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PADI Rescue Diver Class at Kirkfield Quarry April 4, 2009

Posted by Chris Sullivan in Training.
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On May 24, 2008, which was the Memorial day weekend in the US but a week after Canada’s Victoria Day holiday (except in Quebec, where is has a different name due to their repudiation of the English Crown), we went back to Kirkfield Quarry to conduct a rescue class. My main role of the day was victim, and for more than 3 hours I panicked, fell unconscious, and stopped breathing for the benefit of our prospective rescuers.

The water had warmed to a balmy 13 degrees Celsius (55F), but it was a much nicer day than the barbeque the week before. Still, I opted for the dry suit, as a 3mm wetsuit was my only alternative at the time. Even with my recently acquired 6.5mm wet suit I would still opt for the dry suit even though we Canadian divers like to think of ourselves as tougher than most.

My first scenario was to panic on the surface and was handled well by the student. Second was to panic underwater, and I was also successfully rescued. We spent the next hour doing various surface exercises like tossing a line and a life buoy. The life buoy is not all that easy and I didn’t get to practice that in open water in my own rescue class. Being waist deep in the water at the time, the weight and size of the buoy made it difficult to fling with good distance and direction.

One of the divers lost his prescription mask, so I spent the next hour searching for it. It was found by another group of divers lodged on an upright tree trunk. I had been looking on the bottom, and by the time I got around to looking on the various trees it had been found.

The final scenario was unconscious diver. I was found very quickly because I naturally couldn’t stop the bubbles. I was found, shoved around, brought to the surface too quickly, and roughly pulled out of the water. A disgusting smelling Oxygen mask was shoved on my face which made me gag, but for the most part the class did well.

It was a fun day because we had 2 instructors and plenty of divemasters to go around. I wrote down four separate dives in my log book ranging from 3 minutes at 26 feet to 18 minutes at 30, with a total of 46 minutes underwater in the 3 plus hours for the class.

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