Thursday, September 4, 2008

Rescue Diving in Nha Trang

Note: No one was harmed in the making of this post, Mom.

We hit the reefs while in Nha Trang, and got to see something that will only interest scuba divers: a live rescue scenario.

Our dive trip was broken up into multiple groups, and one of the dive guides was working on her Master Certification, for which you need to complete a rescue cert. At any moment on the trip, one of the other instructors would "drown" and she would have to go through all the necessary procedures to save them: ordering people to get the rescue equipment ready, fishing them out of the water, getting them back on the boat and resuscitating them.

I have had the good luck to never have been in a dive emergency, and was glad to get to watch this. The protocol involves ordering other people to do stuff (like get the oxygen and rescue rope ready), while going hands on to save the person in the water. The toughest part seemed to be to get the victim out of his BCD, which was making him float facedown water. its a heck of a lot easier to get out of a bcd underwater than at the surface. She also performed in-water cpr, which I had never seen before. It was really cool to watch (although I felt bad for her for being tested in front of an audience).

My friend the Barracuda has been after me to get my rescue cert since our trip to Belize. I think I will - not only because you learn interesting things (always true with diving), but also because the girl being tested was SO stressed. I can't imagine what a shitshow it would be in a real scenario. And, I'm only 12 dives away from being eligible for my Master Cert!

Finally, the underwater life in Nha Trang was quite sad - the coral is mostly dead, and there is relatively little sea life. We did, however, find a terrified octopus, which is always fun.

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