Scuba diving is a popular underwater diving mode using a scuba. Scuba is a breathing gas tank that is carried by the diver into deep underwater regions which is completely independent of surface supply. The use of a scuba enables in longer diving intervals and freedom in movement. The tank consists of an appropriate mixture of nitrogen and oxygen. Scuba diving is done both recreationally and professionally across a number of platforms.

Origin

Scuba diving first originated in the 18th century as a means of exploring the deeper oceanic regions that couldn’t be visited by a human being for a longer period of time than his breath-holding capacity. Earlier, it was plain old diving but introducing the scuba into it made a huge difference. The first mercantile practical scuba rebreather was designed and built by diving engineer Henry Fleuss in 1878.  By the mid-1930s and World War 2, scuba diving was extensively used to equip the first frogmen by the British, Germans and Italians. By the 1980s, Scuba diving was widely popularized across the globe and institutions were set up to learn more about scuba diving and teach it to international students.

Equipment required

In Scuba diving, a diver most importantly carries his scuba as a backpack over his shoulders, which is fastened across the waist. Primarily he moves across the ocean in deep underwater regions using the fins attached to the legs that help in movement.  Sometimes external propulsion is provided by the diver propulsion vehicle or a sleigh pulled from the surface. One is also required to wear a mask for better underwater vision. A scuba diving suit is a must for all divers.  Equipments to control the buoyancy are attached to the diver or his suit. He must also carry a diving water-proof watch to keep track of time. The use of dive lights (usually blue as it is the least absorbent by water) ensures better viewing in almost completely dark regions.  Beginner divers are always accompanied by Scuba diving trainers after passing a physical fitness test.

Depth range and Safety

The depth range of the scuba diving depends on the application and training provided by different organisations. The major worldwide depth rage is 130ft (40m) is said to be the limit for recreational diving. However there are agencies that train divers to dive 390ft (120mts). The maximum depth considered safe is still quite controversial depending upon the water type, ocean, its original depth, sea mammals etc.

The safety of the entire diving process depends on 4 factors: the environment, equipment used, individual diver behaviour and performance of the diving team.

Applications

Scuba diving is done either for recreational purposes, technical diving, combat diving, public safety diving, scientific diving and professional diving.