Skill demonstration – Five point descent
Today we will look at a skill that is useful for your PADI Divemaster or PADI IDC course, as it is part of the skill circuit that you are required to complete for both of these courses. Getting comfortable with the skills require some practice and also to understand the intent of the skill: what it is meant to explain or make our students understand about diving?
The five point descent is a method used to check that all divers at the surface are ready for the dive. A good way to remember the five points is to use the acronym SORTED.
To make your demonstration look smooth, follow these steps:
- Instruct your students to watch you and give them the skill signal, while you are at the surface with your BCD inflated, mask on and snorkel in
- S: signal. Give the OK signal and then going down
- O: orientation. Look all around to orientate yourself and get your bearings, then look underwater
- R: regulator. Switch from your snorkel to your regulator
- T: time. Check the entry time and that your dive computer is on
- E/D: equalize, descent. Signal that you are equalizing as you are going down, deflate your BCD slowly and start a controlled descent.
In the Open Water course, this skill is practiced several times. As your students progress during the course, it is important to teach them to control their descent rate and to avoid landing on the bottom, so make sure you show them how to do this during your demonstration. The earlier they understand neutral buoyancy, the better!