The new PADI Rescue Adventure Dive

Oooh! What's this new thing from PADI?!


I absolutely LOVE the PADI system for being able to link courses and this latest release gives us yet another way to get creative with what we offer to our students.

Let's take a look...

If you've got students who are keen as mustard to rise through the PADI ranks, this little Rescue Adventure Dive will help you create a fast track program for them. Plus, you can use it in lots of different ways to encourage Rescue Course sign-ups and build packages that are completely unique to your dive centre.


The Rescue Adventure Dive consists of two self-rescue skills: cramp release and alternate air source use, and also includes three exercises from the PADI Rescue Diver course: Exercise 1 – Tired Diver, Exercise 2 – Panicked Diver, and Exercise 5 – Missing Diver.



The skills must be mastered in open water, but may be practiced first in confined water.

Knowledge Development is completed by either

  1. Independent study using the PADI Rescue Diver eLearning or the Rescue Diver Manual in the following chapters
    • Section One – Responding to Diver Emergencies I
    • Section Three – Missing Diver Procedures
  2. Instructor-led delivery using the Rescue Diver Course Lesson Guide Presentation

Unless you know that the student is definitely going to continue on to complete the full Rescue Course, I'd probably go with the second option. It seems daft for them to buy the full manual or elearning to only read 2 sections.

Your students don't need to complete the Knowledge Reviews at the end of these sections - there is a special Knowledge Review. It's been developed to confirm student diver understanding of these topics and so that you don't need to buy those extra student materials if it's not necessary.

You can download the standards and Knowledge Review Answer Sheet and Key from the Pros’ Site. (Training Essentials > Exams and Assessments > Advanced Open Water Diver > Rescue Adventure Dive Standards and Knowledge Review with key)



As you know, Adventure Dives introduce divers to new skills and experiences. They can act as standalone training, but we mainly use them as part of the Advanced Course.

3 x Adventure Dives = Adventure Diver cert

5 x Adventure Dives (including Deep and Navigation) = Advanced Open Water cert

We can also use them as credit towards a corresponding specialty course - so the Deep Adventure Dive is actually the first dive from the full PADI Deep Diver Specialty Course, and vice versa. If a diver has completed the PADI Underwater Navigator specialty, they've ticked the box for the Nav dive on AOW.

Obviously, you can use this new Rescue Adventure Dive to count towards the Advanced Course and the Rescue Course, but if you think outside the box there's actually WAY more you can do with it...



This new Adventure Dive would work perfectly as a teaser for anyone who is considering the Rescue Course. Going through the panicked diver exercise?? That's got to be the best way to showcase how much fun the Rescue Course will be. We tend to go all out on Oscar-nominated performances for that one!



As a standalone dive, the Rescue Adventure Dive has real value in itself. You could create a whole day that's aimed at open water and advanced level divers where you'll complete the Rescue Adventure Dive, They will learn awesome skills to help them stay safe and be an amazing buddy.

Because the Rescue Adventure Dive includes the missing diver exercise, I'd be inclined to do some extra work on Navigation to make this run smoother (maybe even the Nav Adventure Dive). This would boost confidence and make any search patterns in the future a doddle.

If the divers love it, that's an easy upsell to Advanced (they've already completed one - maybe even two of the required dives) and/or Rescue Course as you can credit the Adventure Dive.



If someone is interested in going pro, or maybe they need to get to Rescue Diver level for work or uni, the Rescue Adventure Dive lets you save time. Remember, straight out the back of the Open Water Course, students can get cracking with the Rescue theory and start practicing skills in confined water. They could be working on that whilst doing their Advanced Course and they'll already have ticked off 3 exercises while they're at it!



I wrote a blog about how it's important to find your niche as a dive center and stop advertising bog-standard courses. If your niche is safety or creating prepared and responsible divers I can see so many opportunities for using the Rescue Adventure Dive in a package.

  • Bolt it on to the end of an Open Water Course, advertise it as a way for new divers to be more aware and prepared
  • Create a themed Advanced Open Water Course package, include other Adventure Dives that complement the theme like SMB, Search and Recovery, Self-Reliant Diver.
  • Combine it with any other related specialty course, add it to the Emergency Oxygen Provider spec so that it's not just a dry course. Make a combo with the Deep Diver spec so divers are more prepared to handle a panicked or distressed diver.

The opportunities are endless - you just have to think outside the box!

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