Rescue diver course

The PADI Rescue Diver course is a pivotal step in expanding a diver’s knowledge and experience. Rescue Divers learn to look beyond themselves to consider the safety and well-being of other divers. This is why the PADI Rescue Diver certification is a prerequisite for all PADI leadership-level training (PADI Divemaster, Assistant Instructor, and Open Water Scuba Instructor)

Rescue Diver

Prerequsite Certification

  • To participate in the rescue training sessions in confined water only, the student must be certified as a PADI Open Water Diver or have a qualifying certification from another training organization. This is defined as proof of certification as an entry-level diver with at least four required training dives.
  • To participate in the rescue training sessions in open water, and to participate in the open water rescue scenarios, the student must be certified as a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver or have a qualifying certification from another training organization. This is defined as proof of certification beyond entry level (at least two certifications total), with proof of 20 or more logged dives documenting experience in deep diving and underwater navigation.
  • Prior to Knowledge Development Presentation Two and Rescue Training Session Two, the PADI Rescue Diver course student diver must successfully complete a sanctioned course in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR-Primary Care) and basic first aid (Secondary Care) within the past two years (24 months). The Emergency First Response Primary Care (CPR) and Secondary Care (First Aid) courses are highly recommended and can be used to meet these requirements. Emergency First Response is a basic training program in CPR and emergency care. The PADI Rescue Diver course does not teach either CPR or basic first aid, but applies and builds on these skills as appropriate for dive scenarios.

Minimum Age

  • 15 (12 for Junior Divers)

Recommended Course Hours

  • Approximately 31 (19 for Scuba Diver), based on a class of 10 students

Minimum open water training

  • 4 open water scuba dives (2 for Scuba Diver), Optional Skin Dive, Recommended Adventure Dive.

Paperwork and Administration

The following list identifies all the required and recommended paperwork for the Open Water Diver and Scuba Diver courses.Liability Release and Assumption of Risk Agreement must be signed by the student at the start of the course.
  • Medical Statement and Divers Medical Questionnaire signed by the student. If the student checks “yes” to any item on the statement, a physician must approve the student for diving before they participate in any inwater training by signing the complete Medical Statement, which you keep in the student’s file.
  • Standard Safe Diving Practices Statement of Understanding signed by the student.
  • Knowledge Reviews for each Knowledge Development section signed by the student. (This is required for the Scuba Diver course.)
  • Quiz for each Knowledge Development section signed by the student, with student initials by missed questions.
  • Final Exam signed by the student, with student initials by missed questions.
  • Dates of completion for Knowledge Development, Confined Water Dives and skills, Open Water Dives and referral issue dates, initialed by instructor and student diver.
  • If referring or receiving a referred student, copies of all required documentation.

Certification Procedures

To qualify for PADI Rescue Diver certification, student divers must:
  • Demonstrate mastery of all knowledge development performance requirements. This includes completing all Knowledge Reviews and demonstrating successful performance on the Rescue Diver Exam.
  • Demonstrate mastery of all rescue training session performance requirements. This includes successfully demonstrating each of the skills learned in Rescue Exercises 1-10 in open water. Skills may be initially introduced in confined water, however divers must demonstrate all skills in open water either during organized practice sessions or as part of Rescue Scenarios.
  • Demonstrate mastery of all rescue scenario performance requirements. This includes actively participating in Open Water Rescue Scenarios One – Four.
  • Prior to Open Water Rescue Scenario One, prepare an emergency assistance plan for the location where the rescue scenarios will be conducted.
To qualify for PADI Rescue Diver certification, student divers must be certified as a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver or have a qualifying certification from another training organization.
The PADI Rescue Diver course applies performance-based learning. This means student divers progress through the course by demonstrating that they meet measurable learning objectives. For this reason, students must satisfactorily demonstrate meeting knowledge development and waterskills performance objectives in their required sequence. The amount of time required to complete the program is based upon class size, logistical considerations, student diver aptitude and performance.
The course has three main components – knowledge development, developmental rescue training exercises, and open water rescue scenarios. The PADI Rescue Diver course is an integrated instructional system that provides you with flexibility in accommodating learning styles, personal preferences, and logistics while maintaining educational validity.

MODULE 01

KNOWLEDGE DEVELOPMENT Independent Study
  • Divers read Rescue Diver Manual, Section One, and watch Rescue Diver Video, section one, and complete Knowledge Review.
  • Welcome/Introduction and Knowledge Development One.
RESCUE TRAINING SESSION 1  (may be conducted before Knowledge Development One)
  • Self Rescue Review
  • Exercise 1 – Tired Diver
  • Exercise 2 – Panicked Diver

Pre-requisite

(CPR and first aid training required before Knowledge Development Two and Rescue Training Session Two)
  • Emergency First Response Primary Care (CPR) and Secondary Care (First Aid) Courses.

MODULE 02

KNOWLEDGE DEVELOPMENT 2 Manual and Video, Section Two
  • Independent Study – Manual and Video, Section Two
RESCUE TRAINING SESSION 2
  • Exercise 3 – Response from Shore, Boat or Dock

MODULE 03

KNOWLEDGE DEVELOPMENT 3 Manual and Video, Section Two
  • Independent Study – Manual and Video, Section Three
RESCUE TRAINING SESSION 3
  • Exercise 4 – Distressed Diver Underwater
  • Exercise 5 – Missing Diver
  • Emergency Assistance Plan – Review divers completed plan
  • Open Water Rescue Scenario One – Distressed Diver Underwater with Extremity Injury
  • Open Water Rescue Scenario Two – Distressed Divers On the Surface

MODULE 04

KNOWLEDGE DEVELOPMENT 4 Manual and Video, Section Two
  • Independent Study – Manual and Video, Section Four
RESCUE TRAINING SESSION 4
  • Exercise 6 – Surfacing the Unresponsive Diver
  • Exercise 7 – Unresponsive diver at the Surface

MODULE 05

KNOWLEDGE DEVELOPMENT 5 Manual and Video, Section 5
  • Independent Study – Manual and Video, Section Five
  • Rescue Diver Examination
RESCUE TRAINING SESSION 5
  • Exercise 8 – Exiting the Unresponsive Diver
  • Exercise 9 – First Aid for Pressure-related Injuries and Oxygen Administration
  • Exercise 10 – Response from Shore/Boat Unresponsive Diver
  • Open Water Rescue Scenario Three – Unresponsive Diver Underwater
  • Open Water Rescue Scenario Four – Unresponsive Diver on the Surface, Exiting the Unresponsive Diver and First Aid.
Each diver must use proper equipment with the normal and accepted gear appropriate to the local diving environment. This includes, but is not limited to: fins, mask, snorkel, cylinder, regulator, alternate air source, buoyancy control device (BCD) with low pressure inflator, weight system, appropriate exposure suit for the environment, timing device and depth gauge (or dive computer), compass, knife/dive tool (unless prohibited by local laws or regulations) and an emergency signaling device (whistle & flare)