I have been to Egypt for a few times since about 2005. Many of the diving centers told us there is a legal depth limit of 30m (100ft) for all scuba divers (including CMAS 3* and PADI Dive Master). However, I found a document by "CWDS" (Chamber of Diving & Watersports) which says

The maximum depth for diving with compressed air is 40 meters (if the training qualifications and the experience of the divers allow it)

What is the CWDS? Do the rules from the document apply (i.e., the dive centers just pretend the 30 meter limit to prevent us from diving deeper) or is it true that there is this kind of limit? (Or is it even allowed to go deeper than 40 meters with a single tank of air?)

Note: I do neither care about limits by diving organisations (PADI/CMAS/...) or insurances, nor about limits by using Nitrox (which is free in most centers).

Clarification: This question is about Egypt, whereas my other question is about Turkey. Therefore this is not a duplicate.

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    I asked it to my Dive master. He answer me: Under water doesn't have police :)
    – Afetter
    Jul 20, 2015 at 23:57
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    @JoErNanO 1. As long as Egypt and Turkey are not the same country, this is no duplicate. 2. The question is not even "exactly" the same, if you read it carefully.
    – Scz
    Jul 21, 2015 at 6:23
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    @RoryAlsop that's a point. But wouldn't that question get too broad and the answers too huge? Personally, I'm mostly interested in those 2 countries, as most other countries seem to accept the 40m limits that are common among international diving organisations.
    – Scz
    Jul 21, 2015 at 7:37
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    @Scz You are right. I wasn't fully awake. :)
    – JoErNanO
    Jul 21, 2015 at 8:22
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    @Afetter Actually there is police underwater. And in the countries where police actually checks divers they tend to be way more and better equipped than you and your dive buddy. I've had freedivers of the French Gendarmerie come visit me at -30m and then wait for us to emerge to check certifications. I've had the divers from the Italian Navy special forces, fully armed and with closed-loop systems, come check us in a marine reserve. Egypt might be different of course but always beware of people claiming that there's no control in or under the water.
    – JoErNanO
    Jul 21, 2015 at 9:48

1 Answer 1


What's the CDWS?

The Chamber of Diving and Water Sports is a govermental organisation funded in 2007 by the Egyptian Mynistry of Tourism, whose purpose is to regulate all diving and water sports activities in the country. Quoting from the CDWS About Us webpage:

The Chamber of Diving and Watersports was founded by Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism in 2007 with a goal to improve quality, safety and standard of services in the diving and watersports industry, as well as to preserve unique environment of the Red Sea.

Indeed, the Egypt Tourist Authority states that the CDWS regulates all the diving centres in Egypt (emphasis mine):

All certified diving centres and schools in Egypt provide all levels of diving trainings [...]. Their activity is regulated by the official Chamber of Diving and Water Sports (CDWS) and they all own the EUF (European Underwater Federation) international certification.

What Does the CDWS Say?

In may 2009 the CDWS published a file (link in pdf) stating the depth regulation for scuba divers. It states that:

As for the maximum depths for recreational diving:

  • CDWS is implementing the World Recreational Scuba Training Council (WRSTC) standards www.wrstc.com for recreational diving.

  • The maximum depth for diving with compressed air is 40 meters (if the training qualifications and the experience of the divers allow it)

  • For Enriched Air diving; the maximum depth is up to a partial pressure of Oxygen (PPO2) = 1.4 ATA (maximum depth 40 meters on single tank)

Depth limitations for different activities:

  • For Advanced Enriched Air the maximum depth is: 40 meters

  • For Decompression procedures dives (Or equivalent) the maximum depth is: 45 meters

  • For Extended Range dives (or equivalent) the maximum depth is: 55 meters

  • For Normoxic (or entry level) Trimix the maximum depth is: 60 meters

  • For Hypoxic (or advanced) Trimix the maximum depth is: 100meters

It would therefore seem that the diving limit for compressed normoxic air mix is 40m.

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