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Divemaster learning emergency preparedness and life saving skills at the PADI rescue diver course

Former Dive Master Candidate Colt taking the PADI Rescue Diver course with Hawaii EcoDivers

How to handle panic, drowning, and health issues when diving: emergency preparedness through Hawaii Eco Divers’ PADI Rescue Diver course on the North Shore of Oahu.

Let me tell you a story about a dive emergency, explaining how I was able to learn emergency preparedness with the PADI Rescue Diver course at Hawaii Eco Divers.

Two weeks ago I found my dive buddy, Ryan, completely unresponsive, lying face down on the ocean floor. We had been scuba diving on the North Shore of Oahu when I realized he was no longer behind me. I spent many minutes trying to find him, just to come across this horrifying sight. As I got closer, I discovered that no bubbles were coming out of his regulator that was still positioned in his mouth. He wasn’t breathing! He was unconscious, and I had to help.

I pulled Ryan up from the ocean floor, bringing him to the surface while gently holding his regulator in his mouth. Once we were both floating on the surface, I recognized that he still wasn’t breathing. I opened up his airway to give him two rescue breaths. While towing him towards the beach, I removed both of our scuba gear, while maintaining rescue breaths every five seconds.

Once within earshot of the beach, I shouted for someone to call for help. I dropped the last of my gear and prepared myself to pull him out of the water and onto land. After giving him two more rescue breaths, I then had thirty seconds to splash through the wave break. It was nearly impossible to drag his limp body to shore, trying desperately to keep his head above water.

Finally, when we were on the beach above the water line, I started to provide him CPR until help arrived.

I saved his life!

Fortunately, Ryan is a scuba diving instructor and the above scenario was fabricated. He was only pretending to be an unresponsive diver to test my ability to save him. He was alive and breathing the entire time. This practice scenario was the last test I needed to complete the PADI Rescue Diver course with Hawaii Eco Divers. And I passed! Thankfully his life didn’t need saving, but now I know what to do in the event of an emergency while scuba diving.

If this were a real emergency, I could have actually saved his life. I’m grateful for the Rescue Diver training as this knowledge has given me new confidence while diving I have never felt before!

The PADI Rescue Diver Course at Hawaii Eco Divers on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii

Scuba diving is a fun thing to do while on vacation here in Hawaii. Most of the time, there are no issues while diving here. The Rescue Diver course taught me the many dangerous situations that exist which I was not previously aware of. Scuba diving instructors are monitoring for these risks at all times before, during, and after leading a recreational dive.

The PADI Rescue Diver Course with Hawaii Eco Divers, given on the North Shore of Oahu, teaches scuba divers how to handle all possible emergency situations. The course empowers its students to avoid and protect against potential hazards. It consists of a two-day course that includes book work, diving practice, and a final exam.

It was a humbling experience to enter into this course and realize how clueless I truly was! For instance, before the rescue diver course I had no idea what to do if I saw a scuba diver unresponsive on the bottom floor of the ocean. I wouldn’t have known how to find my lost dive buddy if they didn’t resurface with me, or how I would handle a diver tearing off their equipment while flailing around in a panic. Enacting simple safeguards can prevent life threatening situations, like these, from arising.

Emergency First Responder Training is vital for divers too!

Hawaii Eco Divers offers a bundle of the Emergency First Responder certification with the PADI Rescue Diver Course. This was so convenient for me! Bundling the courses only adds one day of training, and includes necessary skills such as CPR and bandaging wounds. I spent three days learning the appropriate skills and techniques for possible life threatening scenarios. Then I was able to practice them until I felt confident that I could perform them in the event of an emergency. The training sharpened my mind so that I can recognize a dangerous situation, evaluate it properly, and handle it effectively.

PADI Rescue Diver Course teaches emergency preparedness for injury, CPR. On the North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii

Two Divemaster Interns practicing emergency preparedness through the PADI Rescue Diver Course.

While involved with the Emergency First Response certification course requirement, my classmates and I learned what to do if we saw someone bleeding, having a seizure, or choking. We learned what to say and how to act with the victim of a car accident or heart attack. We learned how to resuscitate someone who is not breathing. For more information about everything taught in the course, check out PADI’s webpage about it here!

I am more confident when diving now, knowing that I’m prepared to help someone in need. I hope to never find myself in an emergency situation while scuba diving. However, it is wonderful to feel equipped to handle any emergency situations.

And for the record, here is Ryan, alive and well –

PADI Rescue Diver Course for Emergency Preparedness - Dive Instructor Ryan swimming with Hawaiian fish

Dive instructor Ryan underwater, safe and prepared to handle unexpected dangers thanks to PADI Rescue Diver course.

Join a PADI Rescue Diver Course with Hawaii Eco Divers on Oahu and learn how to save a life!

If you are interested in enrolling in the PADI Rescue Diver course to learn all of these life saving skills, Hawaii Eco Divers has more training opportunities coming up! You can sign up to be part of an upcoming PADI Rescue Diver class with Hawaii Eco Divers on their website: