Rescue Diver

You started exploring the underwater world as soon as you completed your Open Water Diver certification, then you honed your personal diving skills through the Advanced Open Water course. If you're ready to take the next step then the Rescue Diver course is what you’re looking for.

"Challenging" and "rewarding" best describe the PADI Rescue Diver course. Building upon what you’ve already learned, this course expands on what you already know about how to prevent problems, and how to manage them if they occur. The fun part about this course is rising to challenges and mastering them. Most divers find this course both demanding and rewarding, and at the end, say it’s the best course they’ve ever taken.

In the Rescue Diver you take your diving to a new level, and as a Rescue Diver other divers know they can count on you for assistance. Whether it’s giving a helping hand in an emergency situation or, much more common and often more important, using your calm confidence to help avoid emergencies from ever occurring, the Rescue Diver is there.

Rescue Diver Prerequisites

In order to qualify for the Rescue Diver course you must:

  1. Be at least 15 years old
  2. Students age 12-14 years old may earn the Junior Rescue Diver certification
  3. Be a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver (or equivalent)
  4. Be trained and current in First Aid and CPR (or sign up for the Emergency First Response course)
  5. Have a minimum of 20 logged dives by the time of certification

Also note that Rescue Diver packages are available that combine closely related courses such as:

  1. Emergency First Response
  2. DAN O2 Emergency Oxygen Provider course
  3. PADI Emergency Oxygen Provider course

Rescue Diver Course Details

The Rescue Diver Course consists of 3 phases:

  1. Knowledge Development
  2. Rescue Exercises
  3. Rescue Scenarios

These phases are detailed in the sections below.

Monkey Reading his Rescue Diver Manual

1. Knowledge Development

The knowledge development phase starts with your independent study of the Rescue Diver manual, as well as the optional Rescue Diver Video which complements and reinforces the manual.

Like previous courses, each of the five chapters in the manual includes a knowledge review section to demonstrate your understanding of the material. Those knowledge reviews will be used to direct a classroom refresher session prior to completing the rescue exercises and rescue scenarios.

In addition to the knowledge reviews, you will also prepare an Emergency Assistance Plan for the training location that will be used for the rescue scenarios. Your instructor will provide guidance on how to prepare the plan as well as the details of the training location prior to your open water sessions.

The last portion of the knowledge development phase is the Rescue Diver exam, which is typically conducted after all rescue exercises and scenarios are complete so that you will have a practical reference for the exam.

Although there are a few options available, for most students AquaMunkee Scuba will cover the knowledge development section using the following approach:

1. Independent, Self-Paced Study at Home
2. Completion of All Knowledge Reviews in Your Manual
3. Classroom Session to Discuss Knowledge Reviews
4. Additional Explanation / Question-and-Answer Session
5. Rescue Exercises & Scenarios
6. Rescue Diver Exam

On average, the entire home study portion of the Knowledge Development phase can be completed in 1-2 weeks at a leisurely pace.

Diver Rescue Exercise

2. Rescue Exercises

With your knowledge reviews completed, it's time to get hands-on learning in a real diving environment like Lake Mendota, Devil’s Lake, or Lake Wazee. During the rescue exercises your instructor will walk you through each skill, providing demonstrations and coaching you on your technique. This section is not a graded activity, the intent is to provide you opportunities to learn from your experience.

Unlike other courses, in the Rescue Diver exercises you will be expected to challenge the "right answers" and think critically. This includes offering enhancements or modifications that suit your approach, the environment, or other factors. The Rescue Diver course is most concerned with your ability to act quickly and confidently, since taking time worrying about minor details will only worsen most rescue situations.

The Rescue Exercises

  1. Self Rescue Review
  2. Exercise 1 - Tired Diver
  3. Exercise 2 - Panicked Diver
  4. Exercise 3 - Response from Shore, Boat or Dock
  5. Exercise 4 - Distressed Diver Underwater
  6. Exercise 5 - Missing Diver
  7. Exercise 6 - Surfacing the Unresponsive Diver
  8. Exercise 7 - Unresponsive Diver at the Surface
  9. Exercise 8 - Exiting the Unresponsive Diver
  10. Exercise 9 - First Aid for Pressure-Related Injuries & Oxygen Administration
  11. Exercise 10 - Response from Shore/Boat to an Unresponsive Diver at the Surface

Diver Rescue Scenario

3. Rescue Scenarios

During your Open Water training your instructor will integrate rescue scenarios throughout your rescue exercises to add realistic challenges to your training. Each scenario will draw upon skills developed during the rescue exercises, and you will never be asked to conduct a scenario unless you have already demonstrated proficiency of related skills during the rescue exercises.

The scenarios are the most challenging, most interesting, and most fun of the Rescue Diver course. In fact, many divers consider these to be to most rewarding training they have ever received.

As a personal anecdote demonstrating how much I personally believe in the impact of this course, it was during my training as a Rescue Diver that I realized I wanted to become an instructor. Furthermore, the same realization happened for one of my Rescue Diver students during the very first Rescue Diver class I taught as an instructor.

That diver is currently a PADI Divemaster working toward his Instructor certification.

The Paperwork

Once you have completed all of your diving and taken the exam, the only thing left to do is fill out your certification paperwork, take your photo, and send you off with your temporary certification cards.

Within 2 weeks (typically closer to 1 week) you will have your lifetime certification as PADI Rescue Diver.

Course Price Includes Everything You Need (No Hidden Costs)

  1. Training and certification
  2. Rental equipment - scuba, snorkeling gear, wetsuit, & wetsuit boots
  3. Air fills for all dives
  4. Rescue Diver Manual & Slate

Required Forms for Training

  1. PADI Continuing Education Form - combines Safe Diving Practices, Liability Release and Medical Statement forms into one convenient form for continuing education.

AquaMunkee Scuba is a PADI training facility, focused on the PADI approach to diver education and also offering training through the related organizations DSAT/Tec Rec and Emergency First Response.