Scuba diving

RNLI diver sea survival course

If you’re in danger at sea, knowing what to do can make the difference between life and death. You could be rescued more quickly or may not even need rescuing if you have the right diving survival skills and kit.

The RNLI Diver Sea Survival course will provide you with the skills and knowledge to survive. We’ve developed the course in partnership with the British Diving Safety Group (BDSG). Watch our course trailer below.

What skills will I gain?

RNLI Diver Sea Survival course covers:

  • dive planning
  • dive preparation
  • navigation and safety equipment on dive boats
  • diving in low-visibility conditions
  • how to deal with out-of-air emergencies
  • use of surface marker buoys (SMBs)
  • ways of calling for help
  • how to deal with an emergency on the surface.

You'll also complete two open-water dives, to practise the skills and techniques you've learned.

Where can I take the course/workshop?

Take this course with PADI training providers as a Distinctive Speciality course. Find your local PADI dive centre click here.

For any PADI scuba instructors who have questions regarding how to conduct this course, or applying to teach it, please contact

Take this workshop with BSAC to refresh your rescue skills and learn new surface survival techniques. Register your place here.

Workshops will be run as both regional and club events nationally, giving you lots of opportunities to take part.

Other training providers may offer the RNLI Diver Sea Survival course in the future. Visit for a full list of members.

Watch: diver Paul Gibson tells us what it was like to be left alone in a big sea and how a personal location beacon (PLB) saved his life:

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