Okay class, now do a pike dive! Splash! That’s the sound inside the KRA Pool on a typical Rescue Diving class. Between forward rolls, freediving, gearing up, and learning rescue skills, this HSU course has its hands full. Of water that is.
Jamie Clough, a transfer marine biology major and scientific diving minor is taking the course this spring semester.
“All the skills you need in the class are going to be taught, so don’t be scared. It’s great, it’s fun, they take amazing care of you,” Clough said.
Clough wants to work in aquariums and believes the program is helping prepare her to do so.
“Going through the program here and getting that minor is gonna be helpful for me to get a job at aquariums so i can do anything from aquarium maintenance, cleaning the sand, checking on animals, anything,” Clough said.
The class teaches a range of skills including swimming, freediving, scuba, how to deal with panic, CPR, first aid, dealing with stress and more.
Class instructor Hanna Johnston loves teaching and working with the students.
“My favorite part is watching students go from really uncomfortable to looking like dive professionals,” Johnston said.
Johnston believes a big part of learning how to dive is confidence.
“If a diver feels confident in their skill level they’re going to be much stronger in the water,” Johnston said.
Junior recreation administration major Gracie Oliva is taking the class a second time to receive her advanced rescue diver certification.
“It makes you a really seasoned professional because not only are we exposed to emergencies that frequent the dive industry but it helps me with my emergency preparedness if I choose to go in the outdoor recreation area as a whole so the skills and experiences that I gain in this class won’t just help me further myself in the dive industry but also will have tremendous benefits for me just in the outdoor recreation field itself,” Oliva said.
Especially during the pandemic, it has been a challenge for classes to meet in person.
“During this pandemic era, my favorite part of this class has to be interacting with all these amazing people that you see right here,” Oliva said. “I am so fortunate that I am able to take face to face classes when I know that there’s a very limited number of them.”
Junior environmental studies major and scientific diving minor Roxanna “Roxy” Reynolds wanted to join the program after inspiration came from her dad telling diving stories.
“I actually came to Humboldt for the diving program, that was the selling point for me,” Reynolds said.
While most students may not come originally for the program, Johnston stressed that it is available for everyone, even those who can’t swim quite yet.
“You just have to show up, be on time, be prepared and have a good attitude and we’ll help you from there,” Johnston said.