Diver Stress & Rescue

SSI Specialty Courses

A big factor in dive accidents and rescue scenarios is stress. This specialty will equip you with the knowledge and skills to adequately handle situations should they occur. It will teach you to avoid and prevent problems above and underwater while becoming more confident in your skills as a diver.

  • What is Stress?
  • Stress in Diving: Causes and Prevention
  • Accident Management
  • Skills Needed to Deal with Panic and Rescues
  • Conditions that Complicate Rescue

Briefing

  1. Equipment Assembly
  2. Pre-Dive and Equipment Check
  3. Review Hand Signals

In-Water Skills: Review (Optional)

  1. 2nd Stage Retrieval – 2 Methods
    1. Sweeping
    2. Reaching
  2. Sharing Air – 2 Methods
    1. Donning the Primary Air Source
    2. Donning the Alternate Air Source
  3. Scuba Unit Removal/Replacement – 2 Methods
    1. Surface
    2. Underwater
  4. Emergency Ascents – 2 Methods
    1. Emergency Swimming Ascent
    2. Emergency Buoyant Ascent (Pool Only)
  5. Relieving Leg Cramps – 2 Methods
    1. Self-Aid
    2. Buddy Air

In-Water Skills: Self Aid

  1. Swimming without a mask (Minimum 1 Minute)
  2. Free Flowing 2nd Stage Breathing (minimum 30 Seconds)
  3. DIsconnceting and Reconnecting the Inflator Hose Under Water
  4. Detecting Stress

Debriefing

  1. Discussion: Skills Review and Self Aid Skill Performance
  2. Record Keeping

Briefing

  1. Equipment Assembly
  2. Pre-Dive and Equipment Check
  3. Review Hand Signals

In-Water Skills

  1. Scuba Unit Removal/Replacement – 2 Methods
    1. Surface
    2. Underwater
  2. Buoyancy Control Surface/Underwater – 2 Methods
    1. Surface (Positive)
    2. Underwater (Neutral)
  3. Weight System Release – 2 Methods
    1. Surface/Belt/BC
    2. Underwater/Belt/BC
  4. Diver Aid Tow – 4 Methods
    1. Side
    2. Pushing
    3. Surface Float
    4. Cylinder Tow

In-Water Skills: Rescue

  1. Surface Assistance – 2 Methods
    1. Shore: Lines/Rescue Devices
    2. Boat: Lines/Rescue Devices
  2. Struggling Diver Aid – 2 Methods
    1. Surface
    2. Underwater
  3. Panicked Diver Aid – 2 Methods
    1. Surface: Freeing Techniques and Rescue
    2. Underwater: Freeing Techniques and Rescue
  4. Initiating the Rescue Chain
  5. DCS or Lung Expansion Injuries – Oxygen Administration Procedures

Debriefing

  1. Discussion: Skills Review and Self Aid Skill Performance
  2. Record Keeping

Briefing

  1. Equipment Assembly
  2. Pre-Dive and Equipment Check
  3. Review Hand Signals

Rescue Scenario 1 – Aiding Tired/Panicked Diver

Combination of skills:

  1. Diver Aid Buoyancy Control
  2. Diver Aid Weight System Release
  3. Diver Aid Tow
  4. Panicked Diver Aid
  5. Initiating the Rescue Chain

Instructor Notes and Critical Points:

  • The Rescuer should always avoid endangering themselves.
  • Teach control and protection against a panicked diver.
  • Panicked divers will try to take control – The correct use of Freeing Techniques and Safety Distance is viable.
  • Release the Weight System (Belt or BC) can cause an uncontrollable ascent. Releasing the Weight System should only be performed if the diver cannot be lifted with other techniques.

Debriefing

  1. Discussion: Rescue Scenario Skill Performance
  2. Record Keeping

Briefing

  1. Equipment Assembly
  2. Pre-Dive and Equipment Check
  3. Review Hand Signals

Rescue Scenario 2 – Search Patterns/Unconscious Diver

Combination of skills:

  1. Missing diver
  2. Unconscious diver underwater
  3. Unconscious diver on the surface
  4. Unconscious diver transportation
  5. Unconscious diver care

Instructor Notes and Critical Points:

  • Teach divers to find an unconscious victim underwater with the 2nd stage out of the mouth, leave it out and perform the rescue. If the 2nd stage is in the mouth it should be held in place with one hand.
  • On the ascent the victim’s head needs to be tilted back to ensure the airway is open.
  • During the ascent the rescuer must ensure a proper ascent rate and in reality even make possible decompression stops.
  • Stop, inflate victim’s BC and make 2 initial rescue breaths before transporting the victim.
  • Arm pit to arm pit will ensure the victim’s head is out of the water while being transported.

Debriefing

  1. Discussion: Rescue Scenario Skill Performance
  2. Record Keeping

Briefing

  1. Equipment Assembly
  2. Pre-dive and equipment check
  3. Review hand signals

Rescue Scenario 3 – Managing Stress

Combination of skills:

  1. Detecting Stress Underwater
  2. Diver Aid Underwater

Possible Scenarios/problems:

  • Wide-eyed look and rapid breathing
  • Buoyancy control problems
  • Equipment problems
    • Torn Mouthpiece
    • Torn Mask Strap
    • Lost Fin
  • Lost buddy
  • Loss of direction
  • Low on air
  • Physical problem (Cold, Fatigue, Cramps)

Instructor Notes and Critical Points:

  • The Open Water Session 3 / Rescue Scenario 3 can be completed in the given sequence or can be conducted any time during the program based on the instructor’s decision.
  • The rescuer should always avoid endangering themselves. Teach control and protection against a panicked diver.
  • General Rule: Stop, Breath, Think, and Act

Debriefing

  1. Discussion: Rescue Scenario Skill Performance
  2. Record Keeping
Gill Divers Dive Courses SSI Specialty Diver Stress and rescue

Whats next?

The fun doesn’t need to stop there! With just a little more training, you can go even further – imagine diving in underwater shipwrecks, with sharks, or becoming an underwater photographer! It s your chance to move to the next level in your diving adventures.

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