Browsing articles tagged with " rescue"

The Self Reliant Diver

okt 11, 2011   //   by supernova   //   Blog, Crystal Divers, Divemaster  //  No Comments

Kitted up and Ready to go

As part of my continuing education in diving, not just the gaining of experience, I decided that I would rather enjoy undertaking the Self Reliant Diver Course, a relatively new course from PADI. My aim being that once qualified, I could complete the necessary qualifying dives to undertake the instructor qualification.

First let me say that self reliant diving is not Solo Diving. The self reliant dive training provides you with another skill set that increases your ability for self rescue, identify and anticipate problems before they become life threatening and equip you with the skills to extract yourself from a situation should it arise.

Diving without a partner requires you to be willing to make the required commitment to train and equip yourselves properly and to accept the added risks involved. You must have the right attitude and ability to dive independently. This is true in other adventure sport activities such a solo rock climbing.

Diving without a partner requires the right attitude and equipment. This includes, but is not restricted to redundant air sources, specific dive planning and management of independent diving problems and emergencies. However, no amount of redundant equipment can effectively back-up a diver’s brain better than another individual

In simple terms, responsible independent scuba diving is not for everyone; however it does have a place. So, who should develop self –reliant diving skills and why? The course will appeal most to photographers, videographers, traveling divers, wreck divers and TecRec Divers. This is by no means an exhaustive list and will appeal to anyone with the necessary course pre-requisites.

Having completed the necessary pre diving study and knowledge reviews, we traveled to Tulamben on Monday 10th October to complete the three qualifying dives. Having gone through some very thorough pre-dive planning and briefing we kitted up ready for the first dive. We were certainly carrying much more equipment that normal; redundant equipment that is either critical for survival or critical to the dive objective’s success. This included a backup 4.7 ltr cylinder, complete with regulator and SPG. This would allow us the opportunity to initiate an emergency exit from a life-threatening situation without undue stress and with a minimum of confusion in the event of a major equipment malfunction.

Entry for Dive One

During the first dive we were required to complete a number of skills, which were, with all standard and specialized equipment, conduct a buoyancy check at the surface, complete a 200m surface swim, demonstrate neutral buoyancy by hovering for one minute, perform a relaxed, nonstop 200 meter surface swim, demonstrate the ability to switch to a redundant air supply system, simulating a regulator free flow and breathe from the redundant air source for at least two minutes, perform a SAC rate swim by swimming for approximately five minutes at a level depth, recording the appropriate information for later calculation and deploy a lift bag or DSMB from the bottom. All skills were completed without issue and one skill that was practiced a great deal was switching to our alternate air source, which had to be done one handed and within thirty seconds.


Swimming without a mask

After our required surface interval, we kitted up again for dive 2. During this dive we would have to complete further skills, comprising of demonstrating time, depth and gas supply awareness by writing the depth and cylinder pressure on a slate at 10-minute intervals, swim at depth for at least two minutes covering a distance of at least 18 meters without a mask. We would also have to whilst continuously swimming, simulate an out-of-air emergency and change from our primary air supply to our redundant air supply system within 30 seconds, then breathe from the redundant air supply system for at least two minutes, complete two navigation exercises, perform a SAC rate swim by swimming for five minutes at a level depth recording the appropriate information for later calculation and deploy a lift bag or DSMB from the bottom. Again, one of the key components and something practiced repeatedly throughout the dive was switching from our primary to redundant air supply. Again, all skills were completed and there was even time to interact with the aquatic life, especially the turtle that seams to have taken up residency on the wreck.

Swimming without a mask

Ready to go our seperate ways

After lunch, we began our third and final qualifying dive. For this dive we were truly diving alone but it was not just a fun dive. The instructor gave us our briefing for the dive and set us our tasks. This was to demonstrate time, depth and gas supply awareness by writing the depth and time on a slate for each 20 bar of gas consumed, demonstrate turn around pressure and time limit awareness when either the pressure or time limit established during the briefing is reached by writing the time (if pressure limit reached first) or the pressure (if time limit reached first) on a slate, demonstrate navigational control and return to the exit with no assistance from the instructor and while continuously swimming, simulate an out-of-air emergency and change from your primary air supply to your redundant air supply system within 30 seconds At the conclusion of the dive we then had to deploy a lift bag or DSMB and ascend to the surface, stopping at 5 metres/15 feet for a three minute safety stop and most importantly surface from the dive within the established time frame and with no less than the planned pressure remaining in the cylinder.

Through the Wreck

The third dive was a new experience, diving alone and with no buddy. We have all no doubt at some time or other been alone for a short while but to do a whole dive alone was something new. What was noticeable during this dive was that you checked your dive computer more often than usual and you became more aware of your surroundings and where other divers were, just in case.

At the end of the third dive we had completed all the skill requirements and were now qualified as Self Reliant Divers. Twenty more self reliant dives and instructor qualification beckons. The benefits of completing this course are not about diving alone. It is about being self reliant, equipping you with the skills and knowledge to be a better diver, able to self rescue if the need ever arose. These are certainly skills that anyone should have and teaches you how to manage situations where you may be separated from your buddy for extended periods of time.

Deploying the DSMB whilst on redundant air supply

If you want to do the Self Reliant Course, then there is no better place than Crystal Divers. Take a look at the Courses Section and see what is entailed.




sep 19, 2011   //   by supernova   //   Interns Blog  //  No Comments
It’s been a while since I wrote my last blog. Lots of things have been happened during these pass few months. We’ve been diving with a lot of different instructors for few weeks. Paul changed the schedule for each of us to follow one instructor/ dive master every week but we need to be flexible on the diving trip. If there is no spot available anymore, we need to stay in the office and help the office about selling the diving trips and diving stuffs. We learnt many more things such as how to manage the booking, how to give briefing, how to guide, doing a little part of tune up, OWC, become the victim for the rescue diver. Well all the stuffs that we need to know when we become the instructor 😉
Let’s move forward to the next level… RESCUE DIVER! After some specialties finished and now the time for rescue book. Like always we needed to read and understood about this course. Rescue are about managing the situation before it’s become worse and dealing with it if the accident happened during the dive. Like we learnt before in EFR, we also used term of “Stop, Think and Act”. And the same thing, our safety comes first. In rescue we learnt about diving accident and overcame the situation, what we should do and the best way to take care of the situation.
Each chapter gave use more information about dealing with every diving accident. They gave us a lot of time to read, answered the quizzes and of course the knowledge reviews. After several weeks, now we all sit together in the class to talk about the quizzes and knowledge review. One day was not enough for doing the rescue course so that we split into 4 days. And you know what, they all were right. This course was the most fun course that I ever had.
The first day was all about theory.. Quizzes and knowledge reviews… we did that from 9am until 3pm from the first chapter until the fourth chapter. Our brains were overloaded so the last chapter, exam, and the pool session will be done on the next day. Holly explained all things which we didn’t understand before patiently.
The second day we did the last chapter only for 1 hour and time to do the FINAL EXAM! Some of us passed the test easily but 3 others needed to do the make up test but at the end all of us passed the test with good score. Finish about rescue diver theory, we did the pool session with Holly and Cecilie as her assistant. We did 7 skills in the pool that day.
Holly told us to do a towing a tired diver race using whatever towing which is the fastest way for warming up. Two technique to approach panic diver on the surface, and I found underwater approaching was easier than other one like Holly said the last thing the panic diver want is going under the water 😉 quick reverse was the next skill, we need to know this skill to protect us from the panic diver who chases and want to go above us. Distress diver under water- out of air, as a rescue diver we need to identify the diver who distress because they out of air and we need to give the octopus and of course take them to the surface, inflate the BCD orally. Surfacing unresponsive diver to the surface also have own technique, keep the regulator in the place (inside or outside mouth), and take the diver with the safe rate ascent.
Handling unresponsive diver on the surface is the longest skill for today because we need to keep the rhythm for giving rescue breath until we reach the boat and do the CPR. Safe the best for the last is a good word for this skill. For the last skill we need to do the exit from the water technique, we can use many techniques for this skill, it all depend on the circumstances and the size of the victim. We were carried each other to go out from the pool and that was an awesome day… It was a nice day to spend my birthday though!
The third day we did all the skills in open water with 2 more skills that we didn’t do in the pool. This time holly was assisted by Tony the new dive master trainee in Crystal. All the skills are the same with skills in the pool beside search pattern and throw a buoy. We practiced 2 search patterns that day, U pattern and expanding square. Throw a buoy also the other skill we needed to do that day. A little scenario at the end of the skill, Tony pretended to be unresponsive diver on the surface and we need to help him.
Last day of Rescue diver course and there were a scenario diving. Holly MacLeod as scenario director prepared the rescue scene for 7 of us. The victims for that day or I can say the brilliant actors were our lovely DMT Cecilie West, Mari Sasaki, Will Cooper, and Anthony Karasiewicz. This was the scenario for us, all we need to do is help and handle the situation for rescuing all of them. It was begun with seasick Cecilie, heat exhaustion Mari and tank drop injured Tony.
Time to dive!!! Some more accidents were happened under the water. Our diving was more interesting than other dive with panic Tony, Out of Air Will, and Tired Mari. Our dive was ended with two missing divers my buddy and our dive guide for that dive. We were planned the searching for the missing divers after took Mari to the boat and calmed Will down with his panic attack. We used the circle pattern for Tony and U pattern for Cecilie, with the SMB for marking where were we so we could contact each other with the snorkeler and another buddy.
Tony was found easily but Cecilie needed more time to be found. It was not end of the scenario, the missing diver turn to be responsive again on the surface and turn out we got another unresponsive diver on the surface Will and Mari. We needed to give rescue breath, towed to the boat and took the to the boat. Took Mari into the boat was much easier than took Will but we did it!
No no no still not finish yet because Cecilie jumped out of the boat follow with Will, Tony and Mari. They all were got panic and we needed to jump to safe them. Last thing Cecilie was injured by the jellyfish and Jink offered to pee on her hand because no vinegar available that time :p Now it was finish for rescue course, really really finished after some delay. WE ARE OFFICIALLY RESCUE DIVER now ^^