July – September 2011
As a novice diver, gaining the stability or establishing a proper neutral buoyancy took a few more dives, as was properly pointed out by my first instructors when I was very keen to go in for my Advanced certification right after my Open Water. Instructors play an important role at this level, giving the right advice and guidance. My Advanced Open Water License came after about 15 more dives, 2 trips in India and to Tioman, Malaysia.
One of the more pleasantly surprising and informative course is the Emergency First Response (EFR) course, where you learn how to administer First-Aid for adults and children too. The EFR manual is very exhaustive and quite an useful book to have at home in case of any kind of emergency. The course is very interesting and I feel should be made mandatory for everyone working in any kind of physical activity area, like swimming, action sports and games or even in regular offices. It would be great to have a couple or more employees trained in Emergency Care. Learning to perform CPR, and doing it the first time ever on the mannequin, it can send your blood racing, much to my surprise, you will shiver with the strength of the adrenaline rush, no jokes! After a couple of times of practice, you become more comfortable and try to focus more on the step by step procedure and wonder how you will react, should your skill be called for someday. Another step for me, to become an EFR Instructor and then giving courses in the many offices in Bangalore, atleast do a small bit in preparing the general employee for an emergency. EFR Course is mandatory before going in for the Rescue Diver Course.
Travelling to Tioman was the best way and most comfortable for me, having been to island twice before. With the facility to being able to focus on my work requirements at nights,it gave me the advantage to stay more than 45 days out on the island, to do the course and dive to my heart’s content, to the extent that after about 12-13 days of non stop diving, I actually needed a break for a day, only for a day though! Diving as a DMT or Divemaster trainee is a lot different from the leisure dives you do after getting your Open Water License. As a DMT, apart from the physical tasks of carrying tanks (the hallmark activity of the DMT), there is an added sense of responsibility, both in looking out for the other divers and also the equipment.