Learn about the PADI Rescue Diver course

Last Updated on August 25, 2021 by Dan

A PADI Rescue Diver is someone who has the knowledge and skills to help people in difficult situations. This article will go over the PADI rescue diver certification!

The PADI rescue diver course is a rescue diver training course that is conducted under the PADI Rescue Diver manual. Rescue divers are trained to dive in any conditions and under any circumstances, whether it be normal diving or rescue diving. these rescue divers are also trained as lifeguards (to rescue distressed swimmers) among other rescues such as firefighting and medical aid.

Given the nature of this vocation, rescue divers should have an adequate level of fitness, excellent swimming ability and discipline that is needed for rescue operations to be carried out successfully.

What skills do you need to learn?

Rescue divers must learn about serious water accidents like entrapments underwater from boats and/or serious falls into deep water bodies while on dives both during instructional courses with their instructors but also while going through self-study materials at home before they get to rescue diver level. Rescue divers will require knowledge of rescue techniques as well as the rescue gear that is used in rescue operations. One major aspect of a rescue diver course involves learning how to correctly assemble and use rescue equipment like a surface-supplied diving apparatus (SSDA), immersion suits, breathing systems, reels and other rescue equipment one may need when performing rescues under water or from bodies of water.

A rescue diver must be able to dive quickly and efficiently if they are required to perform a rescue. This means being able to control buoyancy with the power inflator attached at their waist so that they can rise up quickly from underwater in order to save people who are trapped underwater underneath boats/vessels, medical personnel who have fallen into the water under unknown conditions or rescue someone in distress at sea.

Rescue divers must also be able to dive quickly for rescue operations when their rescue diver buddies are in trouble near the ocean surface if they can’t make it to shore after a boat capsizes or sinks during a boating accident.

Rescue divers will also learn about rescue diving procedures which include closing off and locking up gas valves on cylinders/pumps, setting up rescue equipment such as air pipes and regulators and other rescue procedures that involve using life lines, stretchers, radios and emergency oxygen supplies that are required for saving injured people from drowning underwater or from bodies of water like lakes and rivers.

Rescue divers must have an adequate level of physical fitness so that they can perform all rescue operations whether they are rescue dives or rescue at sea/surface based rescue dives.

Comprehensive rescue diver training goes beyond rescue diving and rescue procedures as rescue divers will be trained in CPR, first aid, oxygen administration and other emergency life-saving situations that may occur in the water or around bodies of water like rivers, lakes and swimming pools.

Rescue divers must also have the knowledge to deal with panicked people who may be drowning underwater or on land from a boating accident such as setting up radio communications between their dive team (if they are remote rescue divers) and air traffic controllers, medical responders etc so that proper coordinated rescue operations can take place quickly without wasting time when a victim is near death because of lack of oxygen in their lungs.

What training do they receive?

A PADI Rescue Diver is someone who has the knowledge and skills to help people in difficult situations. They are trained in emergency procedures, first aid, oxygen administration, and other advanced lifesaving techniques useful when scuba diving.

A PADI Rescue Diver training course involves four sections:

  • Rescue Diver Introduction;
  • Emergency First Response – CPR/First Aid;
  • Intermediate Oxygen Administration;
  • Final Exam Review.

The training for each section can take up to two days depending on the availability of time with your instructor.

In addition, you must be able to swim 300 meters non-stop using any stroke (other than breaststroke) without stopping or grabbing hold of the pool wall.

We have included some practise questions at the bottom of the article and will have an eBook with 40 practise questions in the store shortly.


The PADI Rescue Diver course is for scuba divers who want to learn basic emergency and rescue skills. You must have completed the Advanced Open Water Diver Course. After the completion of this training, you will be able to help out in an emergency situation without being a trained first responder or lifeguard!

A rescue diver must know how to administer CPR/First Aid training, use oxygen equipment, perform mask-to-face resuscitation on adults and children underwater; handle all types of diving emergencies such as getting someone untangled from line or netting, treating safety related medical issues like hypothermia and decompression sickness (if they are qualified), understanding diver stress, manage environmental factors that could affect your ability to make it safely back home after rescuing another person (i.e., currents, tides, wind), and be the one who is in charge of a dive team.

Becoming a rescue diver can mean being more confident when your friends are having trouble underwater or rescuing someone else from an emergency situation- it’s also just plain cool! To become certified as an entry level PADI Rescue Diver you must complete four dives with at least three different instructors to certify that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to take care of yourself and lead others out if they need help on their next dive trip. The additional fee for this certification ranges between $200-$320 dollars depending upon the region.”

The PADI Rescue Diver course is the next step for divers who have already achieved at least an Advanced Open Water Diver certification. You need to be at least 12 years old. This additional deep-dive training, with a minimum of four dives and three different instructors, helps you gain confidence in your skills to take care of yourself underwater as well as lead others out if they need help during their next diving trip. The additional fee for this certification ranges between $200-$320 dollars depending upon the region.



To become a PADI Rescue Diver, you must complete the following prerequisites:

– Complete an Open Water referral (or equivalent) and Advanced Open Water Diver Course within the past 24 months.

– Be 18 years of age or older when starting training

– Successfully passing Emergency First Response Primary Care and CPR/AED courses (within two years prior to beginning class) with no less than 90% on each course. This is not mandatory for those who live in regions where this knowledge does not apply, such as Hawaii.

– Have at least 25 logged dives since certification as a diver. These can be from any dive discipline except Dry Suit diving.

5 Rescue Diver Practise Test Questions

1 After a near drowning, the victim may experience shock

A. True

B. False

2. When managing an emergency, the first step is to stop, breathe, think and then act.

A. True

B. False

3. Causes of equipment-related problems when diving include:

A. Being unfamiliar with the equipment

B. Ill-fitting equipment

C. equipment that has not been properly inspected

D. All of the above.

4. You think that a diver has decompression illness. For how long should you administer oxygen?

A. No more than an hour

B. Until medical help arrives

C. You should not administer oxygen

D. Until the symptoms begin to decrease

5. A dive skill that will not help in preparing you for self-rescue is good buoyancy control?

A. True

B. False



A. True


A. True


D. All of the above


B. Until medical help arrives


B. False

We will have an eBook with 40 practise questions in the store shortly.

Learn about the PADI Rescue Diver course
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Learn about the PADI Rescue Diver course
The PADI Rescue Diver course teaches scuba divers basic emergency and rescue skills. We outline what is involved in the course and give you printable practise knowledge questions for your exam at the end of the article.
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