There are a lot of changes going on in the scuba diving business. Growth in the industry involves attracting new customers and keeping certified divers interested and active. It involves continuing upgrade of services not only in retail and education, but also in the resort and hospitality sector.
The “Industry” section of scubasuperpower.com will include additional information and business ideas to supplement the support you get from your professional association. You are invited to submit articles and ideas, tips and advice, that you think will benefit the business of recreational diving. The more you give in this regard, the more you will benefit from other interested dive industry personnel contributing similarly.
This section will also cover aspects of conservation and environmental protection that can be controlled by operators and owners. Not much point telling divers not to take “souvenirs” from the reef while at the same time anchoring the dive boat carelessly!
Although there are many aspects of scuba diving that are different from other businesses, the basics of business still apply. The art of winning new customers and keeping existing customers is still paramount for a successful business.
History of Scuba Diving
Jacques Cousteau was quoted as saying “It will happen my friends; surgery will affix a set of artificial gills to man’s circulatory system right here at the neck which will permit him to breathe oxygen from the water like a fish. Then the lungs will be by-passed and he will be able to live and breathe in any depth for any amount of time without harm. It will happen, I promise you.”
It appears as if Jacques Cousteau’s vision came true with the development of scuba diving. Actually, scuba diving or the idea of diving has been around for quite some time. In the 1500’s Leonardo Da Vinci designed the first known scuba diving apparatus. His drawing of a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus appears in his Codex Atlanticus. There is no record of Da Vinci ever following through with his design though.
However, you can go back even further. Aristotle discussed the possibility of developing what eventually came to be known as a diving bell. A diving bell was a cable-suspended airtight chamber. As the bell was lowered under the water the pressure of the water would keep the air trapped inside the bell. Hoses fed down from the surface would send in compressed gases. His not only allowed the person to breathe but compensated for the gases that were being released from the bottom of the bell. Without this compressed gas, the bell would partially fill with water. The diving bell was one of the earliest inventions for under water exploration. Around 1531, an Italian explorer Guglielmo de Loreno developed the first true diving bell which he used for exploring sunken ships.
S.C.U.B.A stands for Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. So we can see why it is so much easier to say you’re going Scuba Diving.
People have been exploring the ocean since the beginning of time. Man ventured into the ocean for fish and other marine life. People have been practicing holding their breath underwater for as long as we can remember. The ocean and what it holds has always captivated us. Everything from a food source to simple curiosity over marine life and sunken ships, it’s all fascinating. In earlier days, reeds were used to breathe underwater. This however was limited since you could only go right below the surface. An attempt was also made to breathe from an air filled bag. The only problem was that divers were breathing back in carbon dioxide.
Advances were being slowly made in the diving world and during the 16th century, France and England, had both created leather diving suits and with the aid of manual air pumps divers were able to go to depths of about 60 feet. The 19th century brought great advances in underwater exploration. With the research completed by Paul Bert from France and John Scott Haldane from Scotland we learned more about the effects of water pressure on the body. Their work also help to define safe limits for compressed air diving.
Technological advancements in the areas of compressed air pumps, carbon dioxide scrubbers, regulators and more made it possible for divers to stay under the water for longer periods of time.
There are typically two types of scuba diving, open scuba diving and closed scuba diving. Open diving allows the diver to breathe air from a cylinder and the air blown out goes into the water and rises up to the surface. Closed diving is where the diver breathes in from a tank and then the blown air is released back into the tank where it is recycled to breathe again. This is also known as using a re-breather.
Scuba diving has been used for personal recreation and has been adopted by our U.S. Military for their teams like the U.S. Navy Seals. One this is for sure the world of scuba diving is an amazing adventure unlike any other you will ever experience.
The following historical time line will walk you through some of the advancements made in underwater exploration. Although there was much advancement throughout our time, this calendar highlights some of scuba diving and underwater explorations historical moments.
Historical Scuba Diving Calendar of Events
- 1535 – Guglielmo de Loreno created the diving bell.
- 1650 – First air pump created by Guericke.
- 1691 – Edmund Halley created another form of the diving bell with weighted barrels. This was connected with an air pipe to the surface.
- 1715 – John Lethbridge developed an underwater cylinder. The cylinder was supplied via an air pipe from the surface with compressed air.
- 1837 – Augustus Siebe set the standard for many dive expeditions by sealing a diving helmet to a watertight diving suit.
- 1843 – The first diving school was established by the Royal Navy.
- 1865 – Benoit Rouquayrol and Auguste Denayrouse developed an underwater breathing apparatus. The tank connected to a mouth piece was strapped to the divers back. The diver was linked to the surface by a hose that pumped fresh air into tank.
- 1911 – Draeger of Germany introduced the re-breather to the world.
- 1933 Yves Le Prieur created a demand valve that connected to a high pressure air tank. This allowed the diver to be independent from the hoses that connected them to the surface.
- 1943 – Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Emile Gagnan created the first Aqua-Lung.
- 1948 – The Aqua Lung regulator was imported to the United States.
- 1956 – At the University of California introduces the first wetsuit.
- 1959 – The first national Scuba Diver Certification program was presented by the YMCA. In this same year the Underwater Society of America was also formed.
- 1960 – National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI) was formed by Al Tillman and Neal Hess.
- 1961 – John Gaffney forms the National Association of Skin Diving Schools (NASDS).
- 1966 – John Cronin and Ralph Ericson found The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI).
- 1970 – Scuba Schools International (SSI) is created by Bob Clark.
- 1971 – The Stabilization Jacket is introduced by Scubapro.
- 1980 – Duke University presents a safe diving program known as the Divers Alert Network (DAN).
- 1985 – The sunken wreckage of the Titanic was found.
- 2001 – By diving to 308 meters, John Bennett breaks his own world record.
Types of Scuba Diving
Scuba diving is an exhilarating adventure. There are various forms of scuba diving.
Let’s begin by looking at open water diving. Most beginning divers start out in a contained area or perhaps in a dive pool. In the beginning phases you will learn how to assemble all of your dive gear, you’ll learn how to get in and out of the water; you’ll be learning all the basics to diving. Open water diving is moved outside of these contained areas and out into the open water. You’ll move out into the open perhaps out into the sea or a lake.
Penetration diving is a form off diving where the diver enters a surface area where there is no clear vertical path. In this form of diving there aren’t clear pathways to areas that may contain breathable air or even to the surface. Due to the surroundings, this can be a very risky yet exhilarating form of diving.
Wreck diving has become very popular over the years. This type of diving is done by many recreational divers as well as professional divers who do it as part of a business. Seeking the experience of wreck diving brings on new adventures for a new diver. It also brings the past right in front of you. Wreck diving is also an educational experience as well. As time takes its toll on the wreckage, it also becomes a home to marine life.
Wreck diving can also be very dangerous depending on the site of the wreck. As with any structure that has deteriorated over time, parts can become fragile and break or there can be sharp broken edges. So many factors are to be considered when wreck diving. Also ships often are in very deep waters and it takes those who are experienced in deep diving to be able to handle this situation safely.
Deep water diving involves greater depths then just below the surface diving. How deep also depends on the training and skills of the diver. Depth diving requires the appropriate training. Deeper depths can take a toll on the human body. Deep water diving involves many different aspects that have to be considered:
Once occurrence to beware of is Inert Gas Narcosis. This is a reversible alteration in consciousness producing a state similar to alcohol intoxication in scuba divers at various depths but is most common in deeper depths of water. It has been stated as exhibiting signs of direct effect from nitrogen dissolving into nerve membranes which causes a temporary disruption in the nerve transmissions. This is why safety and awareness is important. Diving can be the experience of a lifetime but as with anything you need the proper training and education.
Cave diving is form of specialized scuba diving that requires special equipment to explore underwater caves that are either fully or partially filled with water. This has slowly risen to popularity due to the amazing experience but also is typically only performed by those with the skill set to do so. This brings with is a unique experience because you will find flora and fauna not found in other dive areas as well as stalactites and stalagmites. Cave diving requires a lot of preparation. This type of diving is a form of penetration diving. This means that as with open water diving where you can ascend to the surface in an emergency, in cave diving you can’t typically ascend vertically due to cave ceilings, so many divers will have to swim horizontally to get to a secure area. Cave diving also requires a tank with a great deal of air because entries and exits to these caves and caverns can be far apart. Some caves can have extremely strong under water currents, so once again safety is always a concern and a priority.
Drift diving is a form of diving where the diver is carried by the current. As they drift with the current they can travel long distances and often can see a lot more of the habitat due to that. Many divers like this form of diving because it gives them the feeling of flying underwater. Since the diver is being carried by a current at various speeds it is importance that only those trained in this form of diving attempt it.
River diving takes a great deal of stamina and the diver needs to be in exceptional physical condition. A great deal of upper body strength is necessary since crawling along the surface of the river is a typical experience. A diver can also experience drift diving in a river environment.
Ice diving is a form of penetration diving. This is a very advanced form of diving. Typically there is only one entrance and exit in these environments. Divers who are not trained in this area are urged to not attempt it due to the dangerous nature of the dive. Typically this dive is a team effort. For the safety of the diver they are typically tethered to a line that is attached to other divers.
Night diving is as simple as it states, diving performed at night; in darkness. Since many of the marine life are nocturnal, the diver is opened to a whole new experience. Since vision is limited, this form of diving also offers its own set of risks. Use of a surface buoy is recommended to keep the surface aware of the diver’s whereabouts.
Rescue diving is as simple to define as its name. Specially trained divers risk their lives to save other divers in need.
As you can see, diving offers many different varieties that will enhance the diving experience, with the proper training and safety precautions, diving can be a fun and rewarding experience.