Top 4 PADI specialties to help other divers

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There are many PADI dive specialties to choose from to continue diver education; from the unique Mola Mola, Mine and Hot Spring Diver courses to the popular Deep, Peak Performance Buoyancy and Underwater Navigator courses. Not all dive specialties are focussed on marine life or exotic locations though and some of the most rewarding diver moments come from helping others. There is nothing quite like the satisfaction of knowing how to help a distressed diver or make someone else’s dive easier and more fun. With that in mind, here are our Top 4 PADI specialties to help other divers.

Rescue Diver

Ask any diver what their favourite diving course is, and they’ll often mention the PADI Rescue Diver course. It is known to be challenging and yet extremely rewarding. This important course allows divers to learn how to prevent accidents from happening, plus how to assist themselves and others in the event of an accident. Participants practice rescuing panicked and unresponsive divers, both at the surface and underwater, learn emergency management techniques, and what to do if a diver goes missing.

This course helps divers understand the psychology of diver panic and know what to do when faced with their own or someone else’s stress response. It helps divers gain confidence in their own dive skills and even makes remote and challenging dives, such as those experienced during Polynesia liveaboard diving, more accessible. Polynesian authorities have strict regulations for diving in strong currents and divers are not allowed to go below 30 meters unless they are a Rescue Diver; even if they have a deep diver specialty.

Participants need to be at least 12 years old and have completed the Underwater Navigation Adventure Dive to enrol in this course.

Adaptive Techniques Specialty

The PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty was launched in 2017 and is designed for PADI Professionals who want to learn how to adapt their dive training to meet the needs of divers with physical and mental challenges. This course is designed for PADI Divemasters, or Master Freedivers and higher, and explores becoming more aware of individuals’ needs and learning adaptive techniques. It is a great course to help PADI Professionals support students with differing abilities, so they can get the most out of their diving and achieve their own personal diving goals.

The knowledge development sessions include learning about equipment and logistical considerations, plus assessing dive centre accessibility from others’ perspectives. Practical sessions focus on entry and exit techniques, how to assist others and how to adapt skills based on student requirements. Open water workshops complete the course and explore how to adapt skills in open water, plus pace and organise dives for students’ individual needs.

Adaptive Support Diver

The Adaptive Support Diver course is a subset of the Adaptive Techniques Specialty and also explores becoming more aware of individual considerations and adaptive techniques. It is a great course to help divers discover how to help dive buddies with mental or physical challenges. Divers learn about considerations when diving with a buddy who has different abilities to their own and practice adaptive diving techniques, suitable for both diving and freediving.

This short course is suitable for PADI Open Water Divers, or PADI Freedivers, who are at least 15 years old and have completed the EFR Primary and Secondary Care course within the last 24 months.

Public Safety Diver

Learning to be a public safety diver takes helping others to a whole new level. Public safety dives are conducted by local authorities, fire services, the police, and of course search and rescue dive teams. These divers respond to emergencies at any time of day and are required to dive in challenging conditions, such as within zero visibility ‘black water’ and within polluted waters. Becoming a professional public safety diver requires specialised training in hazard awareness, risk assessments, evidence collection, search procedures, and using specialised dive gear. It is vital work for criminal investigations and rescue operations.

PADI offers a Public Safety Diver specialty course to introduce divers to the world of public safety diving. Participants learn about the equipment and procedures used by public safety divers, plus documentation and communication methods used during their operations. Divers get to practice skills such as navigation, knot tying, victim recovery, and rescue techniques.

Participants need to be certified as a PADI Advanced Open Water diver and at least 18 years old to enrol in this course. They also need to complete their PADI Rescue Diver by the end of the course.


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