Scuba Diving is one of the fastest growing industries that attracts millions of people every year. What really brings all divers everyday to enjoy this pastime is the adventure, feeling of exploration and the variety of colorful corals and other marine organisms.
The word diving is related to swimming underwater, and the word scuba is an abbreviation for "self-contained underwater breathing apparatus" So, Scuba Diving basically means, swimming underwater with specialized equipment.
Which is why it is important for those who want to learn to scuba dive to learn it through the step by step method.Will clear many misconceptions about scuba diving and perceived risks in this activity.
For instance , a lot of people think, scuba divers breathe pure oxygen from the scuba tanks when they venture underwater.
Although the human body needs oxygen to survive, the average human cannot breathe 100%
oxygen underwater which has a greater amount of surrounding pressure. Breathed under pressure oxygen can be toxic. So, the gas divers use from the tank is compressed normal air. Air is composed of 78% of nitrogen, 21.% of oxygen and 1% of other gases that have little or no effect when breathed underwater.
Nitrogen under high pressure can temporally effect our nervous system and interfere with signal transmissions, causing at greater depths (30 to 40 meters/100 to 133 feet or more) the condition known as nitrogen narcosis, which has similar effects as being under the influence of alcohol ( loss of decision-making ability, loss of focus, impaired judgment, multi tasking and coordination).
The most straightforward way to avoid nitrogen narcosis is for a diver to limit the depth of dives. If narcosis does occur, the effects disappear almost immediately upon ascending to a shallower depth.
In addition to its narcotic effects, nitrogen also brings another issue. Under pressure nitrogen dissolves into body tissues and starts to accumulate. This must be kept within limits to prevent nitrogen from coming out of solution and forming bubbles inside our body, known as "decompression sickness" or "the bends"- when all the pressure created by the nitrogen is released at the surface.
To avoid the bends divers must minimize the water pressure slowly on the body at the end of the each dive. This will allow the gases trapped in the bloodstream to gradually break solution and leave the body. This is done by ascending slowly and making safety stops or decompression stops using dive computers or decompression tables for guidance.
As you can see while scuba diving, divers are limited in time and depth due to the nitrogen in the air. Today thanks to new technology we have managed to extend our limits. For those divers that exceed 40 meters/133 feet and for divers who need to spend a lot of time under water, a different mixture of gases, training and equipment are required.
The depth limit for recreational diving is between 30 to 40 meters/100 to 133 feet, but it also depends on the training and the gases used while underwater.
Nuno Gomes (South Africa) currently holds the world record for the deepest dive using scuba diving equipment. The dive of 318 meters / 1044 feet beat the previous record set by the late John Bennet of 308 meters /1016 feet (confirmed). The total dive time was 12 hours and 20 minutes, while the descent took 14 minutes. French diver Pascal Bernabé claims to have dived to 1,083 feet (330 m) in July, 2005 (unconfirmed). The above records were set using 'recreational' SCUBA. Commercial divers can go to depths greater than 500 meters / 1650 feet using specialized commercial and military diving equipment and support systems.
What is important to remember that being underwater has limits and risks that professional divers are willing to take.
And remember that recreational scuba diving is for fun.
Dives between 5 to 20 meters/ 16 to 66 feet is enough to show you the wonderful world that was once explored by Cousteau. These depths have the advantage that provides divers with better light, colors and marine life. Also in shallow dives you will breathe less air from the tank, making your dive longer and safer.
These knowledge are acquired in the scuba diving courses,and are the key to be able to dive safely at all times.Knowledge of safety issues in diving equate to increased fun underwater for the diver knows at all times,what the limitations are how to avoid unnecessary risks.
Experience is also another key,the more dives you make ,the better able you can handle yourself , thats a reason why there are certain levels in the dive courses which a diver goes along. Its a step ladder process..
Start off with beginner then gain experience through exposure and gradually move up a notch and learn the more advanced diving tecniques .
Always keep it safe, dive within your ability.And the enjoyment is maximized.