It’s often said, “The best Rescue Divers never have to make any rescues.” True Rescue Divers have the ability to recognize potential problems and get involved before they evolve into actual problems. What allows a Rescue Diver to think this way? Here are a few key elements that form the Rescue Diver state of mind…
Self Reliance – Rescue Divers are Self Reliant; they rely on their own judgment, capabilities, resources and independence while diving. Self Reliant divers take a proactive approach to their own safety in the water by continuously practicing and refining their dive skills. This no nonsense approach allows Self Reliant divers to gain confidence in the water and enhance their dive experience by not relying on anyone around them for a rewarding dive. Tricks from the Pros – Be honest with yourself and take responsibility of your dives, learn to handle your own emergencies and plan for contingencies.
Dive Planning – Rescue Divers make a plan, stick to it, and have back up plans for unforeseen circumstances. A dive plan typically consists of a clear explanation of entry / exits, the dive profile, who is leading and the route of the dive, buddy separation solutions, and a hand signal review. Tricks from the Pros – Let’s face it, we can’t talk under water. If the dive plan wasn’t clear enough, confusion can be easily resolved if each diver in the group carries an underwater slate.
Awareness – We’re going to focus on two aspects of awareness – Self and Global. The Self Aware diver is in tune with their feelings. Yes, we said it. You have to get in touch with your inner self! You need to ask yourself: Are you up for the dive? Is the dive within your experience level? Is your equipment functioning properly? If you have any hesitation answering any of these questions you might be putting yourself and the divers around you at risk. The Global Aware diver is in tune with their surroundings. They know their location in the water throughout the entire dive. They are conscious of their surroundings and know where their buddies are at all times. Tricks from the Pros – Pay attention to detail (self and global). Keep in mind, a diver outside of their comfort zone is more likely to be involved in an accident. Dive within your comfort zone and pay attention to your surroundings.
As you broaden your dive experiences and expand on the skills you developed in your initial scuba diving training your overall comfort in the water increases. Through this process you have learned new tricks and tips from diving with others, expanded your awareness and most importantly you’ve gained the experience to enhance your overall judgment in diving. Don’t get complacent; this is the time to expand your skills. If you haven’t taken the SDI Rescue Diver course already, it’s the next step for you. You’ve already learned how to take care of yourself, now it’s time to learn how to recognize potential problems in others and how to increase your own personal dive safety. Click here to start Rescue online.
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