Illinois is most well-known for its metropolis, Chicago. However, due to its proximity to Lake Michigan and many other lakes, Illinois is a great state for scuba diving. In addition to Lake Michigan in general, some of the more popular dive sites in Illinois include Haigh Quarry, Pearl Lake, and the wreck of the Rotarian. Access at some dive sites may be restricted, or may require a diver be scuba certified to dive at that site. Be certain you check site-specific requirements before attempting your dive.
Scuba Diving Requirements in Illinois
Divers are not required to be certified in order to go scuba diving in Illinois. However, most divers recommended that you obtain your scuba certification before embarking on anything other than training dives with professionals. Many of the companies that provide scuba transport or charters will require that anyone diving be certified before taking them out on the water.
Illinois does have a few other regulation regarding divers and those operating vessels around them:
- Divers must use a dive flag; either the red and white Diver Down flag or the blue and white Alpha Flag
- Divers must stay within 50 feet of their dive flag
- Vessels are required to stay at least 150 feet away from dive flags
- It is important to note that federal regulations may apply in some areas in the Great Lakes
- Remember: removing anything from a Great Lakes shipwreck is illegal!
Get Your Scuba Certification in Illinois
Illinois provides some great opportunities for lake diving. It is important to obtain your scuba certification in order to stay safe while diving in any body of water. This is especially true for dives in the Great Lakes, which are essentially inland, freshwater seas. Be sure to visit our simple, easy-to-use directory to find a local company that can help you acquire your scuba certification in Illinois.