October 15, 2018

First Aid & Rescue Diver Training

Rescue diver training at Alba

After completing the advanced open water/advanced adventurer course, rescue diver training is the next step. The knowledge and skills you will learn will make you a safer and more confident diver by giving you the tools to help other divers, should they require assistance. This includes learning how to recognise and address stress in yourself or others, learning how to assist a tired or panicking diver, rescuing an unresponsive diver at the surface or underwater, and understanding methods for exiting a victim from the water. If you intend on becoming a dive professional you must first become qualified as a rescue diver, and if you just want to be a better diver, the rescue course will undoubtedly help.

To enrol on the rescue course, you need to have a recognised emergency first response qualification. At Alba we can teach the Emergency First Response (EFR) course, or the Raid First aid course. If you already have some kind of primary care qualification, e.g. from the Red Cross or St. John’s Ambulance, check with us to see if they are recognised by the diving agencies.


Raid Master Rescue Diver


Consisting of some online theory, an exam, and practical in-water training, the Raid master rescue course is more comprehensive than the PADI rescue course. A lot of emphasis is put on risk management so that you have the tools to reduce the risk of an incident happening in the first place. Moreover, rescue skills are undertaken from up to 20m depth, which will better prepare you to provide effective assistance to a diver or divers in distress. The course normally takes 3 days to complete.

Course prerequisites:
To enrol on the course, you need to:

  • Be a minimum of 15 years old.
  • Have completed and passed Master Rescue academic section Quick Quiz and Exam.
  • Have a minimum of 12 hours logged underwater whilst using open circuit equipment.
  • Have a RAID Advanced 35 (Open Water) or Explorer 30 certification or equivalent certification from a recognised training agency.
  • Have a current rescue Breathing/CPR and oxygen provider certificate from a recognised authority.
  • You must provide proof of prerequisite requirements to the appointed Dive Centre for approval prior to any in water training.

For more information about the RAID Master Rescue Diver Course, please click here. 


PADI Rescue Diver


The PADI rescue diver course is normally run over two days, and consists of some theory and an exam, plus in-water skills ranging from assisting a tired or panicking diver, to surfacing an unresponsive diver underwater.

Course prerequisites:
To enrol on the course, you need to:

  • Be an advanced open water diver
  • Junior adventure divers who are at least 12 years old and have completed the Underwater Navigation Adventure Dive may enroll in a Rescue Diver course.
  • Have Emergency First Response Primary and Secondary Care (CPR and First Aid) training within the past 24 months.

For more information about the PADI Rescue Diver Course, please click here. 


SDI Rescue Diver


The SDI rescue diver course normally takes two days to complete, and includes learning how to manage rescue situations, how to deal with a panicking or tired diver, surfacing an unresponsive diver and undertaking a safe exit from the water with a casualty. You can complete the theory online prior to any practical training.

Course prerequisites:
To enrol on the course:

  • You must be 18, 15 with parental consent
  • Provide proof of current CPR, first aid and oxygen (O2) provider (where local law permits) certification*
  • Provide proof of SDI Advanced Adventure Diver certification, or equivalent, or open water diver certification and 40 logged open water dives

For more information about the SDI Rescue Diver Course, please click here.


IANTD Rescue Diver


IANTD places a lot of emphasis on the theory side of all it’s courses. Consequently, the physiology covered during the rescue course is very in-depth. As with rescue courses with the other diving agencies, the skills learned include assisting other divers underwater and on the surface, who may or may not be conscious. The course is normally run over 2 days.

Course prerequisites:
To enrol on the course, you need to:

  • Provide proof of a minimum of 10 logged dives.
  • Be qualified in IANTD Diving First Aid or equivalent;
  • Have an IANTD Oxygen Administrator or equivalent;
  • Be IANTD CPR certified, or equivalent.
  • You must be 12 years of age for Junior Diver qualification with a parent or guardian authorisation, or; Must be a minimum of 15 years of age for Diver qualification with a parent or guardian authorization, or; Must be a minimum or 18 years of age without guardian approval.

For more information about the IANTD Rescue Diver Course, please click here. 


Emergency first response and first aid courses

Emergency First response (EFR)


The EFR course does not involve any dives, and is unrelated to diving. The training you receive is split into two components, primary care and secondary care. Primary care allows you to provide basic life support in an emergency situation. Thus includes spinal injury, heavy bleeding, or choking. It’s important to point out that the skills you will learn in no way negate the need for professional medical care. They are instead designed to give the patient the best chance of survival before emergency professionals arrive at the scene.

Likewise, secondary care involves administering first aid for sprains, cuts, broken bones etc, in order to make the patient comfortable prior to being handed over to medical professionals.

The course normally takes 1 day to complete, and includes some theory, an exam, and practical sessions.

For more information about the Emergency First Response Course, please click here. 


Raid First Aid
In contrast to the EFR course, Raid first aid is specifically aimed at you, the diver. It provides the knowledge and practical skills necessary for dealing with a range of diving-related emergency first aid situations. You will not learn any theoretical aspects of Decompression Sickness or Oxygen Administration (these are covered in the Master Rescue Program), but instead will focus on the practical side of emergency first response. The course is normally run in one day.

For more information about the RAID First Aid Course, please click here. 

If you would like more information or have any questions about First Aid and Rescue Training at Villa Alba, please get in touch.