'Elephantum ex musca facis' or Issues of underwater rescue, part 1

March 20, 2016

 

Imagine, you've just agreed with your buddy that both of you are going up, and suddenly someone else is catching your inflator trying to put you back on depth. Annoying, isn't it. But, sadly, may create a real problem - depending on the "imaginatory victim's" level.

 

So let's discuss one popular issue named "i am a rescue diver, and i will help you". 

Though Rescue Diver Course is clearly prescribing all steps of help, starting with a problem identification and a correct contact with a person who may need help - this step is being missed by lots of certified rescue divers.
These two phrases make a difference: "Who may need help" - and "who needs help in real". Don't apply your judgement only - ask person first.


If diver is denying his need of help, but your experience is telling you that something is definitely wrong - just keep an eye on this diver and be ready for any help - or simply share your concerns with a dive guide.

 

Remember that rescuer should never perform any action on another diver without his agreement, unless he is not responding at all (in case of panic or unconsciousness).

 

Example: the group is diving in strong current, one diver looks exausted and moving nervously. Rescue diver is approaching and asking if something is wrong. The answer is 'No', but shortly the same diver starts to ascend.
Rescue diver tries to catch this guy and deflate his BCD directly - and receives an angry push back. So what's wrong here? 
Diver may:
- want to ascent 2-3m up to see something or decrease the depth to have his tank last longer,
- be distracted by environment and simply not notice that he floated few meters up,
- want to go up normally as he is feeling tired swimming in the current,
- be short in air or out of air, 
- be experiencing the trouble of uncontrolled ascent.

 

From the whole list just one last reason needs the immediate reaction of BCD deflation - while all the rest should be solved by simple signalling.

 

So don't be an object of the joke, saying that the real emergency starts after help...

 

Rescue effectively. Rescue with respect!

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