Our motivation to become rescue divers was simple – we had completed our advanced open water and wanted to continue to build our safety and scuba diving confidence. Naturally, the next step in our dive education was taking the PADI Rescue Diver course.
What happens when a diver panics at the surface of the water? How do you perform a proper grid search if a diver goes missing?
Things don’t always go flawlessly on a dive, and when they go wrong, the PADI Rescue Diver course prepares you for dealing with minor and major dive emergencies so that it becomes second nature. Through teaching and practicing rescue situations, up-and-coming rescue divers gain confidence and learn how to respond to almost any underwater scenario.
There is a little gray area when it comes to the PADI Rescue Diver prerequisites, and it is always important to double check with your certifying shop before enrolling. Overall here are the PADI course prerequisites:
The PADI Rescue Diver course is different than anything you have probably done in your dive career to date. It’s a course that encourages a shift in perspective, where you stop focusing on yourself and start thinking about others.
Depending on where and how you go about getting your Rescue Diver Certification, the theoretical portion of the course will either be done in a classroom or via E-Learning.
In the dry land section of the Rescue Diver Course, you will study your textbook front to back before heading into the water and putting these academic skills into practice. Some of the essential skills you will read about are the causes of dive emergencies, distress in divers and how to identify it, common equipment problems, missing diver procedures, first aid, and injury treatment, in and out of the water rescue skills and accident management.
If you opt to include Emergency First Responder Training and/or your Emergency Oxygen Provider, it is during this section that you will learn about CPR, how to operate and AED, how to recognize scuba diving illnesses and how to properly administer emergency oxygen to an injured diver.
Following the theoretical section of your Rescue Diver Course, students will then take their freshly learned book skills into the water.
Ten water rescue exercises make up the backbone of the course. These drills include: learning how to assist tired and panicked divers, how to respond to distressed divers from shore and underwater, how to efficiently search for a missing diver, how to administer oxygen and in-water rescue breaths, how to assist or pull victims out of the water. There is also the start to finish rescue of an unresponsive diver at the surface and an unresponsive diver underwater, which is usually left until the end of the course.
Instructors and assistants will simulate and guide Rescue Divers through these scenarios – often without warning. As a student, you will be expected to put your theoretical training into practice as if the accident was occurring in real life.
The cost for your PADI Rescue Diver Course will vary depending on where you complete the course. A reasonably estimated breakdown of the price is:
CAD 300.00$ as a base price for the course, open water dives and crew pack (includes: pocket mask, gloves, books, sticker, and badge).
Also, if you decide to pair your PADI Rescue Diver Course with your Emergency Oxygen Provider and Emergency First Responder Course (which is a requirement to complete you Rescue Diver certification), the cost is about CAD 99.00$ per additional accreditation.
Again, the duration of the PADI Rescue Diver course can vary from one PADI shop to another. However, the consensus seems to be 2-4 days for the period of the course – this includes a day’s time allowance for E-Learning or the classroom portion of the Rescue Diver.
The rescue diver course is designed to broaden and improve a diver’s skills and confidence in the water. As long as you have all the prerequisites, it’s an excellent course for anyone who has a mind for dive safety or who want to further their knowledge. It’s also a necessary step in becoming a PADI professional.
You never know when an accident will happen. Through even the smallest amount of training, divers can be better prepared in preventing and managing dive emergencies, and ultimately maybe one day save a life.
We think that everyone should have some form of rescue diver training, regardless of whether they are merely a recreational diver or looking to become a professional further down the line.
The PADI Rescue Diver Course is an important course to take and a great way to further your scuba diving knowledge beyond the purely recreational level. It gives you the tools you need to stay safe on any dive and recognize an incident before it happens. Here you learn to look beyond yourself and consider the safety and well being of others.
Though Rescue Diver training may be one of the more physically and mentally demanding PADI courses, it is worth every single second. Thankfully, serious dive accidents don’t happen very often, and most divers who finish their PADI Rescue course may never need to deal with the aftermath of a diving accident. However, mastering these skill and knowing that you can cope with an emergency, not only makes you a more capable diver, it also makes you a better buddy.
Do you remember what it was like completing your Rescue Diver Course? Tell us how challenging it was in the comments below.
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Rechargeable Ikelite NiMH battery pack compatible with Ikelite’s DS125, DS160, and DS161 strobes.
Suunto SK-8 wrist compass with bungee straps, faster stabilization, and enhanced readability
Capture amazingly smooth GoPro footage in the air with the GoPro Karma Drone
Bare drysuit trek boots designed for rocky shore entries, boat decks, and boat ladders
Black Mares Dragon Scuba Diving BCD
Ikelite aluminum digital camera tray with dual handles
The Cuticate floating dry box is a waterproof sports container perfect to fit money, ID, cards, keys and more. The case is small, portable, compact, and comes with a lanyard clip hook to take with you as you scuba dive.
Sigma MC-11 mount converter lens adapter (Sigma EF-Mount lens to sony E cameras). Essential photo kit contains Altura photo rapid-fire wrist strap, small lens pouch, cleaning kit, and microfiber lens cleaning cloth.
DUI heavy duty dry suit gloves with yellow liners available in sizes: S, M, L, XL
The Hydra 5000 WSRU is an all in one photo and dive light with wide, spot, red, and UV modes
Ikelite TTL dual flash sync cord attaches two strobe’s to the underwater camera housing.
Capture amazingly smooth shake-free video with the GoPro Karma Grip
AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod and Bag with adjustable-height legs and rubber feet
Black scuba diving turtle fins
Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM FLD Large Aperture Standard Zoom Lens for Canon Digital DSLR Camera + 32GB Memory Card + Photo4Less Cleaning Cloth.
13-inch inflatable dive buoy with a 12 by 11-inch scuba diving flag surface marker
Flexible Lightweight Portable Tripod for Projector DSLR Cameras and Go Pro
Scuba diving 4ft neon yellow surface marker signal tube with “Diver Below” print
If you’re not quite ready for the expense of big lights, this little video light goes perfectly with any GoPro setup
The Sony SEL90M28G FE 90 mm f/2.8-22 Macro G OSS Standard-Prime Lens for E (NEX) Cameras.
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Diving lens filter kit for GoPro HERO 5/6 which enhances colors for underwater video and photography conditions
Ikelite Canon EOS 100D Rebel SL1 underwater camera housing in white
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens
Suunto Vyper Novo wrist scuba diving computer with USB
Black Mares Cruise Roller Tauchen bag, perfect for scuba diving and traveling
Ikelite underwater macro lens casing is comprised of an acetyl body with glass front and can hold lenses of 4.37 diameter x 3 inches (111 x 76 mm)
Bare 7mm thick elastek dry suit hood
Ikelite photography strobe DS161 with NiMH rechargeable battery pack
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GoPro HERO6 Black Camera
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Compact underwater scuba diving hand reel with a 150ft of white line on the spool
Ikelite compact ball arm for quick release handle
SHOOT 6″ Underwater Dome Port for GoPro Hero 6/Hero 5/Hero(2018) Black Camera Diving Lens Hood Housing Photography with Waterproof Case Accessories
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Dry glove lock system that accommodates all hand sizes
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Mini blue scuba diving tank key ring with brass pick tool and o-rings
3PC curved armband glow in the dark slate.
Bare Sports 5mm men’s wetsuit made with elastek full-stretch nylon-2 and neoprene celliant liner infrared technology.
GoPro dual battery charger conveniently charges two HERO6 Black, HERO5 Black, or HERO camera batteries simultaneously