Being competent to assess a developing situation and effect a successful rescue is a truly lifesaving skill. Holders of the Snorkel Lifesaver Award have demonstrated their lifesaving proficiency in snorkelling and non-snorkelling shore-based situations.

As snorkellers we often find ourselves in or around water and if you want to learn lifesaving skills this award is for you. It will recognise your advanced rescue skills used in warm-water snorkelling, or more general non-snorkelling situations.

To enrol on the Snorkel Lifesaver Award you must have already successfully completed Snorkel Diver or Ocean Diver course (or have equivalent certification from another recognised training agency) and be a minimum of 12 years of age.

Additional training before taking the exam is optional. Your instructor could include a series of lessons designed to cater for the needs of the students. For example, Snorkel Divers and Ocean Divers may require additional training in basic life support skills not included in their snorkel grade training. Training will be based on the latest BSAC Basic Life Support Guidelines.

All participants may need training for the throwing exercises and swimming rescues, which are not included in the Snorkel Training Programme or the Diver Training Programme. Many students will welcome the feedback from a mock exam to refresh their skills before the exam.

What you’ll be assessed on

The Snorkel Lifesaver Award assesses your lifesaving proficiency and snorkel-rescue skills within a pool or sheltered water environment, covering rescue methods suitable for use from shore or boat. You need to pass an examination with two sections – a dry theoretical and practical test and a wet practical test. Lifesaver theory covers the human body, snorkel rescue and basic life support. Lifesaver in-water skills include towing and throwing rescues.

The Snorkel Lifesaver Award is recognised by many agencies and local authorities. You will learn to diagnose cardiac arrest, carry out basic life support for three minutes and demonstrate the action for a vomiting casualty and the recovery position. 

Rescue techniques examined include a 10-metre rope-throwing rescue and a 10m buoyant-aid rescue and tow. You will show you can rescue a snorkel diver and tow them 25m, perform a 25m rescue swim to and 10m tow of a swimmer, and complete an in-water endurance test supporting an unconscious casualty for two minutes.

You could do this course at a regional event or local club. Not all clubs run the Snorkel Lifesaver Award, so please check if you are interested.

Alternatively, book your place on a scheduled Snorkel Lifesaver Award online now.

Not a BSAC member? You can do this course by joining BSAC directly or joining via a local club. Find a club.

Training can be spread over a number of days, but a total of a day should be sufficient time for this award. Students will be given a pack of supporting learning materials.

Your next steps – developing your skills

After this assessment you could further your training by doing other Skill Development Courses (SDCs), such as the safety and rescue ones listed below.

Or you could progress your diver grade training.


Not yet a BSAC member?

You can do this course by joining BSAC directly or joining your local club.

If you need a hand send your postcode to and we'll help you find the right scuba club for you. Or if you fancy a chat call us 0151 350 6226 (Mon - Fri, 9 - 5:30).

Website by NetXtra