RATs – Week 11 – Search and Recovery Dive

Search and Recovery Dive

Last week during our RATs session we all went to Big Blue and took part in the Search and Recovery Dive, which is part of the Advanced Open Water course. It was my last RATs dive for this year and involved new skills, which we had read about before the session and had to go through on land before practicing underwater.

The techniques for searching that we learnt to use were the expanded square, the U pattern and the expanded circle. We split up into teams and the first technique we used was the expanded circle. Our instructors Marcia and Roger, hid one four pound weight and then using the techniques we learnt, we had to search and recover them – bringing them back to our instructors. It’s harder than you realize trying to find a small blue square somewhere on the bottom of the ocean!

The last exercise we did involved using lift bags (these are used to lift something over 4 kilograms out of the ocean). Using the lift bag we slowly ascended up with the heavily weighted BCD we were meant to recover (a good technique to know for when you find treasure at the bottom of the sea!).

Once we got back on the boat we enjoyed my Mom’s cookies we brought to share with the crew.

It was a long session but a great end to our RATs diving adventures for 2017!

By Oliver Downes

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