You take the PADI Open Water Diver course to learn to SCUBA dive, so where do the Advanced Open Water and Rescue Diver courses come in? The truth is they’re all part of the learning process. Taking dive courses after Open Water Diver helps turn you into a competent SCUBA Diver. Yes once you have your “PADI” Open Water Diver certification you are able to go SCUBA Diving, it’s an autonomous diver rating, you earnt it!
You also get to go SCUBA diving on the advanced open water dives when taking the PADI Advanced Open Water course. Mastery of SCUBA diving comes through continued education and coaching. It is safest to know more and be trained beyond your desired diving aspirations as well.
What you gain at each level and why
Although more natural for some than others, an experienced and well trained SCUBA Diver will easily “out dive” anybody at the Open Water Diver level, regardless of how much of a “water person” you are. They will have better control of their buoyancy, use less air, disturb the underwater environment less and even end the dive with more energy. It is tiring if you’ve not had the extra training. At Open Water Diver level you’re learning to be safe underwater and simple dive management. Being safe is the most important thing at any level, once you have the essential knowledge and skills for a safe dive to 18m then you need to learn how to make the most of your time underwater and get out of it what you go underwater for.
This is where the PADI Advanced Open Water Course comes in. Advanced Open Water students tackle techniques for skillfully executing scuba dives in the open water. Learning about marine life underwater and what is keeping them alive helps divers understand how best to interact with marine life. If you do the Peak Performance Buoyancy dive then better buoyancy control and maneuvering underwater becomes much easier. There are other Advanced dive options but for the sake of this article, will hit on just two others; Underwater Navigation. You’ve seen your instructor find their way around, maybe thought “they just know the dive site”. In fact that’s not entirely true. Even diving a well know dive site an experienced diver has dived a lot of times, Advanced Open Water and Specialty Navigation skills will always be being used to find their way around. Who doesn’t want to go deeper right? Going deep is fun. Doing so safely is paramount. Get certified and enjoy greater confidence and understanding, making even shallower dives more comfortable.
So you’ve got safe diving skills and are executing dives a little more like a seasoned pro. Diving has risks. These are decreased with training and experience, a close call or even a situation that is a little uncomfortable can be turned into a disaster or ideally just be a little oops moment with the right training. This can all depend on the training and experience of both yourself and your dive buddies. Divers with Open Water, Advanced and Rescue certifications can execute dives and deal with the more challenging situations that can arise with relative grace and ease where an Open Water Diver could get into serious strife.
Being a PADI Rescue Diver is to do with being prepared, not about being a hero or feeling obliged to risk your life for anybody. In the Rescue Diver course you learn to keep yourself safe should something go wrong with a fellow diver, you’re prepared should something get a little out of hand and keep both yourself and your fellow diver from sometimes serious harm. You won’t need to “jump in front of a bullet” ever, what good is getting two people into trouble instead of one. But know how do react in different scenarios through education and skills practice.
The PADI Rescue Diver course is Challenging and Rewarding. There are physical aspects to the course but these don’t require super human strength or for you to deface yourself either. Our SCUBA Instructor/s have your comfort and safety as the first priority throughout all of the dive courses and would not allow any compromising situations to occur.
So go on, continue your diving education today; experience a lifetime of fun, safe and satisfying SCUBA diving…