In the PADI Rescue Diver dvd they call it ‘Serious Fun’ when it should be more accurately titled “Seriously tiring”. It isn’t just the physical aspects of the rescue diving course that tires you out. The mental aspects of being constantly alert to danger is what takes the toll on you. But it is not all gloom and doom. The course itself is very fun. It has its moments of sheer slapstick comedy you could only find on a television sitcom.
My course was a devious plot from the start. I had been informed that my open water scenarios would be held a day later. So i was pretty much not thinking about it while enjoying my 2 fun dives. Well, that is abit of a stretch. My first fun dive left me scratched from trying to do a walrus beach assault speciality(that is a whole different story) So i was taken by surprise when someone while snorkelling suddenly shouted he had a cramp and was struggling. It didn’t strike me yet that it was a test so i responded as the training instructed. Stop Breathe Act. I didn’t jump into the water straightaway as what i would have done. I looked around the boat and found a life buoy with rope attached and swung it out. Sure after that i had to swim in and rescue a “panicked” snorkeller. The devious part was that the instructor didn’t wait for me to heal up from my scratched incident at the rocks. He cunningly used that as a stress test and threw me into the fire. It was a good thing i was pretty ready.
The fun didn’t end after that, there were 2 more scenarios thrown in before we headed back to the jetty. Heck, while at the jetty there was a YET another incident. This time in full view of spectators waiting for the next ferry. So there was panicked shouting from the stands as an added realism bonus. After a successful save there was even applause. The final scenario was held the next day. I have to say that it wasn’t as easy. The only way you can ever be 100% prepared to handle an emergency is to train for it every single day. But when scuba diving is concerned there is no such thing as 100% sure. There will be some elements to shake things up abit. I remembered what a Divemaster on the boat told me while i was preparing to go out and make a save. ” Don’t worry about doing all the right things. Doing a save half prepared is better than NOT doing a save at all”
I am glad i went through the course. It has taught me a valuable lesson in keeping my head together and not panicking. It also allowed me to see my first shark ever. Now THAT IS SERIOUS FUN!