Our latest Divemaster trainee Laura Mulvey had just one part of her pre-training to complete this week – the PADI Rescue course. Below is her account of her memorable experience:
Arguably the most talked about part of PADI training among my diver friends has been the Rescue Diver course, and this week I found out why. In theory, the Rescue Diver course is a chance to develop your skills in dealing with dive related accidents and assisting other divers who might be in distress or danger. In practice, the Rescue Diver course has the additional benefit of letting your instructor and assistants refine their acting skills and put you through your paces. After finishing the PADI manual and video, would-be rescuers have a chance to brush up on scuba skills with an instructor (snorkel to regulator exchange, compass skills and search patterns, etc). Then the real fun begins.
If you are lucky like me, you might have the benefit of extra demonstrators to practice your rescue skills with. In my case instructor Gary enlisted the help of Hidden Depths Divemaster trainees Paige and Chris. These skills include getting control of a panicked diver and providing rescue breaths to a non-breathing diver at the surface. Your team won’t go easy on you. Rescuing a panicked diver means that you must protect yourself from the diver trying to grab your gear and push you under the water. So, having demonstrators who are really scrappy (and dramatic!) helps you prepare for the real thing, and that might mean getting your reg ripped out or getting a fin or two in your face. After practicing a few times with some very theatrical trainees playing the part of the victim, the Rescue Diver course also teaches you some of the ways you can carry victims onto the beach. Turns out that some methods are better than others (sorry Chris!)
The team then planned a rescue scenario with a missing diver off the pier. I had to find our victim by putting together a plan and executing a search pattern underwater. Upon finding the ‘victim’, the rescuer must perform rescue breaths and remove gear while towing the victim to safety.
The visibility during our scenario was quite murky, making it the perfect place for search and rescue practice- albeit a bit spooky. Lucky for Paige we found her in time and got to shore. A successful rescue mission!
It’s true what they say: ‘do your rescue course and you will sleep well that night!’ Though, in my opinion, the very best benefit of doing your rescue course in Thailand is that a well-deserved Thai massage is just around the corner!