Have you ever lost something on a scuba dive? Maybe an underwater camera, dive light, dive flag, or some other valuable item? Did you look for it? How did you go about it? Did you find it? Wouldn’t you have felt more confident if you had been trained in safe and effective search techniques? As it turns out, Maui Dreams offers a wonderful scuba certification, the PADI Search and Recovery Specialty (S&R).
Recently I had the opportunity to train our staff to teach this specialty. Jay, Sara, Curly, Gabe, and I selected a date and time, gathered up all the necessary equipment, which included various lines, floats, ropes, and lift bags, and met at Keawakapu Beach. We also brought along a couple of helpful assistants, Nick and Dale.
Some of the search techniques include the expanding square and U pattern (also used in Rescue Diver training), as well as jackstay and circular patterns. There are a number of scenarios in the S&R specialty that require the divers to use these techniques in various sizes of search areas. For instance, they “demonstrate a methodical search of an area approximately 100 feet by 100 feet, or other dimensions for the same area of search to find a submerged object not more than 25 pounds negatively buoyant”.
But when our group performed these skills, we had the best visibility in several months, at least 100 feet! The “hidden” objects were usually immediately visible! I told them to perform the skills as if they could not see the items (underwater light and weight belt) until they were right on top of them.
Students also learn to tie the bowline, two half-hitches, and sheet bend knots, as well as how to use a lift bag. Of course, as Instructors, our group had already learned knots and lift bag use in the Instructor Development Course, but it was a great refresher for all of us!
If you think you could benefit from this excellent dive training please call Maui Dreams at 808-874-5332 and any of our PADI Search & Recovery Specialty Instructors would be delighted to teach you how to safely and effectively find a missing object!