Becoming a Rescue Diver

You know its going to be an interesting couple of days when the first thing your instructor does is running screaming off the dock and into the water. Thus began my rescue diver course.

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That first day was a long one, with us spending about four hours in the water off the end of the dock. As I’ve already mentioned, it began with my rescuing the two instructors in more basic ‘drowning situations.’ As in, I was extremely tempted to drown them by the third time they decided they’d jump off the dock and start screaming…

After that performance (my instructor Carole was great, but boy was her ‘drugged up diver impression just the worst’) we finally suited up to practice some of the diving related rescue skills. This involved everything from simple out of air situations (they turned my air off…) to rescuing unresponsive or panicking divers underwater or on the surface. All very interesting stuff, when its just at 2m deep.

The next day, our open water dives were a whole different story…

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For starters, it was an hours boat ride to the dive site. During which time, our dive instructors made it clear we (at least there were two of us students this time) would be diving with two very drugged up dive buddies… As in, by the time we reached the dive site, they had managed to climb on the roof of the ship, swing off the sides while moving, crawl into a little hole and refuse to come out, swing knives around, go into full blown panic about sharks in the water, set up their BCDs just wroooong, and so on.

And then we had to get in the water with them…

Once in the water, I quickly discovered my ‘divebuddy/instructor’ had managed to turn their tank off AGAIN when he ran out of air about 5m down. After resurfacing and dealing with that, down we went once more.

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Our dive buddies then proceeded to make the half hour dive… interesting, to say the least. We started with panicked divers, who then proceeded to drop their weight belts, lose their masks and fins, undo each others tanks, get tangled in their own reel of string, attempt to swim into caves, literally swimming around in circles, and try to steal our regulators. Needless to say I haven’t gone through air that quickly since my own Open Water course…

Finally we ended the dive with another out of air situation. That was actually a relief after all that!

The second dive was far simpler, we just had to track down a ‘lost diver’ and then perform an underwater rescue of a unresponsive diver. And on the surface get them back to the boat. No problem, at least they kept their mouths shut this time 😉

And then we were done!

Or so we thought…

About 500m away from reaching the shore, everyone on the boat proceeded to scream as 7 people lept into the water… Which certainly explained all the grins we’d been getting up until that point.

Que grabbing all the life jackets, our mask and fins, and into the water we went.

At which point the captain decided to drive off…

So I ended up towing two people about 100m as the captain proceeded to circle us laughing.

When I finally got back on the boat, I proceeded to finally throttle Carole (photo is here!). But we were finally done.
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Rescue diver certified!

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