SCUBA Diving at Manatee Springs
Open water Diving is allowed in Manatee Springs Main Spring and the Catfish Hotel.
Cavern Diving is allowed in Catfish Hotel.
Cave Divers are allowed to enter at the Main Spring, and Catfish Hotel. Friedman Sink entrance requires Full Cave Certification.
All persons participating in SCUBA Diving activity do so at their own risk, and must dive within the limits of their certification.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Recreation and Parks realizes the inherent personal danger involved is this activity and therefore strictly regulates it. Upon granting permission to dive in any spring within the State Park System, the following minimum rules and regulations will be strictly adhered to:
In parks with a Ranger Station each diver must register and present his/her diver’s certification card, which will be shown on the vehicle dashboard until completion of the dive.
All student divers must register under instructor’s certification.
Each diver must dive within the limits of their certification.
Dives must be conducted only in those areas designated.
Open water Divers are prohibited from carrying lights.
In certain areas, only Cave Diving will be authorized.
A dive party must consist of at least two divers.
Each State Park, where Spring Diving is allowed, has the authority to set maximum number of persons that can dive in the spring at any given time.
Fossils and Artifacts shall not be disturbed or removed. Aquatic plants shall not be trampled or disturbed.
Minimum distance of 50 feet between divers and manatees must be maintained at all times.
Dives must be completed 1 hour before sundown.
Divers must be registered 3 hours before sundown.
Diving Capacity at Manatee Springs
Open water and Cavern Divers- 18 divers at one time, 36 per day total for Main Spring and Catfish Hotel.
Cave Divers-8 at Catfish and 4 at Friedman at one time, 24 per day.