You remember the first time you tried diving. It didn’t matter what you saw, you were just in awe that you could actually breathe underwater for more than 30 seconds. The way you lost gravity under the oceans surface was almost surreal, and so much fun! If you were lucky enough to try diving in one of the worlds top destinations, like Indonesia or on the Great Barrier Reef, you would have seen underwater life like you had never seen it before.  And so you became hooked on diving. From there you booked on an open water course and learnt some invaluable skills, along with how to be a top notch dive buddy. Maybe after that you decided to do your advanced open water course and you gained the skills necessary to dive in the dark. Or you might have decided to stick with your open water cert. for a while and just purely enjoy being underwater. Whatever you decide to do training wise, gaining your rescue certification is a move than not only benefits you, but every person you dive with.

A common misconception is that rescue courses aren’t fun. While they are definitely more challenging than your average leisure dive,  the rescue course is an integral part of becoming a more relaxed, capable and more confident diver. We’ve listed below a few of the main reasons why you should work towards gaining your rescue certification.

You will know exactly what to do in an emergency situation and more importantly, how you can prevent them

In comparison to other diving courses, the rescue course doesn’t involve as much, well, diving. Ironically though, many divers and dive professionals believe this is the most important diving course any diver can do. Whilst you learn a lot about how to dive at a basic level in the open water course, what to do when things turn pear shaped and how to stop them heading that way in the first place is relatively overlooked. A rescue course focuses on the key methods of preventing accidents from happening, and how to help yourself  and fellow divers when  faced with feelings of panic and stress. Most rescue courses have a core theory section that runs through aspects like the psychological side of rescues to how to put preventative techniques into action. As a pre-requisite of the course, most dive agencies will need you to have completed your CPR and first aid course relatively recently and these are two more short courses that are incredibly beneficial to any avid diver.

The rescue course will make you a more confident and capable diver – and you’ll learn skills that help you assist those that are not

Realistically, you will more than likely never have to use the practical rescue skills you learn during a rescue course, but learning how to prevent accidents is absolutely essential for any scuba diver. Diving accidents are rare, but the bottom line is that diving can be a risky hobby, and knowing how to react in a rescue situation could one day mean the difference between life and death. Reading the signs of a nervous diver and how to deal with them yourself makes you more comfortable and aware when you scuba dive.

You will be feel more relaxed when you visit remote destinations, and be able to comfortably participate in more advanced dives

To participate in certain dives in more exotic and remote dive sites, often a minimum number of dives and level of experience is required. Doing a 25 metre wall dive in strong current is not the ideal dive choice for someone who has just finished their open water course. Rescue courses usually require you to either have logged a certain number of dives, or completed your open and advanced scuba certifications resulting in a certain level of dive experience. Knowledge is power, and having the knowledge that you would have gained throughout your previous training and through the rescue course means that you will have so much more confidence and be far more comfortable when you’re overseas undertaking more extreme dives at new and exotic locations. Diving live aboards often offer a variety of different dive sites on a single itinerary, and being able to confidently participate in every dive will make your trip so much more enjoyable and help you get the most out of your holiday.

If you haven’t gained your rescue certification yet, why not do it before your next overseas dive trip? The best way to become a better diver is to get out there and dive, but undertaking courses that build on your current skills and give you new knowledge will result in more enjoyable and safer dives for you and your buddies.

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