Depending on the agency you use, this course will follow second or third inline on your way to a Professional Level dive course (i.e. Divemaster or Instructor). It is probably the most useful course as far as making you a better diver and preparing you for the Divemaster course. Again it is separated into modules. There is classroom work and water work. In general there is not much “fun-diving” in this course. You will probably be on the reef but your mind will be on safety and preventing a rescue. Enjoying the dive and the fish are not part of the agenda. You will learn to assess another diver, their skills, and their problems and anticipate potential issues and prevent them from occurring. You will also learn lifesaving skills in case of a diving emergency.
A quick overview of skills learned include towing a tired diver, helping a panicked diver underwater, helping a panicked diver above water, performing rescue breaths in the water, removing a victim from the water via shore and boat, and searching for a lost diver. The course will take 4 days of intense study and practice. It is not unusual for a student to become frustrated during this course repeating over and over the steps for helping/rescuing a victim but in the end it is definitely the most rewarding.
If you only have a week or less here in Utila, you might want to choose another course that will allow you to enjoy the beautiful reefs and save your rescue course for a lake or quarry!
Prerequisites: Advanced Diver, CPR/First Aid certified