I’ve done a lot of fun things this week! Firstly, I continued my rescue dives with the rest of our intern group, practising a variety of skills, like mask removal, and reacting to your regulator being ripped out of your mouth. This time at 5 meters, rather than waist-deep water, it was fun to practise and also useful skills to train up! We then went on a double dive later in the week, where we did a full scenario of a missing unresponsive diver. I got to be the victim, so after 10 minutes of floating around as the rest of my group searched for me, and then the exciting stuff kicked in. I got taken up to the surface and rescue breaths commenced, as it is impossible to properly do chest compressions in the water, those are put on hold in favour of doing one rescue breath every 5 seconds, and taking the spare seconds in between to tow the diver towards the boat and start removing equipment. The scenario didn’t even stop when they hoisted me up on the boat, we legitimately had to ring camp on the phone we bring with us, and tell them to prepare for the victim. This meant that I had to have very gentle chest compressions, getting rescue breaths, and breathing from faux oxygen for the 15 minute boat ride as we raced back to camp. I spent most of the time with my eyes shut, as water was dripping everywhere, which was very off putting when we arrived on camp and I was lifted onto a bodyboard and carried to the dive shed where chest compressions continued and we started a countdown for when the “taxi” would arrive to take me to hospital. It was a very surreal experience, as I spent most of the time napping ironically, otherwise I was whispering advice into my fellow interns’ ears. Overall it was a lot of fun, and I’m looking forward to being one of the rescuers in the repeat of the scenario next week.
In continuation of our divemaster training, we did our first timed exercise, a 400m swim! There are 5 types of such challenges with rankings for competence and skill measured for each. When you complete the task, you receive a ranking from 1-5, 5 being the best. Overall you are meant to get 15 points to pass this section. The challenges are; the 400m swim, a 800m snorkel, 15 minutes treading water, a 100 meter diver tow, and a equipment exchange. I did the 400 meter swim first, it was scheduled in so our entire group did it together. There was a bit of a current, but I managed to arrive second, and got a 2 ( with 11m30s overall), 30 seconds off a 3. I really want to have at least a 3 on all of the skills, so I will probably do the swim again in better conditions. It’s quite hard to do when it’s choppy, as no swimming aids are allowed, even goggles!
Next week; Refresher training, seagrass surveys starting back up again!