As of today I am a PADI certified Rescue Diver!
This morning I was picked up by Eric at 0845, and we met up with the others at 0900 at the dive store, to pick up some bottled air, and follow the instructor to the dive site. We went to Askje on the Island of Mosterøy, where Jæren Dykkersenter is opening a dive centre in a couple of weeks. First we practiced approaching a panicked diver, and towing a tired diver. The next exercise consisted of searching for a diver missing under water, and retrieving an active panicked diver and then a passive panicked diver from the bottom. The last exercise before lunch break was practicing towing an unconscious diver, while giving mouth-to-mouth and removing equipment from both the victim and ourselves.
During the break, Eric, Morten and me were secretly instructed to sneak off and go in the water behind a shed, then dive out in the bay, where Morten was passively panicked on the bottom, Eric was unconscious face down in the water, and I was actively panicked on the surface, shouting for help. (or rather shouting for pizza, in order not to alarm the locals…) The others then got a sudden end to their lunch break, and had to mount a rescue for us.
The topics are serious, but the training was a LOT of fun, even though I am now absolutely and completely beat!
This was the last diving course I have time for before I leave for Russia, but my hope is that with certification as high up in the PADI system as Rescue Diver I’ll get to dive on some of the more beautiful (and vulnerable) sites in South East Asia when the time comes. The plan for my first dives on my trip, however, are in Lake Baikal, about which I could go on at length, but suffice it to say that it is supposed to be absolutely breathtaking. (speaking figuratively, I hope…)
(PADI stands for “Professional Association of Diving Instructors”, but our instructor told us yesterday that as a joke they used to call it “Pay And Dive Immediately”…)