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Divers need certification to scuba dive, because without proper training and knowledge the sport can be dangerous. Just as drivers need to be licensed and know the rules of the road, divers need to understand the procedures and protocol that make scuba diving safe.
PADI, or the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, offers a Discover Scuba Diving class that lets newbies explore the sport before making the decision on enrolling in the course for certification. Discover Scuba Diving lets people experience scuba diving in a supervised pool session.