Rescue Exercises – Unresponsive Diver at Surface

This entry is part 6 of 8 in the series Rescue Skills
  1. Mouth-to-mouth
  2. Upon recognizing a potentially unresponsive diver at the surface, attempt to get his attention by shouting “diver, diver are you okay?” and splashing

    If no response, stop and evaluate conditions for any dangers

    If okay to approach, attempt to get attention again

    Make contact with the diver and turn him face up

    Inflate victim’s BCD

    Inflate your BCD

    Remove victim’s weight belt

    Remove your weight belt

    Remove victim’s mask

    Remove your mask

    Remove victim’s regulator

    Remove your regulator if in place

    Position diver so that his head is toward your dominant hand and his feet are toward your other hand (for purposes of this write-up, we’ll assume you’re right handed)

    You must use your body and shoulders to shield the airway from any potential waves and water movement.

    Place your left hand under the diver’s neck to open airway

    Look listen and feel for 10 seconds.  YOU MUST BE VERY CLOSE TO DO THIS EFFECTIVELY.

    Count it out, looking at chest for rising/falling

    Feeling for breathing on your cheek

    Listening for breathing

    Again, you must BE CLOSE for this to be effective

    When you determine that the diver is not breathing, activate EMS by saying “Call for help, I have an unresponsive diver at the surface.”

    Maintain open airway with left hand- the airway stays open from now on!

    Lightly pinch victim’s nose and initiate rescue breathing by administering two slow rescue breaths

    For all rescue breath simulations, make physical contact between your lips and the victim’s chin when giving breaths

    Count slowly to four and give a breath on every 5th second

    If you miss a breath, you must administer two slow rescue breaths and then continue on the five-second cycle.

    In between breaths, begin removing your victim’s equipment with your right hand.

    The slower you make the actual rescue breath, the more time you will have to locate and plan to remove a particular release.  Each rescue breath should take approximately one second to administer.

    Start with victim’s chest release and work down

    Remove victim’s AAS

    Remove victim’s SPG if necessary

    Remove shoulder clips

    Keep the victim floating on his BCD while you begin unclipping your own releases.

    Top Tip: RELEASE YOUR SHOULDER BCD CLIPS FIRST- if you undo your chest and waist clips, your BCD will likely float up behind you, sliding your shoulder clips under your arms.  These clips may then become extremely difficult to access and release.  Remember that you must keep the victim’s airway open and protected at all times.

    Next, release your AAS

    Next your chest clip

    Next your waist release(s)

    This takes you out of your gear, enabling you to quickly tow the diver floating on his BCD.

    When ready to remove the victim from his BCD, deflate his BCD half-way and reach under him with your right hand.  Grab the left wing of his BCD and rotate it under him to his right side.

    You will need to concentrate on keeping his head up and airway protected with your left hand- still under his neck!

    When you have reached your exit point, you administer two slow rescue breaths and then have 30 seconds to exit and initiate CPR.

Series NavigationRescue Exercises – Surfacing the Unresponsive DiverRescue Exercises – Unresponsive Diver at Surface 2

Tom West

Whether you are an experienced Tec Diver or it's your first technical dive, you still need the assurance that your Tec Diving Instructor is someone who is going to be there at all times guiding you through your dives. We are very lucky to have Technical Diving Instructor Trainer and PADI Course Director, Tom West in charge of the technical diving division here at Blue Season Bali.

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