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Level 4










For some watermen and women, it's all about pushing the limits: surfing the biggest waves, diving as deep as they can, windsurfing the most challenging conditions, shooting deep in the takeoff zone or paddling massive open-ocean distances. 

The Level 4 Watermanship Programme was developed for this elite group of athletes: those who want (and need) to be pushed to the limits, to be challenged both physically and mentally and to be moulded into the most complete waterman or waterwoman they can be.

This is THE tip of the spear - an uncompromising programme of challenge, discovery and development without peer.


Course Overview

The Level 4 Programme is a 12-18 month undertaking with simple goals: to motivate and challenge students in every way. This is a no-compromise, intense course designed to fine-tune existing watermanship skills, push students well-beyond perceived limits of endurance, develop techniques of deep incident analysis and explore the reactions of the human body in the most stressful situations.

Students will be asked to make a significant commitment of time and energy in order to complete this programme, including a minimum of four (4) intense training days.

There is a significant online component to this course, including academic reading, scientific (biology and pathophysiology) discussion and required tasks. Students will also be asked to demonstrate their understanding and application of topics by training new watermen and women.

To ensure students are receiving the highest quality and broadest training, each Level 4 Programme includes expert tuition from guest instructors who are  specialists in their field. We draw on experts from many varied fields for this, including: medicine, freediving, psychology, professional life saving, big wave surfing, spearfishing and even the Emergency and Armed Services. 

Depending on the discipline and student requirements, practical training may cover areas such as:

  • Level 4 Apnea Techniques

  • Advanced Depth Training Techniques

  • Advanced Equalisation Techniques

  • Streamlining and Technical Work

  • Level 4 Anatomy & Physiology 

  • Respiratory assessment & Lung Volume assessment

  • High Heart Rate situations

  • Advanced Hold Down Techniques

  • Hold Down Techniques

  • Advanced Spearfishing and Hunting Techniques

  • White Water Swimming

  • Advanced Long Distance Swimming Techniques

  • Discipline-specific Training Principals

  • Level 4 Mental Focus Techniques

  • Advanced Sea Survival

  • Yoga and Martial Arts for Heavy Water Training

  • Planning and Preparedness

  • First Aid and Rescue

  • Panic and Fear Management

  • Advanced Jet Ski water safety

  • Advanced Equipment Planning and Preparedness in Practice

  • Panic and Fear Management

  • Leadership

course length

12-18 months.

Who is this course for...?

This course is suitable for expert level watermen and waterwomen who want to challenge their skills and knowledge in the most dynamic setting. Typically, we specify that Level 4 students have greater than 10 years experience in ocean environments and all applicants must have completed Levels 1,2 and 3 Watermanship Programmes

Freediving students can complete Apnea Level 3 on this programme.

Graduates of this programme may also be considered for employment with One Ocean International as Watermanship Instructors



Starting from AU$2200 (excluding GST)

Minimum standards

The Level 4 Watermanship Programme is available by application onlu.

It has a set of minimum entry standards that applicants must meet before being considered for the programme.

These standards are:

  • Applicants must be minimum 18 years old.

  • Applicants must have successfully completed Levels 1,2 and 3 Watermanship Programmes.

  • Applicants must have an adequate athlete profile (ability, prior training, fitness and knowledge), at the discretion of One Ocean International.

  • Applicants must be medically fit (see below).

  • Applicants must hold a valid recreational skippers ticket (WA or equivalent) and a minimum of 50 hours of PWC use.

  • Applicants must be able to complete a 2km unassisted ocean swim.

  • Applicants must hold a valid Remote Area First Aid Certificate prior to completion of programme.

To obtain the Level 4 Watermanship Programme certification, the candidate must:

  1. Complete the pre course registration and online learning package.

  2. Pass a theory exam with a score of at least 80%

  3. Display a high level of competence in the following:

    • All aspects of operating as a Safety Diver +/or PWC Water Safety Professional

    • Long Distance Swimming Techniques

    • Equipment selection and maintenance

    • Expedition Preparedness and Planning

    • Team Leadership

    • Radio Communication techniques

    • Watermanship Instruction

  4. Perform the following:

    • ​A static apnea of at least 5'00"

    • A dynamic apnea of at least 125 meters

    • A dynamic-no-fins apnea of at least 75 meters

    • A constant weight dive to at least 30 meters

    • A constant weight dive (no fins) to at least 20 meters

    • An unconscious diver rescue from 15m, and perform a Black Out Rescue on the surface

    • An underwater disorientation drill of at least 1'30"

    • No-Fins CO2 Ocean Training in pairs for a minimum of 30'00"

    • A Drown Proofing drill with no mask and no wetsuit of minimum 12'00"

    • A High Heart Rate Dive Reflex Activation drill in under 5'00"

    • A 1km pool swim in under 20'00"

    • A Run / Swim / Tow Drill (800m/400m/100m) for a minimum of 30'00"

    • A Coopers Test (no fins) Swim drill for a minimum of 12'00'

    • A 2km Ocean Swim in under 50'00"


  • Freediving mask and flotation aids (if required)

what to bring

  • Towel

  • Wetsuit (board shorts/bikini/swimsuit minimum)

  • Mask and snorkel

  • 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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