Rescue Diver Day Two

This morning after I took the kids to school I went to the shop and hung out til everyone was ready to go.  We only had a few things left to do really.   We had to do the rescue tow, which rivals bringing someone up on the beach for difficulty and a few other skills. 

The instructor was the same and I was glad because it’s nice to have the same person so they know what has and has not been done.  It’s also nice because I think the instructor is really good at what he does. 

As promised the scenarios were more difficult.  We first did panicked diver at the surface and that was easy.  Then we did unresponsive diver under water again.  As I brought the instructor/victim to the surface he woke up and panicked so I had to get control quickly.  Luckily I was behind him and in a good position to control his tank and therefore, his panic. 

Panicked diver under water followed and that was probably the most strenuous one all day.  I had to get in front of him and signal “stop”, “breathe”.  Since that didn’t work I needed to get behind him and get control of his tank so that I could bring him to the surface.  It’s challenging for me to reach around and hold the regulator in the mouth of people.  Apparently I have short arms.  As I was trying to get behind him he was following me around and I had to stay far enough away that I wouldn’t become his victim by him climbing on me and taking my gear off.  We went around in circles several times and then he took off swimming.  I followed and found him “unresponsive” under a ledge.  Once he wore himself out it wasn’t hard to bring him to the surface like I had done several times.  But I first had to get him out from under the ledge. 

Our next scenario was an unresponsive diver at the surface.  We were tasked with turning the victim face up, keeping his face out of the water, and provide rescue breaths.  Once we established rescue breathing we were required to provide rescue breaths every 5 seconds and in the time between we had to work in taking both the victim’s and our own gear off in order to cut down on drag and expedite the tow to shore.  It wasn’t that bad but it certainly was a challenge since my “victim” wasn’t wearing a wet suit making it more difficult to keep him afloat. 

We were also required to work as a team in a couple of scenarios.  We had a panicked diver at the surface where two of us distracted the panicked diver and the other went around behind.  Just to make it tricky our instructor suddenly went under and made my classmate chase after him.  I was just about the go down to help when he got a good handle on the “victim”.  There was also a search pattern scenario where we had to work as a team to find a missing diver.  We were required to come up with a plan and then go locate the missing diver.  Visibility was really good so we could see the bubbles and it wasn’t hard.  But we did realize that we needed to execute a pattern which we did.  The instructor pointed out that a lot of times when we are searching we won’t see bubbles because they probably won’t be breathing. 

Our last little task was to toss a float to a victim.  The goal was to get it close to his shoulder.  I just about hit him in the face.  But hey whatever works. 

The rescue class is all about self-preservation because the last thing you need to do is become another victim.  So, while we learned several techniques to save a life, we also have to be concerned first and foremost with our own safety.  Our instructor said that he made things harder than others on purpose.  He wants to make it true to life.  I appreciate that because now I have the tools I need to save the life of another diver or my own. 

After we headed back to the shop we did our paperwork and read our emergency action plan to the class.  I went last and my classmates complimented me on my plan.  The instructor is also a very positive person and he gave us a lot of positive reinforcement.  I think that’s a great thing because it helps build our confidence as divers. 

I definitely see why people say it’s a rewarding class.  The subject matter is serious and should be treated as such.  You come out of the class with so much more confidence in your skills.  A rescue diver is also just below a dive master so you are almost a professional.  The title of rescue diver commands respect as well it should.  Open water and Advanced open water are both fun with a little serious thrown in.  Rescue diver is mostly serious with a little fun thrown in.  I would highly recommend this class to anyone especially with this instructor.


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