Dive Right In Scuba - Scuba Diving Blog

So, you’ve become certified as an open water diver and perhaps taken an advanced open water course? Well, I’m sure that at this point in your diving adventures the local dive shop that you regularly walked into has made at least one, if not multiple attempts to get you to sign up for a Rescue Diver Course. Well, with that in mind…the big question is should you? I know that personally I took a Rescue Diver course mainly because it was a requirement to become a Divemaster, but did it turn out that it actually helped me as a diver? Well, let’s take a close look at whether or not taking a Rescue Diver course will actually be a useful endeavor.

            First off, like I said previously taking the Rescue Diver course was a requirement for me to go onto taking the Dive Master course and becoming a dive professional. It makes sense right? I need to have quality rescue skills if I am to be entrusted with the safety of divers in the water. So with that in mind, taking a Rescue Diver course is a good idea if you ever plan on becoming a dive professional at any point in the future. So, there’s that…if you are going to be responsible for other divers you need training in Rescue. Which is why I took the course, but I was quick to find that I gained so much more from the course.

            So, you don’t plan on ever being a dive professional. I completely understand, insurance, association fees and putting an element of work into your leisure activity isn’t for everyone. The question then remains, do you want to be a better diver and dive buddy? Do you want to have the confidence to go into a dive knowing that you can handle a stressful situation before it becomes a full blown emergency? More so, do you want to have the skills to be able to survive an actual dive emergency? Well, if these questions are answered in the affirmative then perhaps there still exists a reason to take a Rescue Diver course. For me, the skills I learned in the course actually made me a more competent diver. By learning how to rescue my buddy and deal with situations in a slow, calm and methodical manner I quickly realized the true value of taking the course that went beyond another check in the box on my way to becoming a dive professional.

            No matter that your reason for taking the Rescue Diver course, you will learn techniques for how to handle emergencies both underwater and on the surface, self rescue, coordinating a search and rescue/recovery effort in addition to becoming a more competent and safe diver overall. So the big question here is, no matter what your reasons why would you not want or need to take a Rescue Diver course? Your own as well as your buddy’s safety may very well depend on your skills!

3 Responses

  1. Absolutely take Rescue Diver! I’ve been diving since 1970 (with a sabbatical for raising a family) and got around to taking NAUI Advanced Rescue three years ago; with no intention of becoming a dive master. It greatly enhanced my situational awareness, competence and confidence that I can manage or avoid problems before they become emergencies and handle an emergency if needed. I now better “see” and help correct problems (my own and others); e.g. an unbuckled tank strap, mask strap over the top of the head ready to release the mask, etc. How about an emergency? May of this year diving Grand Traverse Bay, Michigan, 40F water temp at 120 feet, my buddy’s regulator froze up and went to free-flow. He is also rescue certified. I donated my primary and went to secondary (my preferred system), we held harnesses and made a controlled ascent with safety stop; perfect team effort. Could experienced divers without rescue training do the same? Of course. But I found we both seamlessly went to our training and completed the “rescue” without anxiety or indecision. Highly recommended training.

  2. I completed my Rescue Diver course last summer, before I made the decision to move from recreational to dive professional. Although intense and at times a little nerve wracking, for me, the rescue diver course was the best educational experience I have had as a diver so far. The course gave me the knowledge and training I needed not only to handle a possible emergency situation involving another diver, but also the confidence to rescue myself if required. I’m glad I took the course, even if I had decided to stay on the recreational side of diving.

    I guess the question everyone needs to answer if they are considering taking the rescue diver course is this: are you simply a tourist (and I do not intend to demean anyone by this. There is nothing wrong with simply wanting to be a tourist) or are you truly serious about the sport and becoming the best diver you can possibly become? The answer to that question should help to drive your decision.

  3. I’m starting my Rescue class in two weeks. There was a never a question as to whether I should I shouldnt. To me it was always the minimum level I wanted to pursue; not a means to an end. However, now that I’ve progress a bit as a diver, I do see Divermaster on the horizon. Its still in the distant future, but its something I’m interested in. I knew I was going to do rescue long before I decided I’ll eventually do dm.