Terrorism Indicators at Dive/Boat Shops

What Should I Consider Suspicious?

Suspicious People

  • New customer who is reluctant to provide complete personal information.
  • Customer who has not taken a safety course or does not have a certification card.
  • Small groups of individuals asking for scuba certification lessons “quickly”.
  • An inexperienced diver trying to dive alone.

Suspicious Activities

  • Using cash for expensive transactions or a credit card in someone else’s name.
  • Renting watercraft for an extended period.
  • Purchasing more than one motorized underwater propelling device.
  • Exhibiting unusual behavior regarding dive tanks.
  • Wanting to dive in locations not normally associated with diving.
  • Claiming to be an experienced boater/diver but
    • Exhibiting unfamiliarity with common terminology.
    • Requiring instruction on operating watercraft and/or diving equipment.
    • Unable to support the claim with a diving logbook.
  • During training
    • Appearing uninterested in safety rules or sacrificing safety to complete training faster.
    • Displaying aggressive desire to get to a specific location or to the next stage of the class.
    • Trying to redirect basic lessons towards a specific or an advanced topic.
    • Asking about technical or specialty training (e.g., enclosed spaces, night diving, underwater navigation, underwater welding, mixed gas diving) without being able to explain their objective.
  • Possessing
    • Containers unrelated to normal water sports activities.
    • Maps designating structures unrelated to water sports activities.
    • Forged or altered identification.
  • Acting secretive or exhibiting guarded behavior (discouraging communication and/or observation of activities).
  • Inquiring about
    • Local dams or companies along waterways.
    • “Rebreathing” equipment or certification to utilize rebreathing equipment (very costly) for extremely deep dives or extended dive times.


    Note: It is important to remember that just because someone’s speech, actions, beliefs, appearance, or way of life is different, it does not mean that he or she is suspicious.

    What Should I Do?

    Be Part of the Solution

    • Require valid ID from all new customers.
    • Keep records of purchases.
    • Talk to customers, ask questions, and listen to and observe their responses.
    • Watch for people and actions that are out of place.
    • Make note of suspicious statements, people, and/or vehicles.
    • If something seems wrong, notify law enforcement authorities.


    Do not jeopardize your safety or the safety of others.

    Preventing terrorism is a community effort. By learning what to look for, you can make a positive contribution in the fight against terrorism. The partnership between the community and law enforcement is essential to the success of anti-terrorism efforts.

    Some of the activities, taken individually, could be innocent and must be examined by law enforcement professionals in a larger context to determine whether there is a basis to investigate. The activities outlined on this handout are by no means all-inclusive but have been compiled from a review of terrorist events over several years.


    Osceola County Sheriff’s Office
    407-348-2222