Snorkel Lifesaver Award
The primary aim is to examine under pool or sheltered open water conditions lifesaving proficiency specifically applicable to warm water snorkel diving. A secondary aim is to examine the ability of snorkel divers to make use of their rescue skills in more general, non-diving situations.
Current member of the BSAC. Minimum qualification of Snorkel Diver or Novice Diver.
Qualification Record Book Certificate and Cloth Badge.
Current price obtainable from BSAC HQ.
Snorkel Instructor qualification required preferably holding the Snorkel Lifesaver Award.
Only Examiners appointed by the BSAC Rescue Skills Chief Examiner to examine the Snorkel Lifesaver Award or Lifesaver Award may conduct examinations for this Award. No Examiner may examine a class which he or she has been involved in teaching. Examinations conducted by unauthorised examiners will be invalid.
When a group is ready to be examined for this Award the group instructor should contact their BSAC Regional Coach who will allocate an Examiner. Snorkel Lifesaver Examination Report Forms should be obtained from BSAC HQ and prepared so that they list the personal details of all the candidates ready for the Examiner’s use. On completion of the examination, the group instructor should submit the completed report forms, together with the appropriate fees, to the Technical Support Manager at BSAC HQ, who will issue the appropriate certificates and badges.
The dry and wet tests may be examined in either order and on separate occasions but both must be completed within a two month period.
Should a candidate fail either section, it may be retaken once, for an extra fee, within two months of the successful section. If the retake is failed then further attempts must include both sections.
The examination comprises two sections – a dry theoretical and practical test and a wet practical test. In summary the candidates will be required to:
• Answer questions on respiration, circulation, lifesaving and relevant first aid
• Demonstrate effective Artificial Ventilation (AV) and Chest Compression (CC)
• Demonstrate the action for vomit and the recovery position.
• Carry out a rope throw rescue
• Carry out a buoyant aid rescue and tow
• Carry out a 25m rescue and tow (including AV) of a snorkel diver
• Support an unconscious casualty at the surface
The general principles of lifesaving will apply throughout the examination, ie:
• Once contact with the subject has been made by the rescuer, it must be maintained without a break until the rescue is completed.
• Whenever AV is being applied, the rescuer should make the appropriate seal over the subject’s nose or mouth (although the rescuer should only blow into the subject when a training manikin is being used). While rates of AV are quoted for guidance, the emphasis will be on effective AV rather than the maintenance of a precise rate.
• During the rescue the rescuer must demonstrate the appropriate sense of urgency compatible with the effective execution of the rescue.
1 – DRY TEST
1 (a) Theory Knowledge
Answer correctly four out of five questions on each of:
• Lifesaving and relevant first aid
The questions will be based on the current edition of the BSAC ‘Snorkelling for All’ Manual.
1 (b) Practical Resusitation
i. Demonstrate effective AV, as directed by the Examiner, on a training manikin for a period of at least 3 minutes to the satisfaction of the Examiner (AV at approximately 10 breaths per minute). Where a training manikin is unavailable the candidate will simulate AV on a live subject. The Examiner will question the candidate during the demonstration.
ii. Demonstrate and explain to the Examiner the diagnosis of cardiac arrest. The candidate will check the carotid pulse on a live subject, counting out loud to the Examiner who is monitoring the subject’s radial pulse.
iii. With the use of a resuscitation training manikin, demonstrate effective Chest Compression (CC) combined with AV. The use of a training manikin is mandatory.
iv. The optimum sequence is two breaths of AV followed by 15 compressions of CC, at a rate of 100 compressions per minute.
Demonstrate, using a live subject, the action for vomit and the recovery position.
2 – WET TEST
Both the subject and rescuer should be of similar size and build and are to be dressed throughout in a swimsuit only (i.e. as for warm water conditions) with the additional personal equipment specified below for each section of the test. All buoyancy devices worn for this test must have an independent means of emergency inflation.
The following sections must be carried out in the order specified.
2 (a)Throwing Rescues
This part of the test presupposes that a diver without his basic equipment has fallen from a boat which is unable to approach him or from a jetty. The time limit on the rope instils some urgency and the limit on the number of rescue aids that may be thrown encourages accuracy and care, as a ‘hit’ discounts the throw.
A rope enables the subject to be pulled to the boat or jetty; a buoyant aid does not, so the subject must be fetched. Note that the rescuer is without basic equipment and does not have time to fit any.
Personal equipment: A buoyancy aid is to be worn. Subjects must be neutrally
i. Starting with a tidy but uncoiled rope at the rescuer’s feet, the rescuer must throw the rope 10m so that it falls between the outstretched arms of the subject who is treading water. The rescuer must retain hold of one end of the rope. The subject must be told what to do with the rope, and is then pulled to safety at the poolside. There is a time limit of 1 minute from the word ‘go’ until the subject grasps the rope. There is no limit to the number of throws within the 1 minute period. Tidy but uncoiled’ means in a heap as it might be stacked without coiling when pulled from the water, no knots or tangles.
ii. The rescuer must throw a suitable buoyant aid at least 10m to land within 2.5m of a swimmer who is treading water. The rescuer instructs the subject in its use as a flotation aid, then swims out and tows the subject back to the pool side. The tow ends in deep water and the rescuer, still in the water, helps the subject to climb out by offering a hand or knee as a step.
It is recommended that the subject be instructed to hold the buoyant aid close to his or her chest while laying on the back. During the tow the rescuer should avoid direct contact with the subject and, for instance, take hold of the buoyant aid, suit, strap etc. as most suitable.
Soft plastic objects ar preferred, eg. anchor buoys, SMBs polythene bottles etc., as may reasonably be found on the diving site. The chosen object may contain a little water to give it some weight. No line is to be attached to the buoyant aid. Hitting the subject or being outside the 2.5m range will disqualify the throw. Once thrown, objects may not be recovered. A maximum of 3 objects may be thrown.
2 (b) Snorkelling Rescue
This section requires a fully equipped snorkel diver to rescue another similarly equipped snorkel diver who is unconscious and not breathing.
Personal equipment: Buoyancy device, mask, fins, snorkel and if required, quick release weightbelt. Both subject and rescuer should be neutrally buoyant.
The rescue commences in deep water with the rescuer 10m away from the subject who is floating face-down in the water. The rescuer closes with the subject, rolls the subject face-up and inflates his buoyancy device. (Note: depending upon the method of emergency inflation of the buoyancy device being worn by the subject – e.g. CO2 cartridge – operation of the inflation mechanism may need to be simulated. The subject should then inflate his own buoyancy device orally before replacing mask/snorkel and resuming an inert condition).
The rescuer then removes the subject’s mask and snorkel, his own snorkel and, if necessary, his own mask before commencing two mouth-to-nose AV. To adequately simulate this, the seal over the subject’s nose should be held for approximately 2 seconds. The rescuer should then signal for assistance before towing the subject a distance of 25m to shallow water. During the tow, AV should be administered at a rate of 2 breaths approximately every 15 seconds. During the tow the rescuer should look round from time to time to check his direction of progress.
At the end of the 25m, in shallow water, the rescuer then explains to the Examiner how he would remove the subject from the water using whatever assistance would reasonably be expected to be on hand.
2 (c) Swimmer Support
This final section examines the rescuers ability in a non-diving situation such as may occur at any time where activities on or around water are concerned.
Personal equipment: None.
i. The rescuer enters the water as if for unknown conditions and swims 25m to an unconscious, non-breathing subject floating face down on the surface. The subject is turned face-up and then towed 10m to a deep water support position where AV is continued until the Examiner declares that the subject has recommenced breathing. The rescuer then removes the subject from the water (unassisted) and places him in the recovery position.
ii. The rescuer assists a breathing but unconscious subject to keep his head above water for a period of 2 minutes.
Candidates will not gain the Snorkel Lifesaver Award if:
• They fail to make a time limit
• They fail to meet throwing accuracy criteria
• They fail to get sufficient theory questions right
• They do not, in the Examiner’s opinion, achieve a sufficiently high standard in any of the practical assessments
At the discretion of the Examiner, candidates may be permitted to retake no more than one sub-section (e.g. 2 (b)) immediately after the examination. No intervening instruction may be given.