About the Course
The PADI® Rescue Diver course will change the way you dive – in the best possible way. Learn to identify and fix minor issues before they become big problems, gain a lot of confidence and have serious fun along the way.
Discover why countless divers say Rescue Diver is their favorite scuba course.
Take This Course If You Want to
Learn How to
How to Become a Rescue Diver
Online learning makes it easy to fit scuba lessons into a busy schedule. Complete the knowledge development section of your course whenever, wherever it's convenient for you.
Work at your own pace, online or offline, using a computer or mobile device. Connect with your instructor for inwater training, or whenever you have a question.
- eLearning time commitment: 8-12 hours
With Your Instructor
- Prerequisites: Adventure Diver/Junior Adventure Diver (or qualifying certification) with completed Underwater Navigation Dive; EFR Primary and Secondary Care training (or qualifying training) within 24 months
- Total time commitment: 4-7 days
- Minimum age: 12 years or older
- Depth: 0
Scuba diving requires a minimum level of health and fitness. Chronic health conditions, certain medications and/or recent surgery may require you to get written approval from a physician before diving.
Avoid disappointment, download and review the Diver Medical form to ensure you won’t need a physician’s approval to dive before enrolling in a scuba course. Instructors, divemasters and dive shop staff are not physicians and should not be asked for medical advice; only medical professionals can give medical clearance to dive.
If you (or your physician) have questions about medical fitness to dive, contact the experts at Divers Alert Network (DAN).
Minimum age: 12
Rescue Divers certified between the ages of 12-14 earn a Junior Rescue Diver certification. Any replacement certification card or eCard purchased after the diver's 15th birthday will automatically show a Rescue Diver (not Jr. Rescue Diver) certification.
Course prerequisites: any diver with an Open Water (or Jr. Open Water) Diver certification may enroll in a PADI Rescue Diver course, complete Rescue Diver eLearning and participate in Rescue Exercises in confined water.
To participate in open water Rescue Exercises and be certified as a PADI Rescue Diver, the student must complete the Underwater Navigation Adventure Dive and hold a PADI (Junior) Adventure Diver certification. A PADI (or other qualifying) Advanced Open Water Diver certification also meets this prerequisite.
Certification also requires CPR and first aid training within the past 24 months. If you don't have this training, you can enroll in an Emergency First Response® (EFR) Primary Care (CPR) and Secondary Care (First Aid) course with your PADI Instructor.
You can complete this course locally or while travelling.
Choose a dive shop close to home to:
- Support your local diving community
- Meet dive buddies in your local area
- Learn about your local ecosystem
Choose a dive shop away from home if you:
- Plan to travel to a dive destination on holiday
- Like to meet new people when travelling
- Have the time to complete your course while on vacation
This course requires both knowledge development and inwater training for certification. When you purchase a PADI eLearning course from our website, the cost covers the knowledge development portion only.
There is an additional cost to complete your certification with a PADI Instructor. The cost depends on class size, environment, and whether or not you need to rent equipment. Contact a PADI Dive Center or Resort for more information and pricing.
In addition to basic scuba gear, you will need a dive accident management slate and a rescue breathing mask. Ask your PADI Instructor about purchasing these materials.
If you haven't invested in a set of personal scuba gear yet, consider doing so before starting the Rescue Diver course. You'll spend a lot of time taking your equipment on and off and learning self-rescue techniques. Having gear you're familiar with and comfortable using is beneficial during this course.
PADI's online courses are designed to work on the browsers listed below. For the best experience, make sure your browser is up-to-date.
If you plan to be somewhere without internet access, use the PADI Training app to download course content and study offline. Content can be downloaded in small sections with a total file size of approximately 496 MB. When you get back online, upload your progress so you can resume your training right where you left off.
The PADI Training app is available for Android™ and Apple® iOS devices. For the ideal experience, devices should be no more than three models old and running with the most current OS (operating system).
The skills and confidence you'll gain in the PADI Rescue Diver course prepare you to take the first step towards a scuba career and/or achieve the most elite rating in recreational diving.
As a certified Rescue Diver (18 years or older), you can enroll in the PADI Divemaster course. Upon completion, you can work anywhere in the world there's water:
- Assisting with classes
- Leading dives
- Working on a liveaboard
A PADI Rescue Diver certification is also a prerequisite to enrolling in the Public Safety Diver™ course. This intense and challenging program comes with great rewards.
If the programs above don't interest you, consider becoming a PADI Master Scuba Diver™. Fewer than 2 percent of divers ever achieve this elite rating. As a certified Rescue Diver, you only need five specialty certifications and 50 logged dives to become a Master Scuba Diver.