Kelowna Divers had a very frosty start to the year delivering a PADI Rescue Combi course in Sub Zero temperatures. Hats off to our three brave divers for not only completing course requirements and demonstrating superb solid diving skills but doing so with beaming smiles on their faces. Well done guys (& girl).

The heroes of our story are Rob Graham, Brooke Winch-Astells and Andrew Bull. It was Rob And Brooke’s first ever experience diving in Cold water completing Dry Suit training as part of their course. Rob is no stranger to Cold Weather as he works in the Oil industry in Russia. Brooke has just returned from a year-out travelling and diving in Australia. She was the novice of the group with only 22 dives under her dive belt, but don’t let that fool you; her skills are rock solid. You’ll all be seeing a lot more of Brooke as she will be the smiley face in our favourite dive shop InnerSpace Watersports. Last and by no means least was Andrew Bull. You all know Andrew; he is a seasoned diver and keen supporter of all Okanagan Dive Club events. We couldn’t have asked for a better group of divers. The icy conditions did nothing to dampen their spirits.


Our brave divers providing a warm glow with the white background.

The Course started a couple of weeks ago in our training pool house based in Coldstream. We completed EFR (First Aid) and O2 training in the classroom. Practice sessions and emergency scenarios were held mostly outside and in the pool. Our students produced some sterling results in the scenarios but did make comment that Coldstream locals seemed extremely accident prone, crashing trucks and falling unconscious into swimming pools! We worked into the evening finishing off with pool Dry Suit training for Brooke and Rob.

Mid week we completed the lake dive portion of the Dry Suit Course with Brooke and Rob. They both had no difficulty mastering the Fusion Dry Suit.. but overcoming frozen boot laces, regs and BCDs was a different story!

We were then ready to complete the heavy day of Rescue theory followed by Rescue practical training in the pool where we introduce Rescue skills. We kept our fingers crossed for sunshine and warm weather for Sunday’s Lake dives…

Unfortunately this was not to be. it was -9C and following a fresh dump of 12-14″ snow conditions were difficult just getting to the dive site. We had on hand our heated trailer (Phew!). Despite the weather morale was extremely high. All Rescue skills are then practised again in real conditions. We focus carefully on technique and effectiveness of lifts and in water BLS. During the surface interval we warmed up and completed a quick overview of the AED, O2 and Resusci Anne in preparation for what might follow….


Brad taking time to discuss different lifting techniques with different configurations of equipment. An important aspect of todays dive sites often overlooked.

Brad solo diving foolishly during the surface interval did not surface and so our divers had to don equipment and organise a timely search and effective rescue of our lost friend. We are happy to report they did find and recover him performing effective rescue breaths whilst towing to shore where CPR was carried out bringing him back to life. Brad is on the road to recovery and is looking forward to warming up in Roatan at the end of the week.


Left:Tim instructing on Circular search techniques. Right: Digging deep our Rescuers bring Brad out of the water to safety so CPR can begin.

Well done Andrew, Rob and Brooke for a job well done. We really enjoyed teaching you. Good luck to Rob who will be completing his Dive Master course in March whilst Brooke is looking forward to logging a good few dives before commencing her DM course later in the year.

Huge thanks to our Kelowna Diver’s instructors Brad Tingstad and Becky Butt for helping me (Tim) teach the course. Our students always enjoy a good Student to instructor ratio to ensure maximum transfer of information. Thanks also to Brad Houghton for volunteering as a casualty on the EFR course; your Oscar is in the post.

We operate in association with Innerspace Watersports and are keen supporters of the growing local dive club, Okanagan Dive Club. Join the group on Facebook.