I think the Rescue Diver course is a good idea for any diver, especially the people who dive frequently. Rescue Divers take recreational scuba diving to the next level by learning tools and techniques to help people who have problems in and out of the water. It is a really good feeling to know that you can save a diver underwater if necessary or observe issues that arise before they cause a problem. The course is very demanding and difficult but well worth it in the education and confidence you gain.
I remember when I took my Open Water Diver course and I noticed the more experienced people around me. Diving is an intimidating sport and the learning curve is steep. Experienced divers get to see a different world of scuba, even before they ascend into the depths. Gearing up seems effortless. They have excellent buoyancy and get the most from their underwater experience by working effortlessly. Rescue Divers enjoy the benefits of experience combined with advanced life saving skills.
I take instruction from PADI and received the Rescue manual, which was more intimidating. The material was more complex and the requisite to taking the course was Emergency First Responder and CPR, also taught by PADI. I enjoyed this study manual more than the others that I’ve read in the past. The curriculum was more strait forward and I developed my diving experience enough to understand the material the first time I reviewed it.
The PADI learning model is the same for most courses. First, read the manuals and answer the course study guide questions. We review the answers and discuss theory in a classroom. Next, we practice the skills required and finally pass final examinations given by the instructor. In Rescue Diving, each diver must pass stressful emergency scenarios individually and with a buddy. We had to create an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) for a local dive area. I included my EAP below.
We also had the benefit of having a Dive Master present to help in class and to work with us individually. This is the first course I took with a Dive Master present and the instruction went so much further. It was really great to have one or two professionals that conveyed information constantly. The course lasted three days. The training was definitely demanding and the extensive material was covered. I feel confident that I have a good handle on the skills that I was taught and can readily apply them to myself or a diver in need. I definitely recommend this class for all divers.
- Advanced Open Water Diver or Adventure Diver Certification
- Emergency First Responder and CPR within the last 12 months
- Study time and energy
- $300 fee including materials
One added benefit of this course for me was familiarization with all sorts of dive gear. It is a requirement for Rescue Divers to remove a distressed diver’s gear in many circumstances. I also to to work with my own gear in circumstances that are uncommon and stressful. Diving is intended to be a calm and relaxing sport and few of the initial courses are under stress, unless it is self-imposed.
My instructor and dive master had equipment different from mine. They allowed me to try gear that was a different complexity from my own. I tried a wing harness and got the chance to use a pony bottle as a secondary air source. We had extra time each day so I took the opportunity to log two additional dives each day. My performance buoyancy improved dramatically by the end of the last day. I was very happy with my time investment felt rewarded by my efforts.
The saying: “no rest for the weary” applies well to me because I am starting my own dive master training tomorrow. I am proud to be a dive master in training and I look forward to my new course with much anticipation. I look forward to continue my dream to dive in the Caribbean!
Robb Hamic is a certified PADI Rescue and Enriched Air Diver. He is currently a Dive Master in-training and being trained by Steven Neusanger in Austin Texas. All PADI approved training has been provided by Scubaland Adventures, an Austin based PADI dive center.
Emergency Assistance Plan
Lake Travis Dive Park, Austin Texas
|Local emergency systems||911|
|Hyperbolic ChamberDr. Gary Mailman
900 E 30th St. Ste 109
Austin, TX 78705
Diver Alert Network (DAN)
|Lakeway Regional Medical Cntr.100 Medical Parkway
Lakeway, TX 78738
|Life Flight EvacuationAustin, TX
Travis County Search and Rescue
|855-562-4900Requested by POLICE only!|
|Script||“Hello, we have had a scuba diving-related incident. The victim is at Windy Point Park, Lake Travis (Travis Co. Park). We are located in the Dive Park down and to the right of the entrance, close to the DAM. We are providing care, such as oxygen or first aid, given to victim. We need RESCUE immediately. Have EMS bring a litter and 2 people minimum. We are down by the water ½ mile from parking lot. Please hurry!|
|Nearest telephone||Telephone is located in the entry office up from the parking lot to the LEFT. It is apprx. ¾ mile.|
- Call 911 and advise of situation. They will dispatch all needed resources.
- Call hyperbolic chamber if instructed by Rescue Diver or if patient has DCS.
- Call DAN if hyperbolic chamber is called.