Focus on the PADI Rescue Diver Course

Lifting a diver from the bottomWould you know what to do if your buddy got into difficulty during a dive?  Lots of divers, after completing their rescue course, tell us it was the most fun and rewarding course they’ve completed so far.  You’ll learn how to spot potential problems and how to confidently carry out a rescue scenario if necessary.  Whilst the course deals with serious topics, practising the scenarios is a huge amount of fun.  And after the course you’ll be a qualified first-aider and a much more confident diver!

Many people are interested in doing the Rescue Course but don’t know exactly what it entails, so I’ll try to give you a bit more of an in depth look at what the course involves.

Firstly you’ll need to be first aid trained, some people will already have a suitable qualification and anything that covers basic CPR, scene management and secondary care is appropriate as long as it’s been done in the last 2 years.  If not, the Emergency First Response (EFR) covers all this and makes up the first day of the course.  During the EFR course you’ll get the opportunity to find out how to perform CPR, a very useful life skill that I know some of my friends are very glad they knew how to do, as well as watching the EFR DVD, an all time nadir in the world of educational media that delivers a shock and awe attack on the intelligence of such ferocity that many viewers struggle to find their way out of the classroom at the end.

With the EFR course safely out of the way and the students recovered from the sight of a child asking their dying Grandmother for legal permission to offer assistance, the Rescue Course can get under way.  We usually run this section on the Sunday of a pool weekend, we start off in the morning at the shop where we go through all the theory.  In advance of the course you’ll get a manual and DVD (which is Citizen Kane in comparison to the EFR), as with other PADI courses you complete the knowledge reviews and then we run through them to make sure that you’re happy with the content.

In the afternoon we head to the pool.  The aim is purely to practise skills and get used to them before open water, so it’s an informal, fun session.

The skills we cover include dealing with tired, panicked and unresponsive divers on the surface as well as underwater.  You’ll learn how to bring an unresponsive diver up from the bottom, establish their buoyancy on the surface and then provide rescue breathes whilst you de-kit them and yourselves.  You’ll then learn how to exit them from the water.

Once you’ve got to grips with these skills you’ll head to open water on the next weekend. On Saturday we carry on working through the skills so you can master them in open water.  You’ll also learn some search patterns for seeking out missing divers and you’ll try some different exit techniques.  You’ll also learn how to resuscitate someone using the abyss method of CPR; punching them repeatedly in the face and screaming ‘live goddamit!’

Finally on the last day of the course we throw some rescue scenarios at you.  The idea of these is for you to respond to simulated emergencies in a group, putting into practise all the skills you’ve learned.  It’s also an opportunity for the instructors to be as evil as possible, usually waiting until you’re sitting down with a nice cup of tea before informing you that there’s a missing diver.  It’s also a chance for the divemasters to flex their acting muscles, thrashing around in panic on the surface and pretending to cut themselves underwater (not in a self harm way).

All in all the Rescue course is an immense amount of fun for students and instructors alike, as well as being probably one of the most useful courses you’ll ever undertake.

Check out the next course dates on our website:


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