When you ask very experienced divers which scuba course they consider pivotal in their development as divers, most point to the Rescue course. Most also add that it was the most fun they’ve ever had on a scuba course.
The PADI Rescue Course is a game changer in diving – The preceding courses such as the PADI open water or the PADI advanced open water course teach divers the basics of self rescue (cramp release, ditching weightbelt in an emergency and such) as well as quick response to air-depletion problems your buddy may have. The Rescue course makes a real shift in how you dive – whereas previously as a diver you’d focus on your own issues underwater (keeping buoyancy, checking air, handling small problems and such) as a rescue diver you increase your whole field of awareness. It’s not just about you anymore, it’s about the whole dive team. You’ll know how to handle emergencies, and you’ll gain valuable insight into the psychology of rescue. You’ll spot when someone is not feeling up for a dive, you’ll know how to administer oxygen but most importantly you’ll learn to actually stop, think and analyse an emergency or problem.
Basic human psychology dictates, that when accidents happen most people either freeze or act irrationally. You’d see people jump in the water to save a drowning man, rather than just throw him some sort of flotation aid for example. In the PADI Rescue Course, you’ll be tested in many different (and really funny ways) to keep your head with you. There’s almost nothing you can’t handle, as long as you can keep thinking straight. This course is all about straight thinking.