer a medical condition that is a contradiction to watermanship training, you will not be required to complete a medical examination.

Students with contradicting medical conditions, however, will be required to undergo a Dive Medical that meets the Australian Standard 4005.1. We require documentation of this prior to course participation.

Medical conditions that are of concern to watermanship training are: lung conditions, heart conditions, epilepsy, diabetes, any ear problems or any other major medical conditions. 

If you are in any doubt regarding your medical eligibility please don’t hesitate to contact One Ocean International.

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