Going Deep: 8 Underwater Diving Activities

Written by on May 12, 2013 in Lifestyle - No comments | Print this page


underwater divingScuba diving is perhaps the most favorite and most popular underwater diving.

Yet, many are oblivious that there are still other forms of underwater diving that anyone could try out. Underwater diving is a lot of fun and can be full of adventure. In this article, we’ll tip off some of the underwater diving activities and the perks and hazards of diving.

Definition of Underwater Diving:

In a general sense, underwater diving is the act of going underwater with or without the assistance of breathing apparatus. Underwater diving is believed to have stemmed from Ancient Greek History.

Purposes of Underwater Diving:

Underwater diving can be recreational, scientific or commercial.

Forms of Underwater Diving:

The following are the different underwater diving activities.

  1. Free-driving
  2. Scuba diving
  3. Surface-supplied diving
  4. Saturation diving
  5. Atmospheric underwater diving
  6. Shark Diving
  7. Cave Diving
  8. Ice diving

Underwater Diving Form # 1: Free Diving

Definition: Free diving is an underwater diving that does not employ the use of breathing assistive devices. This type is the simplest form of diving. In countries like the Philippines, free diving is a common competition sports in men and women.

Perks and Hazards: Free diving is also known as apneic diving because of the longer time the swimmer stays under the water. Note: brain starts to deteriorate after three minutes of no oxygen supply. Having said this, professional free divers must be physically fit and undergo extensive training on free diving.

Meanwhile, professional swimmers surpass apneic episodes of free diving because of their well developed mammalian diving reflex.  This is when the physical body of the person conserves energy and preserves a great amount of blood volume for the vital organs like the heart and lungs.

Underwater Diving Form # 2: Scuba Diving

Definition: Another form of underwater diving is scuba diving. SCUBA is the acronym for Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. In scuba diving, the swimmer descends deep down into the water using assistive breathing apparatuses.

Perks: Scuba diving is not only the activity of choice for those who want to take a glimpse of what’s underneath; but likewise participates in military operations and scientific experiments.

Hazards: Scuba diving is a binary type of recreational diving meaning the activity should not be done alone. This is because of the potential dangers brought by scuba diving that are deemed life-threatening. Some of these health threats include Barotrauma, Decompression Sickness, Nitrogen Narcosis and Oxygen Toxicity.

Underwater Diving Form # 3: Surface Supplied Diving

Definition: Surface supplied diving is an underwater diving that makes use of air compressor and hose as breathing assistive devices.

Perks: Surface supplied diving is used for commercial or scientific exploration of contaminated body of water. This type of diving is cost effective and has continuous supply of air than SCUBA counterparts.

Hazards: Surface supplied diving is more complex than SCUBA diving because of the in dire need of monitoring air lines.

Underwater Diving Form # 4: Saturation Diving

Definition: Saturation diving is based on the principle of saturation. In deep diving, any diver can suffer from “saturation” condition. This is when the pressure of nitrogen gases in the blood equates that of the lungs.

When there is excess nitrogen in the body, decompression sickness develops. In saturation diving, the diver inhales a form of gas called perfluorocarbon which contains an optimal amount of oxygen.

In this way, nitrogen is not formed in the blood. Saturation underwater diving is quite far from recreational type of diving.

Perks: Saturation diving is used by those who live in undersea habitats, and professional divers who need to stay for longer period of time for as deep as 300 feet to up 3,000 feet.

Hazards: Saturation diving needs permanent and accurate mooring. This underwater diving likewise needs extensive logistic support system.

Underwater Diving Form # 5: Atmospheric Underwater Diving

Definition: Atmospheric underwater diving is similar to saturation diving except for the use of a special type of diving suit. Atmospheric underwater diving does not use special gas mixtures like perfluorocarbon.

Perks: Participants of atmospheric underwater diving need not to be skilled swimmers.

Underwater Diving Form # 6: Shark Diving

Definition: As you probably guess, shark diving is a form of underwater diving where humans have close encounter with sharks, the bloodthirsty marine creatures. In shark diving, individuals do not swim but otherwise confined in a strong metal cage and lowered from the deck.

Like other underwater diving types, shark divers wear SCUBA gear and devices. For others, shark diving is the best way to confront fears and nightmares of sharks.

Hazards:  In very rare cases, swimmers are able to encounter sharks without the use of cage. A major destination for shark diving is the Guadalaupe Island near San Diego, California.

Underwater Diving Form # 7: Cave Diving

Definition: A form of advanced underwater diving is cave diving. Cave diving is a foray deep down in underwater caves with the use of guide lines. Cave diving is truly a challenging underwater diving given that there are no interior lights and limited access to the outside world.

Perks and Hazards: Cave diving is indeed worth trying. However, the activity comes with potential hazards as the diver enters to an uncontrollable environment with no “express” access to the outside surface.

Ice divers can as well face some health risks including hypothermia, decompression sickness and embolisms. Air consumption in ice diving is also crucial. The diver should be able to accurately calculate the distances to avoid going on swimming on empty tanks.

It must be noted that anyone who proceed in ice diving should be properly trained and mentally prepared due to the fact that there are still recorded cases of experienced divers who passed out during the activity. Lastly, cave diving should never be a solitary water excursion.

Underwater Diving Form # 8: Ice Diving

Definition: Ice diving is the underwater diving in cold waters and under ice. It is a type of advance diving where divers have only one or two entry and exit points. The activity involves the use of special harness that is secured above the surface.

Ice diving requires the presence of a line tender. The line tender oversees and makes sure that the primary diver is not tangled with lines. Ice diving is critical since the communication is based on pulling on or tugging the line.

Hazards: Fatalities in ice diving is bought by freezing occurrences. Common dangers of ice diving include hypothermia, frostbite, cold injury and entanglement.

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Peony Amorette shares her knowledge and experience in life at sea at Marina Post, a news and information hub for sailors and maritime enthusiasts.



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