Become a PADI Rescue Diver

Are YOU up for the challenge?

Often the PADI Rescue Diver course is viewed as a challenge — both physically and mentally — but indeed it offers a high reward for those who become certified. This course will train you in rescue skills step by step. It will boost your confidence, hone your diving skills and give you the confidence to act if required.

Often the PADI Rescue Diver course is viewed as a challenge — both physically and mentally — but indeed it offers a high reward for those who become certified. This course will train you in rescue skills step by step. It will boost your confidence, hone your diving skills and give you the confidence to act if required.

The Prerequisites

When you make the decision to sign up, you will need to meet a few requirements.

After your Advanced Open Water certification, you will require the Emergency First Response Primary and Secondary Care (CPR and First Aid) training within the past 24 months. Usually, most divers take the EFR at the same time as the rescue course. There is also the possibility to go into the resuce course with an Open Water qualification, but you must have completed the Adventure dive ‘Navigation’ before you can continue. The rescue course is very physical, so you need to be physically fit and have the right mental attitude.

Learn the Skills by Doing

When you participate in the skills section to practice for real emergencies, this can be physically demanding. Our PADI Course Director, Oliver says “You will learn how to assist a tired diver and a panicked diver at the surface. You will practice some search patterns underwater with the aid of a compass to help you locate a missing buddy. Learn how to surface, assess and transport an unconscious diver while performing rescue breaths. Different methods for exiting an unconscious diver from the water. It is not always a pretty sight, but if you give your ALL, that is all anyone can do.”

In any real-life emergency, it is not a pretty sight, and often far from what we practice. But if we give everything we can at that moment, maybe the outcome will be positive. Attitude and mental toughness will serve you well when rescuing a diver in trouble. It will also help after you ‘have given your all’ and the outcome isn’t what we hoped for.

No Standard Way

Each person is different and this is the same for any rescue scenario or rescuer. Oliver says, “No two rescues are the same, neither are two rescuers, so there’s no‘standard’way to rescue.”

We look at different techniques and find the right one that works for you as an individual. You will master key skills. practice scenarios to make you think and adapt as if it were a realistic situation. What also is very important, is to learn that you can do everything reasonably and appropriately, and not achieve the outcome you had hoped for. Here it’s critical to have the perspectives that under certain circumstances, you gave your all and you were successful, even if the outcome is negative.

What will You Learn?

The PADI Rescue Diver course uses a variety of techniques to prepare you to deal with both minor and major dive emergencies. After you cover some of the knowledge development and water skills, you will learn how to put these into practice when you practice the dive scenarios. Among the rescue topics in the course are self-rescue, recognise and manage stressed and panicked divers, emergency management and equipment, and how to rescue an unresponsive diver(s).

As you will see throughout the rescue course, priority moves away from the rescuer to the victim. But one must remember, the safety of the rescuer must prevail in all circumstances. It is an absolute must that your neutral buoyancy as a rescue diver must be spot on. If not, look at how to improve this basic and most important skill before signing up for a rescue course.

As you progress through the rescue course, your focus will not only be on yourself but it will move to safety of others. Learn to remember small details, recognise possible hazards and be aware of other divers. You will be alert to small mistakes while equipment is being set up. To correct a problem out of the water is much easier than in the water. Equipment problems in-water has the potential to become much larger problems fast.

Stop, Breath, Think then Act!

Your presence as a calm person may help divers who become stressed before the dive begins. Sometimes divers forget things through nervousness, give them time to think, no hassle. In water divers forget to inflate BCDs and kick like mad to stay afloat, encourage good surface skills.

In the rescue course you will also learn how to stop, breath, think then act! This is the bottom line of safe rescue practice and can be easily forgotten when you do not practice. After certification, it is essential to keep up those skills that you learnt in the rescue course.You will go through the scenario over and over again about reach, throw, row, don’t go. This small mantra gives you time to really think about what you are going to do. Often it is not the immediate threat that causes a problem, it is the ill thought through rescue attempt.

Benefits of the Rescue Course

It will help you focus on what is actually going on, what action should you take. Remember stop, breathe, think then act. This will slow you down and give you time to make the right decision, co-ordinate your thoughts and assess the situation.

Sometimes, however, rescues can be complicated, requiring multiple people to assist in executing them. “I do believe, one of the most important skills is when you learn to manage a rescue scenario with multiple people,” says Oliver. “You’ll learn who to assign specific skills to and who not to. Skill assignment duties will include: search, recovery, first aid, communications and information gathering. You will learn to lead, learn to follow or learn to get out of the way.” Skill delegation is critical to the survival of the victim. It must be done thoughtfully, safely and quickly.

A life-or-death situation rescue is thankfully rare in the scuba diver world. Rescue skills must be kept up to date, both in and out of the water. You will adapt easier and faster to a difficult situation if the need arises when your skills are well rehearsed.

Be inspired, help yourself and others.

Come and take the Rescue course with us, become more confident and make a difference when it counts.

Contact: info@divesmartgozo.com for more details

PADI Rescue Diver Course – see here for course details.