Planning for the Unplanned

In February 2019, PADI hosted a UK Diving Safety event in Bristol. From the moment the event was announced, there was a real buzz around it, and justifiably so. With key presenters from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Health and Safety Executive, Diving Diseases Research Centre, British Diving Safety Group, Divers Alert Network, and PADI, the event brought together stalwarts of UK diving with a wealth of experience and knowledge to share with PADI Pros.

What was clear from the popularity of the event was the dedication from the PADI Pro community to do their utmost to promote safety for the divers they train. Whilst divers are always encouraged to “Plan the dive, then dive the plan”, the event brought into focus the consequences of what can happen when the unplanned happens.

A great starting place for PADI Pros in the UK to promote safety and planning for problems to their divers is to encourage them to complete the RNLI Diver Sea Survival Specialty . This specialty course launched in 2017, and covers lots of information pertinent to diving in the UK. The course is one which appeals to both beginners and professionals alike, including:

• New divers who certified overseas
• Dive professionals who have been working overseas, and would like a familiarisation of techniques for UK diving
• Divers looking to attend dive club trips to unfamiliar locations

If you are a PADI Instructor, you can download the PADI RNLI Diver Sea Survival Instructor Guide as well as the related course presentations from www.rnli.org/diveinstructor.

The RNLI Diver Sea Survival Course is a great way to promote diver safety awareness.

If you are working as part of a dive team, take time to review your “what if” procedures to ensure that your dive team are all clear on what your emergency protocols are. It is also a great time to get some in-water practice and scenarios for your staff. Consider running a staff training event where you practice different in-water scenarios. This would highlight areas for improvement in your plans. There is the opportunity in quieter months to also review your paperwork, including project plans and risk assessments to ensure they are up to date.