Skills You Need to Be a Rescue Diver

A rescue diver is an individual who comes to the aid of people and animals in the event of a water tragedy. This can include a capsized watercraft that has displaced its passengers, a person or animal falling through ice, or another event where panic and danger in the water are very serious. Being a rescue diver requires skill and a confidence in the water and is part of a growing field in which you can make over $50,000 a year while helping to save lives. If this is something you are interested in, you need special skills and training. Here are some of the tools you need to become a rescue diver.

Take a professional course

You must take a professional diving course with an emphasis on rescue and safety in order to receive certification as a rescue diver. This program must be completed after you have taken your basic open-water diving courses and learned the beginnings of underwater navigation, self-rescue, and other tools to become a more skilled diver. Through this course, which is often taught through a series of online segments mixed with live training, you will learn the essentials of real-life rescues, such as:

  • rescuing frightened victims
  • retrieving unresponsive victims
  • group diver awareness
  • crash-site evaluation
  • aggressive water control

Part of your training will also involve recreating common underwater emergencies, using diving dummies to act as hurt or drowning victims in a controlled environment. The goal of rescue-diving training is to prepare you for any kind of scenario so you can keep yourself and those around you safe while you work in various dangerous conditions.


Before you let yourself dive right into a rescue-diving squad for your local emergency department, you will want to do an apprenticeship under a skilled expert. They will show you how to navigate dangerous water conditions, such as swells, bacteria-laden water, and landslides so you can quickly assess the dangers and know how to proceed in saving victims. An apprenticeship may last anywhere from a few months to a few years, depending on which public-safety sector you hope to work with in the future.

If you want to become a rescue diver, know that you will need extensive training in order to make this dream a reality. This training will be beneficial in allowing you to be able to keep yourself and others around you safe while opening your world to a number of diving career opportunities. Talk to organizations such as Colorado Scuba Center for more information about diving courses that can get you started.