Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Rescue Diver

As the first step on our way to becoming a divemaster, the two of us had to complete our PADI Rescue Diver Training. We built, together with three other enthusiastic divers, a training group of 5 divers.  

Our training started with an Emergency First Response course (EFR). We had the possibility to do the course together with the crew from Marlin del Rey on their catamaran. What a nice classroom.

In two days, we learned a lot about the first response, first aid, and CPR. We trained different skills to handle Emergency situations and learned how important it is to act fast but safe and that we must handle a situation out of our comfort zone. Able care given is better than perfect care withheld. It was two intense days with a lot of information. But it was good training and now we all feel more comfortable to respond if we encounter an emergency.

In two pool sessions, we trained the practical skills to rescue a diver in different critical situations. We learned how to handle a panicked diver or a tired diver on the surface. We trained different skills as well for an unconscious diver on the surface or during a dive. The different exercises were intense, but it was necessary. Time is here also very important! It is necessary to act on a plan. And that’s only possible with proper training.

Next thing we did was to go out in the ocean to practice different search patterns. And this training was like a real situation. The visibility was really bad, like 20 cm (8 inches). It was really difficult to find the missing object. But we were able to train our navigation skills and learn that we must trust our compass. Any kind visual orientation was impossible. But it is in exactly in these kinds of conditions that it's more likely a diver goes missing.

We repeated the navigation pattern workshop on another day on a different dive site. The visibility was much better and all of us completed the exercise successfully. On this point, we were ready for the final scenario, the missing diver scenario. Our dive instructors and divemaster set up a scenario for us and we as a team of 5 rescue divers were to handle the emergency. The scenario started, and we ignored the first rule of Emergency First Respond. Stop-think-act. All of us started to act and it ended up in chaos. We were just able to rescue all the divers with help from the instructor. At the debriefing, we spoke about all our mistakes and what we did right. Then, out of stress, we realized how we could have handled the situation better. The result of our final scenario was clear. We failed. But we learned a lot in this scenario. So maybe it was good to fail first because now we know how not to act. We get a second chance to pass our final scenario on another day.      

We, Anna and Matthias, got another chance one week later, We were on a dive with other students and during the surface interval our instructors started a new rescue scenario. We were not prepared for this scenario at all and but remembered to stop, think and act. Anna took the lead and together we were able to rescue the panicked diver and interview him for his missing friend. We asked the captain if he can look for bubbles on the surface and he finally found them. Together with the information from the interview and the observation from the captain we could find the missing diver. We were able to rescue the diver and started with emergency first response, like CPR and rescue breaths. This time we acted really good as a team. We passed the final scenario and we are know official rescue diver.

Happy Day

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

La Paz Swim meet

La Paz Community School organized together with ConnectOcean the first interschoolar swim meet from La Paz on December 1st. The three local private schools, La Paz, Costa Rica International Academy (CRIA) and Educarte participated in the event.

ConnectOcean was involved in three different parts. Leo and Sio helped and supported the staff from La Paz to organize the whole event. They spent days preparing for this race. They worked out the race schedule, did all of the administrative work and found volunteers for timekeeping and organization.

Ernst with his Nipper Lifeguards joined the event, keeping everyone safe. This was the second real task for the Nippers in three weeks.

And we, the interns Anna and Matthias,  together with Sarah were timekeepers together with three other volunteers.

The whole crew from ConnectOcean together with the Nipper Lifeguards worked for this event. It was a special event for us as an Acuatic Academy and swim school, as our students raced, lifeguarded, and worked hard. We were so proud of all of our swimmers! They did such a great job!

It was a great event and the kids had a lot of fun. The goal of the swim meet was not to find out which school had the fastest swimmer, but to make sure kids could have fun, compete against new swimmers, and grow together as a community. Hopefully it inspired more kids to start swimming and worked as a helping hand in expanding the sport within the local area.

ConnectOcean will continue to support events like these in the future. Swimming is not only a very important life skill, but also a very important step in increasing the understanding and engagement in taking care of our oceans. The chance of a person connecting with the ocean increases exponentially with the ability to swim and we look forward to seeing the sport grow more.

The first swim meet at La Paz was a big success, the team from La Paz and Sio and Leo can be proud of what they created. The whole community got behind this event. Hopefully many other races lie this will follow.

Thank you to all the volunteers and all the staff who made this event possible! We truly appreciate your support!