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Rescue Course Mishaps - The good, the bad, and the funny

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by jagfish, Nov 19, 2020.

  1. jagfish

    jagfish The man behind the fish ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Kanagawa and Florida
    Rescue Course Mishaps (Rescue Course Incidents and Stories) The good, the bad, and the funny
    If you ask divers which was their favorite or most memorable scuba course, in my experience the majority will say Rescue. I guess the suspense and unpredictability of the make-shift rescue scenarios make for a dynamic and exciting training experience. However, this unpredictability does result in some mishaps and incidents that can cause instructor stress. Let's have a look at a handful of these incidents from my years of teaching rescue. Some good ops for learning as a student and instructor...
    (Mods if you feel this is better placed elsewhere, I understand)

    SaltwaterNomad and lexvil like this.
  2. Manatee Diver

    Manatee Diver Stop throwing lettuce at me! ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Tampa Bay, FL
    The worst thing for me in my rescue class was being rolled into the water twice because my "rescuer" didn't undo my crotch strap. I actually stopped it so I could cough up water.

    Slightly less annoying was being left out there to search for a missing diver after the missing diver was found. That being said they came and got us a couple of minutes before the 15 minute surface, search for signs, and reposition deadline I established for myself.
    jagfish likes this.
  3. jagfish

    jagfish The man behind the fish ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Kanagawa and Florida
    Being the victim is the worst, for sure. SO many head-dunkings, scrapes and bruises...
    -JD- and Seaweed Doc like this.
  4. ibj40

    ibj40 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Texas
    Was in our Rescue class.

    We were on our lunch break and someone yelled that there was a diver down.

    Before we could react and get our gear on, another diver had rescued our victim and brought him to the surface.

    Two lessons here, anyone wish to wade in?
    jagfish likes this.
  5. johndiver999

    johndiver999 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Gainesville FL

    Lesson One: Listen to your mother: You need to wait 30 minutes after eating before you can go back in the water?
    jagfish, ibj40 and kelemvor like this.
  6. MaxBottomtime

    MaxBottomtime Divemaster

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Torrance, CA
    That reminded me of an incident in my rescue course. One of the other DM candidates swam out more than 500 feet from shore. The instructor told me to swim out there and get him to come back in a few hundred feet.
    jagfish likes this.
  7. Graeme Fraser

    Graeme Fraser Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Narnia
    During the rescue diver pool session, we set up a mini scenario where a panicked was in the water and all the throwing / reaching aids were removed.

    We hoped one of the students would improvise and use a BCD or wetsuit in a bag (all strategically available) as a makeshift buoyancy aid.

    Well, one of the students did improvise, pausing only briefly to pickup a 6kg weight belt before diving straight in! :D
    jagfish, -JD- and Searcaigh like this.
  8. Searcaigh

    Searcaigh Chromodoris gordonii Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Dubai, UAE
    One might think so, but .............

    Whilst laying on the sand pretending to be unconscious and waiting for what seemed like eternity to be found, I discovered macro life which has lead to a an obsession for macro photography ever since.

    Edited to add:

    This has cost me a lot of money in UW photographic gear over the years, but has lead to many friendships ..... priceless!
    jagfish, Jim Lapenta, Jake 10 and 3 others like this.
  9. DBPacific

    DBPacific ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: NorCal, USA
    To simulate panicked divers grabbing you underwater, one of the DMs took great pleasure in coming up behind us and ripping our regs out of our mouths so we'd have to push him away and switch to secondary.

    Another guy and I were tense enough from all the other shenanigans that we were biting down hard enough that when he grabbed the hose the mouthpieces just tore off and got ripped apart
    jagfish likes this.
  10. Searcaigh

    Searcaigh Chromodoris gordonii Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Dubai, UAE
    This is my funniest story, but it's long :facepalm:

    I did my rescue course in 1993 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. My instructor was regarded as one of the best in the area at the time and very thorough doing various scenarios over several weekends, and whilst several were done off "private hotel" beaches with facilities, most of our diving was done off "free beaches" along the massive Red Sea coastline of Saudi. Most of this involves walkouts over a shallow lagoon area to the reef and can vary as much as 100m to 1,000m depending in the location to the actual reef drop off.

    So bearing in mind 1993, no cell phones, but some of the most awesome diving at the time :D

    There was an area north of Jeddah (Obhur) that we frequently dived called "Pizza Hut Gap" this was a bit of free beach about 10m wide between a private villa and yes a Pizza Hut outlet (good for post diving snacks), and that is where this day's training session occurred.

    My remit was to find a lost diver after surfacing with the instructor and some students. The DM H was the victim and someone I'd rescued before, who frequently tried to drown me on the surface during initial rescues. He was over 6ft tall and built like a brick outhouse.

    Actually the water was clear enough from the surface that I spotted him very quickly after the instructor did a head count and announced a diver was missing. The students were all OW, and I elected to go down and retrieve the DM on my own.

    The retrieval and bringing the DM to the surface was uneventful, and probably my third time doing this, so it went like clockwork. On the surface I instructed one of the OW students to get to shore and "pretend" phone the Emergency Services from the Pizza Hut, whilst with the help of the other students started to pull the DM to the shore and I started "pretend" CPR on the DM.

    In the shallows when we could stand, we did a gear removal from the "victim" and one of the OW students was left with it so to avoid losing stuff, (actually we never retrieved the DM's weight belt for some reason). and floated the DM to the shore using only his and my BCDs (without tanks) as flotation devices and all the time I'm doing pretend CPR.

    Then as we get to the shoreline there's this bunch of guys rush to meet us all talking in some language I don't understand (wasn't Arabic and I found out later they are Turkish), and they are trying to help the OW guys and me with the the DM and we get him on to the beach, while I'm doing this pretend CPR. The OW student who was sent to call help tells me that it has been done and they will be here soon.

    The instructor meantime is standing back observing all of this and finally comes up to me and says "fine all done" so I stop and the DM sits up. The Turkish guys all jump back surprised and get really excited, shaking my hand and patting me on the back for bringing the DM back to life.

    Due to language issues it wasn't really possible to tell them this was a practice and not real, but it did make me feel good, especially knowing that people will try to help in these situations despite the laws at the time in certain Middle East countries.

    We did have a good laugh afterwards and the Instructor did say that the whole scenario was pretty much lifelike looking from a distance.
    jagfish, apenland01 and Graeme Fraser like this.

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