Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Scuba Driving for Underwater

Scuba diving is swimming underwater, or taking part in another activity, while using a scuba set. By carrying a source of breathing gas, the scuba diver is able to stay underwater longer than with the simple breath-holding techniques used in snorkeling and free-diving, and is not hindered by air lines to a remote air source.


Photo: phuket-trips.com

The scuba diver typically swims underwater by using fins attached to the feet. However, some divers also move around with the assistance of a DPV, commonly called a "scooter", or by using surface-tethered devices called sleds pulled by a boat. Advances in underwater exploration began nearly three centuries ago using diving bells and large cumbersome sealed suits using pumped air from the surface. Only very recently advances in technology and mechanics have allowed people to visit this domain safely for exploration using comfortable, self-contained air delivery systems.

Water normally contains dissolved oxygen from which fish and other aquatic animals extract all their required oxygen as the water flows past their gills. Humans lack gills and do not otherwise have the capacity to breathe underwater unaided by external devices. Early diving experimenters quickly discovered it is not enough simply to supply air in order to breathe comfortably underwater.


Photo: atlastours.net

Today, scuba diving is accessible to almost anyone with only a modest investment in equipment. Anywhere you want to dive you can usually find a dive shop near-at-hand to rent tanks, go on a guided dive with a master diver, take a chartered boat or just strap on the tanks and swim out from the shore.

NAUI, the National Association of Underwater Instructors, was formed in 1960 to regulate and teach safe scuba diving to enthusiasts of this new sport. PADI, the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, was formed in 1967.

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