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How to do a PADI IDC Rescue #7 – Unconscious Diver at the Surface

How to do a PADI IDC Rescue #7 – Unconscious Diver at the Surface

How to do a PADI IDC Rescue #7 – Unconscious Diver at the Surface

PADI place a lot of emphasis on the skill Unconscious Diver at the Surface or what is commonly known as Rescue #7. It is a skill that you had to do in your PADI Rescue Course, your PADI Divemaster Course, at you Instructor Examination and if you go on to be a PADI Course Director you will have to do it at your CDTC.

There can be slight variations on how the skill is performed. In real life, adjustments could have to be made depending on weather and wave height. There could be adjustments made because of the size/weight of the victim and the rescuer, particularly if you have a small rescuer and large victim.

However, there are four things must happen to enable you to pass the skill:

You must remove weight belts
You must protect the victim’s airways from water entering
You must do rescue breaths every five seconds
You must do effective rescue breaths

Although we have call for help at #13, technically it could be done at any time after you determine there is a problem. For example, if you were rescuing from a boat and you had been observing the victim, you would notify boat staff as you entered the water.

Here is a typical way of performing Rescue #7.

PADI IDC Rescue Aussie Divers

PADI IDC Rescue Aussie Divers

1. Approach

As with all emergencies, be observant when you approach. Approach the head with them slightly on your left. If you have a pocket mask, this is a good time to prepare it and have it ready. It is also a good time to fully inflate your BCD if you have not already.

2. Contact

Splash and shout “Diver you OK – Diver you OK”. Wave your hand under their mask. Tap on their shoulder.

3. Roll

Turn them face up, using arm cross or tank valve. Check for any unusual clips or entanglements.

4. Inflate Their BCD/ Inflate Your BCD

Inflate their BCD fully and inflate yours if you have not already done so.

5. Remove their weight belt/ Remove your weight belt

Remove their weight belt and your weight belt. This is a must! Failure to remove weight belts will have you sink as soon as you remove BCDs and constitutes as a fail.

6. Remover your Mask

Remove your mask.

7. Support Their Head

Support the head with your weaker hand. Remember your positioning. Do not be crosshanded, meaning, make sure the hand that you are pinching the nose is not covering the mouth of the victim.

PADI IDC Phuket Aussie Divers Rescue

PADI IDC Phuket Aussie Divers Rescue


At this point of time both their airways are not exposed to water. Take a breath, relax because once you expose the airways you MUST protect the victim’s airways from water.

8. Remove Their Mask

Remove their mask.

9. Open Their Airway

Remove Regulator/Open Airway with finger on jaw.

10. Check breathing

Look – listen and feel for breathing (10 seconds). You should be looking at the victim’s chest for movement, you should have your hand on the victims chest feeling for chest movement and you should have your ear close to the victim’s mouth listening for breathing.

IDC PADI Rescue Aussie Divers Phuket

IDC PADI Rescue Aussie Divers Phuket

11. Shout for Help

“Help ! – I have an unconscious – non breathing diver”.

**If you have a pocket mask place it on now** Make sure there is an effective seal.

12. Two Full breaths

Two slow, complete breaths. They should be effective and close to the victim’s mouth or your pinched finger. Cheek to cheek is acceptable. NOT on the back of your hand. Close to the opening of the pocket mask if you are using one.

13. Rescue breaths

Start one breath every five seconds. Five seconds is quicker than most think. You must have the second breath on the five seconds. My preferred count is 1001,1002, 1003, breath. I believe it is closer to five seconds.

14. Remove Their Equipment

Remove their equipment – leave floating in BCD with only the Velcro waist band done up. Do this slowly and one clip at a time. Rescue breaths take priority

15. Remover Your Equipment

Remove your own scuba unit. Again, one clip at a time. Rescue breaths take priority.

Rescue IDC PADI Aussie Divers Phuket

Rescue IDC PADI Aussie Divers Phuket

16. Boat/Shore

Slide them out of their BCD. Support the head while doing that. Do not allow the head to go under water.

17. Rescue breaths

Continue one breath every five seconds as before

18. Exit

Two full breaths before attempting exit or at the completing of the skill at the I.E. At the I.E do not stop until the PADI Examiner states to do so. Then do your last two rescue breathes.

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