Hey, I’m Amélie, I’m 17 and I love scuba diving! Recently I’ve been on an incredible diving journey with my family doing the PADI Rescue Diver course. In this blog post, I’m going to take you through my scuba diving journey, with a special focus on the PADI Rescue Diver course.

Setting the Scene

My diving journey began when I was very young, starting with the ‘SASY’ (Surface-Supplied Air System) program. I was so excited to do a Bubblemaker Program for my 8th birthday, and I soon progressed to my Junior Open Water Diver course at the age of 10. However, I had my reservations about diving in the chilly waters of the UK, and things such as my GCSEs and COVID-19, caused me to pause my advancement into the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course, but my love for diving was reignited during a family trip to Egypt.

When we were planning the trip to Egypt I knew I wanted to continue my scuba diving journey and become a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver. Doing this course was an incredible experience. I was so happy I could do it with my family. After the trip, we all knew we wanted to dive together and started to look for opportunities to expand our diving horizons. I then found the PADI Rescue Diver course.

The idea of learning to respond to emergencies underwater looked interesting. Of course, we’ve all heard the stories of diving mishaps and seen the James Bond movies (!), and so I was eager to learn how to handle such situations. After all, I was diving more, and you never know when something unexpected might happen.

three rescue diver students listen to their padi instructor
Image courtesy of Amélie

The Rescue Diver Course

We did the PADI Rescue Diver course in a gorgeous quarry in Wales. This was quite a unique environment, and far from the typical warm-water destinations I was used to.  

The course was a good mixture of excitement and seriousness. The rescue scenarios were not only educational but also incredibly entertaining. For example “dead Fred,” was our beanbag dummy that we had to rescue, and this was paired with some truly Oscar-worthy acting by fellow divers. While the topics we covered about were serious, this touch of humour made the experience more enjoyable, especially when learning about the darker sides of diving accidents.

During the course, we had to complete two online courses: The PADI Rescue Diver and the Emergency First Responder eLearning courses. This laid a solid foundation for our practical training. And having done this before getting in the water, it made the hands-on part of the course really engaging as we were applying our knowledge rather than trying to remember everything! We learned essential skills, such as bringing a diver to the surface, handling panicked divers, and even using emergency medical equipment, like oxygen and defibrillators. But the real challenge was lifting “dead weight” (aka my brother) out of the water and up a flight of stairs!

The course emphasised collaboration, getting us to work together as a team. Doing this as a family was not only good fun but also enhanced our skills and has since made us feel safer on our dives. I think the most important and reassuring thing is having the confidence that when you’re underwater, you know that everyone in your group could handle an emergency if it was to happen.

two divers smile for the camera as their mom takes their picture during a PADI Rescue Diver course
Image courtesy of Amélie

Reflections on the Experience

The PADI Rescue Diver course was an incredible experience for me and my family. It’s not just about scuba diving; it’s about acquiring essential life-saving skills. The course has definitely made us feel safer while diving and has reduced our reliance on the Divemasters. With this qualification, we are all able to dive with more confidence in our abilities to tackle unforeseen challenges – even my highly qualified mum!

As well as this, many of the skills that we learnt will help us outside of diving. Not only am I now qualified as a first responder on land as well as at sea, it has taught us problem-solving, quick thinking, and teamwork – skills that I believe are invaluable in any situation.

I wholeheartedly recommend this course to other families who scuba dive. Diving is not an individual sport, it is a collaborative adventure. Whether you dive just in a buddy pair, or in a larger group, it is so much more fun with a sibling to annoy! But all joking aside we have loved doing the PADI Rescue Diver together as a family. This experience has been so much more enjoyable with my family, and equally would be with a group of friends that you may dive with; it made the learning process fun and has made us all feel safer diving together.

A diver gets towed by another diver during a PADI Rescue Diver course
Image courtesy of Amélie

As for the location, some people might wonder why we chose a Welsh quarry instead of a warm water destination, and I did have my doubts about the temperature; however diving in the UK has many more challenges than abroad. The gear, weather and temperature added a new set of challenges, and I really wanted to feel well prepared for anything that the British weather wants to throw at me – plus it was genuinely much warmer in my drysuit than I was expecting!

Our ongoing journey into scuba diving and our most recent adventure with the PADI Rescue Diver course have been transformative. For me, it’s not just about exploring the underwater world; it’s about having fun with my family, learning essential life skills, and having an adventure.

Diving has become an integral part of our lives and has been a great source of a variety of amazing experiences as a family. If you’re a family looking for a unique and life-changing course, the PADI Rescue Diver would be a perfect way of combining essential skills and an awesome experience.

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