Scuba diving is a type of underwater diving for industrial, commercial and recreation purposes. A scuba set is used by a diver to allow him or her to breath underwater. Scuba is not a really a word but it is short form of Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus.
The Aqualung open-circuit units were the first scuba sets used for commercial purposes. These underwater breathing devices were developed by Cousteau and Emile Gagnan in 1943. A tank containing compressed gas allows divers to breath and exhale while in the water. The most well-liked scuba units today are mostly descendants of the aqualung.
Costeau had a fair share of toxic oxygen incidents while using the rebreather system which prompted him to develop the open circuit systems. Until today, there are still recent versions of the rebreather system which are considered the second most important kind of scuba units and are mostly employed in technical diving like deep diving.
Types of diving
Scuba diving can be done for both professional and personal reasons. Majority of scuba divers start with recreational diving just for pure fun. But still there are technical disciplines like deep diving, ice diving, wreck diving and cave diving that could lead to increased interest with the fascinating underwater.
Professional-wise, commercial divers may be engaged underwater tasks for civil engineering, marine activities or military diving. Examples of civil engineering jobs include offshore construction, underwater welding, and oil exploration. Marine activities include naval diving, renovation and examination of ships and boats, recovery of wrecks and underwater water fishing (spear fishing). Military diving covers a wide range of underwater tasks like penetration behind the lines of the enemy, direct combat, bomb disposal, rescue procedures and crime detection. Professional divers also use scuba diving for underwater world documentation, marine biology, underwater archeology, underwater filming and underwater photography.
Fishes and all aquatic forms of life use the oxygen that is normally present in the water. However, humans will not survive long underwater without the aid of external devices. As shown in early diving experiments, supplying air is not sufficient to make breathing underwater comfortable. The normal pressure of the atmosphere plus the water’s increasing pressure falling on lungs and chest as one descends makes breathing really difficult. For this reason, modern scuba equipment is designed to counter the ambient or surrounding pressure to fill the lungs with air. Contemporary regulators of demand valve guarantee natural and effortless breathing (not considering depth) by always supplying gas at underwater pressure.
Hazards and Dangers
The most common hazards and dangers include oxygen toxicity, nitrogen narcosis, decompression sickness, injuries caused by changes in air pressure and refraction and underwater vision.
How to manage buoyancy underwater
In order to dive safely, the rate of going down and coming up in the water must be controlled by divers. Neutral buoyancy must be achieved when divers want to maintain a constant depth. Overall buoyancy can be adjusted using buoyancy compensators, diving suits, and diving weighting systems.
Preventing the loss of body heat
Even in mild water temperatures, a diver may experience hypothermia because water conducts heat from the diver up to 25 times better than air. Drysuits and wetsuits can help provide divers with thermal insulation.