PADI Rescue Diver = Confident. Responsible. Prepared. A bit tired as well!
Divers who have completed their PADI Rescue diver always talk about the course being the most rewarding and often most demanding PADI course they complete. Many instructors also tell us how much they enjoy teaching it.
As I woke up surprisingly early on my first days holiday, I had distant school memories where the word rewarding was often linked to hard boring work. With this in mind I worked across the hotel to the dive centre to start 4 days EFR and Rescue Diver training. Hard work maybe but boring never!
After the paperwork was completed I was handed two brand new manuals, for EFR and Rescue diver respectively. The theory and practical skills combine perfectly on this course which made the knowledge reviews great markers for progression during the course. You really learn some amazing skills really simply.
What do you learn
-Causes of diver emergencies -Accident management
-Identifying a diver in need -Common equipment problems
-Diver rescue procedures -First Aid and injury treatment
-Missing diver procedures -In/Out water rescue skills
First off you learn about the psychology of Rescue and the important question that is re-enforced over the course. Protect yourself first! Don’t become the 2nd victim. The importance of of preparation should be familiar with all divers of any level, but in the Rescue course we take this further. Do you have the right equipment for emergencies? before I took the rescue course this was something I never really gave to much thought to. Now I know exactly what is required.
CPR and First Aid
The EFR Primary and Secondary Care elements of the course were really interesting and provided me with skills that I know are not just for diving but can be used in everyday life. Some of the primary and secondary skills you learn; Scene assessment, CPR not a skill to be taken lightly as those who have completed CPR training will know, Bleeding management and Spinal injury management.
This knowledge brings with it a confidence that I am now prepared to respond to an emergency correctly when needed .
The practical side of the course revolves around a number of rescue scenarios revolving around skills used to help either a responsive or non responsive diver at the surface or underwater. Prepare to get tired! Yes this is a pretty intensive part of the course but at the end of each day the tiredness is only second to the contented feeling you have. Top Tip = Try and choose the smallest lightest person on the course as your buddy. Thanks to my willing victim Nat!
One of the hardest parts of the in water rescue skills can be remembering the correct order of the actions you need to complete. In fact you may even find you won’t notice how physical it is towing an unresponsive diver as you’ll be concentrating on providing rescue breath, supporting airways and removing equipment if the situation requires. Each scenario though varied essentially boils down to the same core skills that by now your have learnt and are starting to master.
As an ex-rugby player my favourite skills were panicked diver ones, if you’ve ever caught a scrum half off the back of the ruck and turned him, then its pretty much the same skill (yes I know i’m talking to a very small demographic here)
Joking aside, the PADI Rescue diver course is a great course and takes you personally further as a diver as you now have the confidence and preparedness that can really transform your outlook. I can wholeheartedly recommend it.
Big thanks to my excellent instructor Robert Stepien (PADI OWSI 318292) and his assistant and my willing (at times not so willing) victim Nat McGhee (PADI OWSI 315372) at Dahab Divers Technical
Ready for the challenge? Contact your local PADI centre now and get started on the course you’ll love.