Very recently a fundraising letter from my local air ambulance came through my letter box. I opened it and immediately it grabbed my attention. There was a photograph, a scene I know well looking over the water at Stoney Cove and a caption ‘Together you are local lifesavers’.

The letter was relating a diving incident where a diver experienced a heart problem on her ascent. Unknown to anyone at the time, the diver had been suffering a virus that had attacked her heart. The diver was found face down and unconscious in the water. Luckily for the diver when her heart stopped all the people around her that day were all first aid trained and there was a defibrillator available.

As soon as the diver was pulled from the water she was given CPR. Some of those involved had just the week before completed their first aid training. The air ambulance letter reminds us that it is those crucial minutes before the emergency services arrive, on this occasion the air ambulance, that is vital to many casualties. This was a diver, it could so easily have been a snorkeller.

Are you first aid trained and are your skills in practice?

- Marg Baldwin
Snorkel Instructor Trainer

Snorkel Lifesaver

As we know we have two levels Snorkel Lifesaver Courses / Awards available.

  • Snorkel Lifesaver Award – conducted in a swimming pool or sheltered water.
  • Advanced Snorkel Lifesaver Award – conducted in open water.

These courses are specially designed for snorkellers and train participants to stage a rescue to a fellow snorkeller in difficulty. Both courses include diagnosis and treatment of cardiac arrest and the giving of rescue breaths and chest compressions. The courses as currently available are subject to revision and review, however, Instructors should refer to Diving Information Basic Life Support Guidelines 2016 T.13d to identify the changes to the BSAC Guidelines for in water rescue and basic life support sequence. Even if you do not wish to run one of the Snorkel Lifesaver courses, revision sessions on rescue breaths and chest compression are good preparation for our snorkelling activities this summer. If you would like to take a course please speak to the Training Officer in your local BSAC club.

Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) training

In BSAC we have available a half-day course designed to give students the skills and confidence to use a defibrillator so that in the event of an emergency they have the confidence to use one. It covers general techniques and procedures as well as the extra information relevant to diving and is a really valuable course for both diving/snorkelling and general life skills.

This course is open to all over the age of 12 who have basic life support knowledge. The AED course has a mix of classroom-based and practical lessons, teaching students about the AED equipment, physiology of the heart, practical use of the equipment with other first aid skills. Remember that AED training is considered valid for 12 months before a refresher is required but there is no charge for the BSAC AED refresher. The added advantage is that the AED course is really good fun!

The AED course has a mix of classroom-based and practical lessons, teaching students about the AED equipment, physiology of the heart, practical use of the equipment with other first aid skills. Remember that AED training is considered valid for 12 months before a refresher is required but there is no charge for the BSAC AED refresher. The added advantage is that the AED course is really good fun!

If you have already done these courses – great – do keep your skills in practice and up to date and encourage others to follow your good example.

Think SAFE – Snorkel SAFE

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