Sunday, 23 November 2008

PADI Rescue Diver Day One

Well now. Rescue Diver is obviously a course to train a diver in the safekeeping of his fellows. Everything from First Aid, Decompression Sickness and ruptured lungs is covered. As well as recovering lifeless bodies from the ocean bed. Fascinating course, and a worthwhile one to have under the belt.

I'd started the course alone but, as Ban's owns Sunshine, a later starter was added from their books. I'll refer to this lad as Farmer, because that's how he appeared. Buck teeth, big ears and looked like he cut his own hair. We've all seen the big eared boys on farms.
I suspected the lad was a few butties short of a picnic when we were going through the coursework. Jon stressed the importance of delegating when there are less experienced Rescue Divers on a boat when an emergency arises.
Farmer: "What's delegate?"
Jon: "It's when you divide responsibility between others so you can concentrate on the bigger picture in an emergency"
Farmer: " a boss telling you what to do?"
Jon (looking at me without smiling): "Yes, just like that."
Farmer: "Right"
To be fair, this kid had done his Open Water last week, then his Advanced a few days later. Straight onto Rescue Diver? And he was asking how much an Instructor earns? Oh dear. He's going to have blood on his hands one day.
Pool training, and we had Red (Canadian lad from Easy bar who's a Divemaster Trainee) playing the victim. A good lad. He'd drunkenly promised to "fucking drown you man...I'm gonna fuck your shit up!" in Easy the night previous, before falling asleep on the bar. He turned up sweating gin out of his pores. The consumate professional.
Now this exercise simulates a panicking diver on the surface, throwing away his gear and splashing around...a hazard to a rescuer as they will try and jump on you to keep afloat. The idea is not to get too close, get them to inflate their jacket fully and calm them down before towing them to the boat. You swim up, regulator in mouth, and stay a couple of metres away...asking if they are OK. If they climb on you, regulator back in...sink and swim below them, straddling their tank and inflating their jacket for them. Simple?
Farmer swims up to Jon, asking "Diver..are you OK?". No regulator in his was trailing behind him. So Jon starts panicking, jumping on Farmer as he's too close, pushing him below the water with no means of breathing...while smiling in a rather evil manner. I couldn't stop laughing. This happened 3 or 4 times. Jon told him to approach with his regulator in, so he could submerge and avoid flailing divers and therefore drowning. Farmer did it exactly the same as before. He got it eventually.
Later that night, I saw Red at Easy.
"Red, I sincerely hope that fool never has to rescue ME"
"Or anyone else...the guy shouldn't be here."
We were agreed on one thing...he'd better buck his ideas up, or it'd be wrong of the school to take his cash and pass him. It could cost someone their life one day.

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