At this level, your diving instruction is getting very serious. Now you learn how safely to plan and organise diving activities, to assess diving conditions and divers, and to use the observations to prevent and avert diving emergencies. First and foremost, you learn to look after yourself, to become self-reliant. As a result, you become more able to help others. At that point, you don’t just go diving anymore, you begin to think like a diver, to consider everything you do, to observe and, where necessary, advise others in personal safety. As a last resort, you will be able to carry out individual rescues, conduct searches, use available resources and, as necessary, improvise, to organise emergency procedures, and carry out life-saving emergency first-aid in the field, should an incident occur.
It is serious, it is intensive, but it’s great fun ! Participants invariably end the course tired, but happy and confident.
Entry requirements for the Rescue Diver Course:
- PADI Advanced Open Water or Junior Advanced Open Water certification (or an equivalent with another diving organisation)
- Authorised CPR programme (e.g. PADI Emergency First Response) within the past 24 months
- 20 logged dives
- Minimum age: 15 or older (12 for Junior Rescue Diver)
As well as the necessary theory input, there are five in-water sessions conducted over 3 – 4 days, covering:
- Self-rescue and diver stress
- Diving first aid
- Emergency management and equipment
- Swimming and non-swimming assists
- Panicked diver response
- Underwater problems
- Missing diver procedures<
- Surfacing the unconscious diver
- In-water artificial respiration
- First-aid procedures for pressure related accidents
- Dive accident scenarios
The Rescue Diver course provides that essential step towards confidence and self-sufficiency.
With the knowledge now in your possession, and especially the skills in observing and organising people and resources, you may well consider getting a professional diving qualification under your belt. Working alongside instructors as a Divemaster, not only can you begin to apply and refine your observational and organisational abilities to help in the development of budding divers, you also allow yourself the opportunity to travel and work in the most exciting places on earth. Of course, it is not for everyone, but it must be worth at least a passing thought!