PADI Rescue Diver Course



Challenging and rewarding best describe the PADI Rescue Diver course. Building upon what you have already learned, this course expands on what you already know about how to prevent problems, and how to manage them if they occur.

The Fun Part

The fun part about this course is rising to challenges and mastering them. Most divers find this course both demanding, rewarding and at the end, say its the best course they have ever taken.

What You Learn

Self rescue

Recognizing and managing stress in other divers

Emergency management and equipment

Rescuing panicked divers

Rescuing unresponsive divers

Course Outline

Student Divers Meet Course Performance Requirements and:

  • Complete five knowledge development segments and exam.

  • Demonstrate skills from the Self-Rescue Review either in confined or open water.

  • Demonstrate skills from Rescue Exercises 1-10 in open water.

  • Participate in Rescue Scenarios 1 and 2.

  • Prepare an emergency assistance plan for a dive site.


Knowledge Development

In your PADI Rescue Diver Manual there are five knowledge development segments.

  • Complete all five knowledge development segments.

  • Rescue Diver Exam.

  • Prepare an emergency assistance plan.

Rescue Exercises Performance Requirements

Self-Rescue Review

Demonstrate the correct procedures for the following self rescue situations:

  • Cramp release Establishing buoyancy at the surface

  • Airway control

  • Use of an alternate air source

  • Overcoming vertigo and reestablishing sense of direction

Exercise 1 – Tired Diver

Assist a tired (rational) responsive diver at the surface, demonstrating:

  • Approach

  • Evaluation

  • Making Contact

  • Reassuring the Diver

  • Assists and Transport

  • Equipment Removal

Exercise 2 – Panicked Diver

Rescue a panicked (irrational) diver, demonstrating:

  • Approach and Evaluation

  • Making Contact

  • Releases

  • Approach with a quick reverse to stay out of a panicked diver’s grasp

 Exercise 3 – Response from Shore, Boat or Dock

Assist a (responsive diver) in distress, demonstrating:

  • Non swimming assists, including reaches/extensions and throws

  • Water entries without losing sight of the victim and paced to conserve energy

  • Swimming assists and rescues, with and without emergency flotation equipment

  • Tows with and without equipment removed, including underarm push, tank valve tow and modified tired swimmer carry

  • Exits

Exercise 4 – Distressed Diver Underwater 
  • Correctly identify and respond to a diver simulating overexertion underwater.

  • Correctly identify and respond to a panicked diver making an uncontrolled ascent.

  • Correctly identify and provide air to, via an alternate air source, a diver simulating an out-of-air emergency, and make a controlled air-sharing ascent.

Exercise 5 – Missing Diver

Quickly and efficiently search for and locate a missing diver using an underwater search pattern.

Exercise 6 – Surfacing the Unresponsive Diver

Use controlled positive buoyancy as an aid to ascent.

  • Bring an unresponsive diver to the surface using buoyancy control of either the unresponsive diver or the rescuer.

Exercise 7– Unresponsive Diver at the Surface

Make contact with and check for breathing on an (unresponsive diver) at the surface, demonstrating:

  • Calling for help while establishing buoyancy and turning the diver face up.

  • Removing the diver’s mask and regulator, opening airway and checking for breathing.

While continuing effective rescue breathing, demonstrate equipment removal (victim and rescuer) while towing the diver toward an exit.

Exercise 8 – Exiting the Unresponsive Diver

Remove a breathing, (unresponsive diver) from the water

  • Remove a non breathing diver from the water, both with and without assistance.

Exercise 9 – First Aid for Pressure-Related Injuries and Oxygen Administration

Demonstrate steps and procedures for administering oxygen to a breathing, unresponsive diver with suspected decompression illness.

  • Administer oxygen to a non breathing diver while using a pocket mask for rescue breathing.

Exercise 10 – Response from Shore/Boat to Unresponsive Diver at the Surface

Respond to a diver emergency that requires attending to a non breathing, (unresponsive diver) on the surface, demonstrating in water rescue breathing, exiting the water and then providing CPR.

Rescue Scenarios:

Scenario 1 – Unresponsive Diver Underwater

Search for and locate a missing diver during an accident simulation.



  1. 1. Interviewing the victim’s buddy and drawing logical conclusions from the information presented.

  2. 2. Organizing a quick and effective search (using surface and underwater search patterns).

  3. 3. Searching for and locating a missing diver.

  4. 4. Bringing a diver simulating unresponsiveness to the surface using controlled positive buoyancy.

Scenario 2 – Unresponsive Diver at the Surface



  1. 1.  Effectively responding to an unresponsive, non breathing diver during an accident simulation.

  2. 2.  Evaluation, tow, in water rescue breathing, removing equipment, exiting and providing CPR

Your Next Adventure

After completing CPR and first aidand the PADI Rescue Diver course, you should take the PADI Emergency Oxygen Provider course Together, these three courses round out your ability to handle scuba diver emergencies.

We do not accept equipment that is unsafe or damaged

to be used in any of our programs.  If you have any questions on whether the equipment you have will be acceptable for this program, please contact us prior to class for a free equipment evaluation.  We service and repair Scuba equipment. Safety First!

Course Prerequisites

    prerequisite training

    To take the PADI Rescue Diver course, you must be

  • Have PADI Advanced Open Water Diver certification (or have a qualifying certification from another organization)

  • Have completed the Underwater Navigation Adventure Dive.

  • Be trained and current for first aid and CPR within the previous two years.

  • Ask your instructor about Emergency First Response CPR and first aid courses.

Age requirements

The PADI Rescue Scuba Diver Course ages 15 years or older

swimming requirements

Participants must be able to swim. You do not need to be Olympic swimmers.  You just need to be comfortable in the water and pass a swim test.

required Books

The PADI Rescue Diver Crewpak

The Rescue Diver crewpak contains all required materials for the Rescue Diver course (except the Rescue DVD), including:

Rescue Diver manual

Diving management workslate

Pocket mask

required equipment

Standard SCUBA Gear: Mask, Fins, Snorkel, Compass, Dive Computer or Dive Watch, Knife, Safety Sausage, Communication Slate, Safety Whistle, Dive Lights, BCD, Regulators with Submersible Pressure Gauge, Tanks, Weights, Gloves and Wetsuit if required(during winter classes).

Rescue Throw Bag


Standard Pocket Mask

Surface Marker Sea Me Tube 6Ft




Major Emergency Medical First Aid Kit

Rental equipment is not included in this class. If you need to rent equipment please do not forget to select the rental equipment you will need when you book your course.

waivers and liability releases

All participants must sign the following PADI release prior to any in water training. Parent or guardian signature is requiredfor participants younger than legal age for all PADI programs.

    • Certified Diver Experience Programs Liability Release and Assumption of Risk Agreement

    • PADI Standards Save Diving Practice Statement of Understanding

    • PADI Medical Statement

    • PADI youth diving responsibility and risk acknowledgment

course duration

Course is about 25 hrs total.

Classroom academics approximately 3 hours.

3 Rescue exercise pool training sessions 3 ½  hours each.

2 – ½ day dive excursion trips, which includes 2 training dives per trip

important personal items

Sunscreen (spf30+)

A Hat


A Towel

Your Favorite Snack

Waterproof Bag

Something to Drink (water is providede free on board the dive boat).

We do not accept equipment that is unsafe or damaged

to be used in any of our programs.  If you have any questions on whether the equipment you have will be acceptable for this program, please contact us prior to class for a free equipment evaluation.  We service and repair Scuba equipment. Safety First!


PADI Course Cost, Location and Schedule

    Sign-up Today Start Diving Tomorrow

    We offer private lessons seven days a week sign up today start diving tomorrow. We offer group lessons for the open water course twice a month. Check the course schedule for more details.

    Click Here for More Details on Course Schedules


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Youth Diving Responsibility and Risk

Parents and Junior Divers Must Watch This Video Together