Thursday, March 10, 2011

08/03/11 To the Rescue

This past weekend was quite different from most other weekends. While most people on base enjoyed the festivities of the Carnival de Seychelles, 4 lucky souls were beat around, nearly drowned, and “saved” lives while working on their PADI Rescue Course.

Saturday morning, after a very eventful Pirates vs Ninja’s week, Christo, Rachel, Corinne and Stephanie got up long before everyone else in order to catch the bus to town. Once in Beau Vallon, we wished each other good luck and headed to our respective dive shops. Rachel and Christo headed down the beach to the Big Blue diving center where they will be doing their Dive Master Internship and rescue course, while Corinne and I headed up the beach to the Underwater Center to do the same.

We had all been warned about the rescue course, that we would be put through the wringer, but we never really knew what to expect. The day started out easy with all kinds of diving paperwork, then a “lovely” rescue video, followed by a review of the questions in the book. Before we knew it, we were taking the exam and found it was easier than we thought to pass. So far so good.

After a light lunch, we were donning our scuba gear and heading into the water, only about 5 meters deep. We began with simple things, things that we pretty much learned in our open water course, such as cramp removal and tired diver tows. Corinne and I had some fun acting this out. Then we were onto approaching a panicked diver. We had little trouble keeping control during this, until our instructor wanted us to approach a panicked diver from under water. He made a point of trying to pull as much gear off of us, therefore, having to rescue us in the end. Turns out no one has ever been able to save him in a scenario situation. This made us feel a little better.

Then we were onto the even more serious situations, of an unconscious diver. We learned how

to retrieve them, give them rescue breaths, swim them back to shore, and how to remove our gear along with their gear. All while moving as quickly but smoothly as possible. By the end of the day we were ready to collapse.

The next day was hard to get moving because we were so exhausted from the day before but we did it, and began by hauling each other out of the water. Then came our full rescue scenario. One of us had to go out and descend as the unconscious diver while the other had to run through the full events of a rescue. When I was the victim we discovered Corinne’s secret talent as an actress because I had a doctor running to my rescue, plus a large crowd watching the situation. It wasn’t quite so eventful when I rescued Corinne but I can honestly say doing a rescue is one of the most exhausting things, but completely rewarding.