Before you can help another diver, you have to recognize that the diver needs help, then follow your recognition with appropriate action. Divers who have a problem. but who are in control of their actions, look pretty much like divers without problems. Generally, if they need help, they signal for it. Divers in control normally appear relatively relaxed and breathe normally. Typically, they keep their equipment in place, move with controlled, deliberate movements, and respond to instructions.

Divers who have a problem and panic lose self control, and sudden, unreasoned fear and instinctive inappropriate actions replace controlled, appropriate action. Panicked divers, fearing drowning, typically struggle to hold their heads high above the water. expending tremendous energy. They usually fail to establish positive buoyancy, and spit out their regulators and shove their masks up on their foreheads, requiring them to fight even harder to breathe. Panicked divers will generally be anxious and breathe rapidly and shallowly.

They pay no attention to their buddy or others and make quick, jerky movements. Their eyes are wide and unseeing, and they don't usually respond to directions. Divers exhibiting these signs need immediate help, because they will continue to struggle until completely exhausted and unable to remain afloat.

Assisting Another Diver

There are four basic steps to assisting another diver: 
1) establish ample buoyancy (for both of you),
2) calm the diver, 
3) help the diver reestablish breathing control and
4) if necessary, assist the diver back to the boat or shore.

Always begin with buoyancy you reduce the immediate risk by assuring that neither Open Water Diver Manual

Of you will sink. To do this, ideally throw or extend some flotation to the diver, but if you can't do that, inflate the diver's BCD and/or discard the weights. Once you've established buoyancy, calm the individual by talking, offering encouragement and persuading the diver to relax and take it easy.

Have the diver take deep, slow breaths to reestablish breathing control, and self-control. After sometime to rest and recover, if necessary assist the diver using the tank valve tow or the modified tired-swimmer carry, which you'll practice during Confined Water Dive Three.