Call 911 there’s been an emergency

Posted on April 4, 2015

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Don’t panic, this didn’t really happen, but it was what I was yelling in the water to the captain of my boat while removing gear in the water and towing my dive instructor through some of the toughest waves in the ocean. The swell made the excercise even more taxing than it is already and battling waves while administering mouth to mouth every five seconds left me exhausted.

Last Friday I qualified on Hawaii’s Big Island as a certified PADI Rescue Diver (Professional Association of Diving Instructors, in case you didn’t know). The course was three days I learnt everything from how to carry out CPR after hauling a diver out of the water, safely pulling an unresponsive diver from the bottom of the ocean to the surface, to how to deal with a panicked diver still breathing but flipping out. 

     

           

 

Hawaii is beautiful and it is definitely a surfer’s paradise. The waves are huge. I have never been in water that has challenged me like this before. I cannot stress how immense the swell was and a little bit intimidating to start with. I was knackered every night and slept like a baby. For divers please note the water is cold, not warm, which means for me it is bloody freezing. Kailau-Kona on the Big Island is the place divers come to because it has the best aquatic life of all the islands – sea green turtles, spinner dolphins, tiger sharks, white tip sharks, sand eels, giant Manta rays, trigger fish, many eel species as well as stunning coral and lava tubes. I was wearing a 5mm wet suit and I was still shivering after spending a few hours in the water. 

  

        

My navigation exercise involved searching for Yorick which was a little creepy as well as bloody hard as it is not another person. I was diving with a computer on my air gauge which calculated my bottom time and recalculated how long I could safely remain down there as we glided through the sea. God love technology! Women have smaller lungs  – fact – so we use less air than men, even the most proficient of male divers. In my group were American Navy guys and I stayed down ten minutes longer than they did – ha! On one dive I lasted 70 mins the maximum time and I still came up with nearly half a tank left. Nuts!! 

My breathing, buoyancy and confidence has improved tenfold. The course was so rewarding and I feel even more relaxed in the water even in chopping seas. There was an online course I also had to complete, which I did everyday for three days and it took 10 bloody hours!!!!

The certification cost me a fortune more than USD $1,000  because I was the only idiot doing the course so I had to pay extra for private tuition, the boat and the gear. I don’t wanna think about it. Once in a lifetime experience to do something like this in Hawaii. One day it may well come in handy and you know what? If that happens it will have paid for itself!!

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