PADI Europe, Middle East and Africa invited PADI divers of all levels – from Open Water divers to Course Directors – to join in the fun at the Rescue Challenge UK event which took place in Portland, Dorset on Sunday 15th September.
By inspiring divers to take their skills to the next level as well as creating confidence to teach rescue skills existing PADI Professions, the Rescue Challenge UK event not only improves PADI diver safety and awareness, but also forms part of a positive initiative to boost the UK market and drive sales for PADI continued education and professional courses in the longer term.
Attendees were welcomed into the event with an exclusive Rescue Challenge UK folder containing a participation certificate, PADI information and materials and an exclusive red PADI beanie gift. The action-packed schedule, designed to increase diver skills and confidence in rescue and safety, included an opening speech and keynote presentation from Mark Caney, Vice President, Training and Customer Services.
“The Rescue Challenge is a chance for divers to hear the latest developments in rescue techniques and to try many of them out for themselves. Diving has a great safety record but we can never be complacent; as much of the thinking and planning will be concerned with preventing incidents as well as reacting properly if they should occur. I’m sure the event will encourage proper awareness in divers and reinforce the importance of them planning their dives with safety foremost in their minds” said Mark.
A number of diving industry organisations exhibited at the event, including The Shipwreck Project, Fourth Element, RescueEAN, O’Three, Aquatek and Life Systems. Guest speakers who also exhibited at the event included the Diving Diseases Research Centre (DDRC), Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA), Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and ScubaPro, whilst pool workshop sessions covered technical and recreational rescue techniques and egress skills.
A number of teams took part in a Rescue Challenge UK competition over lunch, which provided fun entertainment alongside the serious message of diver rescue. Wearing pink rubber rings, each pair raced through a 5-point assault course completing tasks such as rescue questions, bandaging their buddy and assembling kit – blindfolded!
The event drew to a close with a special awards ceremony, with prizes being handed out to everyone who took part in the competition and certificates for those who completed their PADI Rescue Diver course that weekend.
The PADI Rescue Challenge UK event was a huge success, with new divers finding inspiration and confidence and experienced PADI divers and PADI Professionals taking home tips for both diving and teaching. By conducting this innovative event, PADI Europe, Middle East and Africa have demonstrated that keeping essential rescue skills fresh can be both informative and engaging for both students and PADI Professionals.
As one participant said, “Safe but fun – exactly how it should be”.
Top Comments from Participants:
“PADI Weekend – inspiring a generation to go diving – thank you all”
“Great speakers – fun, light hearted but also getting a very important message across”
“A very insightful day! Makes me want to do my Rescue course even more! Thank you”
“Thanks for the great seminar”
“Fab day, thank you PADI!”