Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Who's drowning who?

So, there is this guy, Luuk. Serial dive certification collector. Our kind of guy. He took a bunch of PADI dive courses Dive Bus instructor, Andy, and just a few months later, he's back for more courses.

After tucking his PADI Deep Diver Specialty certification under his belt, with Mark, it was over to me to get Luuk through his Emergency First Response certification and the PADI Rescue Diver course. Luuk sailed through the EFR with flying colours and couldn't wait to start his Rescue course. Little did he know that this is the only PADI dive course where us dive instructors get to let their mean streaks come out to play!

Luuk and Jurjen learn the importance of being prepared!
The first day of the PADI Rescue Diver course includes several exercises for handling responsive but  panicked divers at the surface. The 'victim' (usually an instructor, with a heap of surprises up his wetsuit) can start to panic at any time. And just like a real panicking diver, the 'victim' tries to grab on to the only floating object in sight - usually the poor, unsuspecting rescue-diver-in-training. Any rescue-diver-in-training who is not paying attention will get dunked, and more than once!

Or... maybe not.

And certainly not where the rescue-diver-in-training turns out to be Dutch Navy, and practices aikido!  Let's just say that this time, it was the Dive Bus instructors who learned some new techniques to control a panicking diver. And as the subject (or victim, literally!) of these techniques I can tell you, they are effective!

The second day PADI Rescue Diver course includes bringing a non-responsive diver to the shore while giving rescue breaths, and this is where we got our revenge on our aikidoka. It turns out it's quite hard to do and after dragging our DiveMaster Trainee, Jurjen, to shore a few times, even strong Navy guys are out of breath ;) But Luuk did great and has now joined the ranks of the paranoid but prepared: congratulations to the latest Dive Bus PADI Rescue Diver, Luuk!

So with the Rescue Diver course completed, we headed off on a well-deserved pleasure dive on Pierbaai Reef, as a reward to all the victims participants in this tough but fantastic course. Unfortunately the Hawksbill Turtle from the previous day didn't turn up again, but we did get to see the new resident Longsnout Seahorse.That'll work.

Phew. I reckon I earned my days-off this week!