Learning to Scuba Dive
Learning to Scuba Dive

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Learning to Scuba Dive

In this section of the site you will find articles related to scuba diving education. Learning how to scuba dive is a wonderful experience, but it is important that you choose a reputable instructor that will provide you with both a practical and a theoretical understanding of the world of scuba diving. Only half a century ago, injuries and even fatalities were common among scuba divers. Today, scuba diving is considered a safe recreational activity, as long as you follow the safety guidelines and exercise caution and good judgment. The risk of injuries and fatalities will increase if you scuba dive during hazardous conditions, if you scuba dive without a buddy, if you refrain from checking your equipment, and if you learn to scuba dive from an unsuitable instructor.

Thoroughly understanding how your body, your scuba diving equipment and the underwater world that you are visiting works will make it much easier for you to plan and carry out safe and enjoyable scuba diving adventures. A good scuba diving course should therefore contain theoretical as well as practical exercises. Also keep in mind that a scuba diver needs to keep knowledge and skills up to date. If you have not gone scuba diving in a long time, it is advisable to begin with a short and simple dive under optimal conditions. Avoid night diving, cave diving, deep diving or any other type of specialized diving for your first dive. It can also be a good idea to do a refreshment-dive together with a certified instructor. 

The history of scuba diving is comparatively short. The acronym SCUBA stands for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus and was invented in 1939 to describe the rebreather sets used by U.S. military divers in the navy. Previous diving methods had either been free-diving (swimming underwater using nothing but a single breath of air) or surface supplied diving (air is provided via an umbilical line). The so called Momson lung was also used for a brief period during the WWII, chiefly as an escape method for submariners when forced to rise to the surface outside their submarine.  In 1943, Emile Gagnan and Jacques-Yves Cousteau invented the type of scuba diving equipment that we use today. This early scuba diving device was called the Aqua-Lung and was an open-circuit system. Compared to the military rebreathers, the Aqua-Lung was safer since it lowered to risk of oxygen toxicity accidents.

Today, both rebreathers and Aqua-Lung type equipment is used among scuba divers, but the later is much more common, especially among recreational divers. The open-circuit construction of this device means that you will inhale air from the tubes, and exhale into the water (via your mouthpiece). All the exhaled air will be “wasted” and never used again. The air in an open-circuit tube will typically consist of standard air, i.e. around 79 percent nitrogen and 21 percent oxygen.

The rebreather system is instead made up by a closed-circuit or semi-closed circuit. You will exhale out back into the system and your exhaled gas will be processed until it can be inhaled again. This is a more efficient method of using air and it makes longer dives possible. It is especially popular during dives that require a special gas mix instead of common air, since the rebreather system will use the expensive gas mix more economically. A rebreather system is however more complicated than open-circuit constructions and you will need special training.

Learning Scuba Diving Articles:

Choosing A scuba diving school - A guide to choosing the right scuba diving school.
Learn to scuba Manhattan - Information about how to learn scuba diving without having to leave Manhattan.

Learning to Scuba Dive