The PADI Rescue Dive Course – A Student Perspective by Judith Vestjens

Rescue Course day 1

The Rescue Diver course is my next step on my way to becoming a Divemaster. When I arrived, I found out that there were two other girls in the course with me. Tupac was going to be our instructor for the day. In the beginning it was sometimes difficult to hear what he was saying, because of the French accent when he speaks English, but after listening for a whole day you get used to it. Tupac explained everything very well, if you don’t understand something he repeats it more slowly until you get it. We spent the first day completing the Emergency First Response training. We were in the classroom the whole day, which was tiring. It’s alright for a couple of hours, but spending the whole day in a classroom is too long, especially when you’re on a tropical island! However, we still managed to have some fun, and we learned a lot. In the beginning we had to watch videos and fill in our knowledge reviews. I was curious about the next day and I was wondering who our instructor would be, because Tupac didn’t know if he would be teaching the rest of the course.

Rescue Study

Rescue Course day 2

The next day, we found out Tupac was going to be our instructor for the rest of the course. We thought we were going to be in the classroom the whole day again, but we ended up spending our afternoon in the pool practising the rescue entries, approaches and exits, which was fun. In the morning we watched some more videos, but these were more focussed on diving. We had to fill in some more knowledge reviews, but the questions were much more challenging. We promised to finish the knowledge reviews in the evening so we could go over them together the next morning.

Rescue Girls

Rescue Course day 3

On our third day I was a bit nervous, because I didn’t finish my knowledge reviews. It was a relief to find out that no one else had finished them either. I have to say it was a bit too much to finish in one evening. I even woke up early to finish them. From this point on in the course Jay, a dive master in training at Blue Marlin, was going to help us and Tupac with the course. The plan for the day was to do two dives, but after our first dive, Tupac asked us if we would prefer to do two dives on Tuesday instead of today, to give us some more time to finish our knowledge reviews. I had a bit of a cold, so I was happy to hear this. We were finally allowed to practice our skills in open water, which was a relief after two days of classroom and pool time. On our dive we practiced how to handle a panicked or tired diver underwater and at the surface. We also learned what to do in case we discovered an unconscious diver. At 4 o’clock we went over the knowledge reviews together and then we were done for the day.

Rescue Group

Rescue Course day 4

On the last day of our rescue course, we were immediately starting with a dive. After we were going to write the exam, followed by our final dive. On this last dive, anything could happen, even on the boat. Within the first 10 minutes, Mike an instructor at Blue Marlin, “fell” off the boat. At first, I didn’t realize we were expected to save him, I thought it was just a joke. We threw the buoy line to him, but he claimed he was afraid of orange stuff, so in the end we jumped in the water to save him. After Mike was saved we were all relaxing on the deck of the boat, until we noticed that there were three people in the water in need of rescue. After these three were saved, we were ready to go on

our final dive. On this dive, your instructors check to see if you can perform the skills you learned in the course while they challenge us with unexpected out-of-air drills or no mask exercises. I think the main point of this dive is to see if you can control your own stress. In the beginning of this dive we had to swim without a mask for 1 minute. Unfortunately, before we got started with some rescue skills, we had to abort our dive early. Because we aborted our dive early, we had to go on another dive when we got back to Blue Marlin. This dive was at Bio Rocks which is just off the beach. We did the missing diver scenario here. After this we practised some skills in the pool. I noticed during the dive that my buoyancy was not good, so after the dive Jay showed me some tricks in the pool, which was really helpful. Tupac asked us if we wanted to go on our final dive the next day. It went pretty well, but I think they went easy on us.

We improved on the skills we already had, and learned some new ones. We now know how to handle a wide variety of dive accidents. We are officially PADI certified Rescue Divers!

Rescue Girls underwater

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