BSAC Open Water Snorkel Lifesaver Award
The primary aim is to examine, under open water conditions, lifesaving proficiency specifically applicable to snorkel divers. An optional, secondary aim is to provide a framework for additional or refresher training for those who require it, to the level necessary to gain the Advanced Snorkel Lifesaver Award.
This course consist of, 3 sections. These are
· Basic Life Support assessment
· Theory assessment – conducted orally
· Open water rescue examination
The entry requirements for this exam are as follows,
· The student must be a minimum age of 8 -years old
· Must be rated as a Ocean Snorkel Diver
· The student must have completed a self - declaration ‘Fitness to Snorkel’ and this should be signed by their parents or guardian, if under 18 years of age.
The duration of this course is 1 day
The Basic Life Support Assessment:
The exam starts with you demonstration to the examiner the effective administration of Basic Life Support, which will be performed on a manikin doll. You start off this exercise by correctly diagnosing cardiac arrest of the casualty. This scenario assumes that the casualty is both unresponsive and not breathing, and therefore the need for immediately Basic Life Support should be commence
The examiner will expect you to do the following steps. Check the casualty for circulation, properly positioning of your hands on the casualty chest while performing effective chest compressions combined with rescue breaths at the correct ratio.
As we will probably be treating the casualties that have been involved in a snorkel related incident and this incident might have involved water inhalation, which can cause the casualty to vomit. The examiner will ask you to demonstrate the correct actions for a vomiting casualty.
In the case where casualty has a ‘near drowning’ experience; depending on the circumstances of the incident, there may be a chance that the casualty can be revived by performing effective BLS. In this case, the examiner will ask you to put the casualty in one of two recovery positions. The recovery position used will depend whether you are on land or a boat.
Throughout the above BLS assessments the examiner will ask you questions relating to Basic Life Support issues. You will be expected to answer 4 out of 5 questions correctly.
In addition to this, in the Rescue Practical below, you will also be asked on the spot questions relating to Lifesaving topics. Again you need to answer 4 out of 5 questions correctly.
Practical Snorkel Rescue Exam
This part of the exam starts with a throwing exercise. The exam assumes that a snorkel has fallen into the water without snorkeling equipment. As a Rescuer you will consider several options before the need to actually entre the water. A couple of the options available to you in this assessment are to throw the casualty 2 objects.
In the first exercise you will be asked to throw the casualty a rope. The distance to throw the rope will be a minimum of 10 metres. Once the casualty has caught the rope you will need to instruct them on what you want them to do, before pulling them to safety.
The second task is to throw the casualty a buoy object. These objects will be those that may be found on the beach or a boat. Typically, these objects could be plastic containers, footballs, mooring buoys etc. You will need to throw a maximum of 3 objects; again the distance will be 10 metres. Unlike the rope throw, where you can pull the casualty to safety, in this exercise you will need to entre the water- fully equipped. You will then need to swim out to the casualty and tow them back to safety using a non contact tow
Section 3 is a Snorkel Rescue assessment. This rescue assessment is based on rescuing another snorkeler who is deemed unconscious and is not breathing. The casualty will be about 10 metres away and is floating face down in the water.
The rescuer needs to enter the water, whilst at the same time keeping visual contact on the casualty at all times, and then the rescuer will swim out to the casualty; in full snorkeling equipment. On approaching the casualty you will be expected to turn the casualty so that their face is clear of the water.
Your first step would be to make sure the casualty remains positively buoyant at the surface. This is usually achieved by inflating the casualty lifejacket – either by activating the lifejackets CO2 inflation cartridge or by oral inflation. After calling for assistance, you then remove the casualties Mask and snorkel and then commence rescue breaths. At the same time as giving rescue breaths you will tow the casualty a distance of 100 metres. The rescue finishes with the landing of the casualty either onto the beach or boat, on landed the casualty you will start to administrate normal Basic Life Support.
Successful candidate will be award the Lifesaver Award