PADI Rescue Diver Course Koh Tao

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Learn to be a PADI Rescue Diver on Koh Tao

The PADI Rescue Diver course continues to develop your existing skills, increasing your skill competence and confidence, whilst introducing new skills that will become valuable additions to your scuba skill-set.

Many divers will tell you the Rescue Diver course is the most challenging diving course they have completed, but also the most satisfying, rewarding and fun.

Koh Tao is the perfect location to complete the Rescue Diver course. Boasting great diving conditions most of the year, this course allows you to practice, hone and perfect some of the most challenging dive skills you will learn.

Become a PADI Rescue diver and be ready to help others in the event of an emergency situation.

**Covid Update for Rescue Breathing** Please read our Updated Blog Post on Rescue breathing.

PADI Rescue Diver Course Skills Koh Tao
PADI Rescue Diver Course Skills Koh Tao


Included in the Koh Tao PADI Rescue Diver Course

  • PADI e-manual
  • PADI Certification card
  • Rental of all scuba equipment
  • FREE use of Dive Computer
  • Log book
  • Maximum 4 students per PADI Instructor
  • Black Turtle Dive Customer (and environmental) promise

Koh Tao PADI Rescue Diver Course Pre-requisites

  • An Adventure diver or equivalent
  • Recent diving experience – we recommend completing a scuba review if you have not dived for 12 months
  • 12 years of age or older
  • Medically fit to dive
  • Hold a recognized First Aid and CPR certificate valid within the last 24 months

We conduct the Rescue Diver course over 2-3 days.

The course consists of three sections:

  • Knowledge Development
  • E-learning conducted prior to arrival or self-study & Instructor led knowledge reviews
  • Prepare an emergency assistance plan for a dive site
  • Confined or Open Water training sessions
  • Demonstrate skills from the Self-Rescue Review & be introduced to Rescue exercises 1-10
  • Open Water training
  • Final assessments of Rescue exercises 1-10
  • Rescue Scenarios 1 and 2 in Open Water


At Black Turtle Dive we take our customer promise very seriously. All courses are conducted with a maximum of 4 students per PADI Instructor.

Our Instructors are highly trained and will ensure you receive lots of attention and most importantly, progress at your own pace in a relaxed environment.

During your training we will slowly build your confidence and ability as you develop the skills necessary to become a competent PADI Rescue diver.

Koh Tao PADI Rescue Diver Course Schedule

The Rescue diver course schedule is flexible and we can work around your own personal needs and timeframe.

Please feel free to ask us about any special requests you have either via email or on one of the messenger apps on this page. 

Day 1:

09.00 – 11.30: Orientation & Knowledge Development

If you have completed the e-learning then you only need to take an Orientation before you are ready to get into the water and get wet.

12.30 – 17.00: Confined & Open Water training sessions

– Self-Rescue skills

– Rescue skill development

– Introduction to Rescue Skills 1-10

Day 2:

09.00 – 11.30: Knowledge Development

If you have completed the e-learning then we will review your EAP then its time to get into the water and get wet.

12.30 – 17.00: Open Water training sessions

Rescue Skills 1- 10

Day 3:

09.00 – 11.30: Knowledge Development & Final Exam
12.30 – 17.00: Open Water training sessions

Open Water training sessions – Final Rescue Scenarios 1 & 2

Congratulations. You are now a certified PADI Rescue diver, one step away from becoming a PADI Divemaster and a PADI Pro.


PADI Rescue Diver Course Information

Let us take a look at The PADI Rescue Diver course in more detail.

Option 1

PADI E-learning Rescue Diver course

Orientation & Knowledge Development

Choose the e-learning Rescue Diver course option and spend more time on holiday with NO time in a classroom.

Skip 1 full day of classroom time and spend that on the beach or better still, enjoy more diving.

We can fit in your Orientation & e-learning Rescue Diver Online Quick Review either the evening before we start, or the morning of your first in-water training session – whatever works best for you.

Just tell us what you prefer so we can make the necessary arrangements.

Option 2

PADI Classic Rescue Diver course

Orientation & Knowledge Development

We start the Rescue diver course at 09.00 with an Orientation. This includes completion of all the usual paperwork including the PADI Medical statement.

The Rescue diver course knowledge development comprises of  5 sections.

Each section has a short knowledge review and at the end of the knowledge development section a 50 question multiple choice final exam.

Your Instructor will guide you through the knowledge development. Some of the topics we will discuss include the causes of dive accidents, common equipment problems and identifying divers in distress.

We will also introduce you to missing diver and diver rescue procedures as well as accident management and first aid treatment for diving injuries.

The Instructor led knowledge development is conducted over 3 half days. 


PADI Rescue Exercises

Initially we will introduce all Rescue skills in shallow water and we start with a demonstration.

You will then have an opportunity to repeat the skill, practice and perfect it until you have mastered the skill.

We will start with the easier skills and slowly build up, as you become more comfortable and confident before moving onto the more challenging skills.

PADI Self-Rescue Skills

Some of the skills you will start with include:

  • Cramp release
  • Establishing buoyancy at the surface
  • Airway control
  • Use of an alternate air source
  • Overcoming vertigo and re-establishing sense of direction

Once we have completed the self-rescue skills we will progress onto the rescue exercises. In total there are 10 rescue exercises you must master.

  • Tired diver tow
  • Dealing with a panicked diver on the surface
  • Responding to a panicked, or distressed diver from the boat
  • Responding to distressed divers underwater
  • Underwater search patterns using a compass & finding a missing diver
  • Surfacing an unresponsive diver
  • Unresponsive diver on surface, including rescue breathing and towing back to boat
  • Exiting an unresponsive diver onto a boat
  • First Aid for pressure related injuries including administration of Oxygen
  • Responding to an unresponsive & non breathing diver from the boat

Once we have introduced you to these skills in shallow water and you have had time to practice and feel comfortable we will repeat them again in deeper water.

We will then start to combine the skills into more realistic drills, working to a point where you are proficient and performing these drills with confidence.

Rescue Scenario – Are you Rescue ready?

Now you are feeling comfortable with your rescue skills it is time for the real excitement to begin. It is time for final evaluation and your Rescue Diver final scenario’s.

You will now put into practice all rescue and first aid knowledge and skills you have learned over the past 3 days into practice with two simulated real life rescue scenario’s.

Rescue Diver Scenario 1 – Unresponsive Diver Underwater

In this scenario you will search for and locate a missing diver during an accident simulation using one of the search patterns you mastered earlier.

You will then bring the diver, who will be simulating unresponsiveness, to the surface using controlled positive buoyancy.

Rescue Diver Scenario 2 – Unresponsive Diver at the Surface

During this second rescue scenario you will respond to an unconscious diver on the surface who is not breathing.

You are required to administer in-water rescue breathing, whilst towing the diver back to the boat, removing the divers equipment, exiting the diver and performing CPR on the boat.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost of the PADI Rescue Diver course on Koh Tao?

The price for the PADI Rescue Diver course on its own is THB 12,000. Included in this price are all course materials, equipment rental (including dive computer), instructor fees, boat trips and insurance. It does not include EFR.

Food and accommodation are not included. However, you can contact us to find out about accommodation options. We have AC rooms available at discounted rates when taking a diving course with us.

Any ex-students will enjoy a 10% discount on the Rescue Diver course price.

How many days is the PADI Rescue Diver course on Koh Tao?

The usual schedule is 3 full days however, the course can be completed in as little as 2 days.

Generally, during the morning of every day you will do theory. The afternoon is mostly reserved for the in-water work and practical skills.

The Rescue Diver course schedule is very flexible and can always be adapted. You can contact us with any questions you have regarding a course schedule to suit your travel itinerary.

How many dives do I need to start PADI Rescue Diver course Koh Tao?

You need to be a (Junior) Adventure Diver before starting PADI Rescue Diver course. Technically, you could start the training with as little as 7 logged dives.

We do recommend you hold the Advanced Open Water certification as a minimum and feel comfortable with your diving skills.

If you want to know more about the course prerequisites, send us a message.

How many dives is the PADI Rescue Diver course on Koh Tao?

Usually you get about 4 dives that you can log during the training, although there is no minimum requirement for the amount of dives.

You have to successfully perform all 10 rescue exercises and 2 rescue scenario’s.

During the course you will spend a lot of time in the water, but it will be a collection of short dives finding and rescuing victims.

Do I need EFR certificate to start PADI Rescue Diver course Koh Tao?

One of the prerequisites for Rescue Diver course is that the diver needs to have completed EFR Primary & Secondary Care training within the last 24 months.

Some CPR & First Aid certificates from other training organizations can replace EFR certification.

If you have a certificate from a different organization, get in contact with us and we can let you know if it is acceptable or not.

Is equipment included in the price of PADI Rescue Diver course Koh Tao?

Yes, all equipment rental including compass and dive computer is included in the Rescue Diver course price.

We offer dive computers to all our students and divers on any of our diving activities.

Specifically for the Rescue Diver course we will provide some special equipment needed for training such as rescue breathing mask, throwing aids and emergency oxygen kit.

Is the PADI Rescue Diver course on Koh Tao difficult?

The Rescue Diver course is generally considered to be one of the most challenging, but rewarding courses in the PADI curriculum.

As with any PADI course it is performance-based learning and focusing on what the student can achieve.

There is no single correct way to perform a rescue. Our goal is to transform you into a confident rescue diver that can remain calm in any rescue situation and deal with it in the most appropriate and safest way.

What is the PADI Rescue Diver course Koh Tao?

The PADI Rescue Diver course consists of dive theory, practical skills, rescue scenario’s and creating an emergency plan for a dive site.

The theory consist of 5 sections and a final exam. There are rescue diver videos that need to be watched by participants in the course.

For the practical skills you will perform 10 rescue exercises followed by 2 rescue scenario’s.

You will have to prepare an emergency assistance plan (EAP) for the dive sites where the scenario’s will be held.

What is the minimum age to do PADI Rescue Diver course Koh Tao?

To start the PADI Rescue Diver course you have to be minimum 12 years old and a certified PADI (Junior) Adventure Diver.

Teenagers between the ages of 12 – 14 will earn the Junior Rescue Diver certification.

You also need to have a valid CPR & First Aid certificate from within the last 24 months.

Can I do PADI Rescue Diver course if I have not dived for a while?

We recommend that divers have dived within the last 6 months before starting the PADI Rescue Diver course.

If it has been longer since your last dive, you can sign up for our Scuba Review refresher course.

The Rescue Diver course is one of the more challenging courses, so keeping your dive skills fresh and current will help you during your training.