Location: Pain de Sucre, Les Saintes

Those who wanted to complete their PADI rescue diver certification woke up early this morning to set up their scuba gear and load it into the dinghies. Amy and Amanda briefed us on what drills they had planned for the morning. I woke everyone else up at the usual 0700 wakeup, so we could all eat breakfast together, which was a lovely apricot turnover with a side of eggs prepared by Chef Matthew and his team. After breakfast and cleanup, the rescue diver group headed over to a nearby sandy beach to practice out-of-air, underwater panicked diver, and unresponsive underwater diver drills. We split up into groups of two, one of us acting as the distressed diver and the other acting as the rescuer. After returning to Ocean Star, we went over how to approach and manage a panicked diver at the surface using flotation equipment. Amy and Amanda tell us we’re the best rescue group they’ve had thus far.

After lunch, the crew sat down for an oceanography class with Amanda, followed by a marine biology class with Amy. This was followed shortly by some more diving drills. We practiced module 7, which we will get to practice a few more times before we reach the scenario portion of the course. Module 7 features approaching a non-responsive/unconscious diver on the surface in full scuba equipment. All gear had to be removed while keeping the airway open, towing the victim back to the boat, and giving them rescue breaths at a consistent rate. The rescue group had a lot of fun with this even though it was very exhausting in the strong currents. We then joined the others in shower time and headed into dinner. Matthew prepared a delicious chicken burrito bar, which we all scarfed down. As soon as dinner was over, we began the first part of our Emergency First Response training, which will earn us all our EFR certification that is valid for two years. In tonight’s lesson, we went over when to use our training, CPR procedure, and abdominal thrusts (No longer called the Heimlich). All in all, a lot of us had a big life-saving training day and are eager to get to bed. We also want to get some good sleep before our sunrise hike tomorrow!

-Steffen

Pictures: Rescue divers posing for a group photo, Joseph getting into character as a panicked diver, Nate tying a bowline to the flotation, rescue divers attempting to approach panicking divers; Joseph towing Jill back to the boat, Ridge, and Steffen working on panicked drill, Jill attempting to recover Nate, Steffen riding one of the buoys as he is being rescued, Nate rescuing Ridge, Beautiful harbor shot, Ridge feeling sleepy during study time despite Red Bull