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How Does SCUBA Diving Work?

   February 12th, 2018   Posted In: Articles   Tags:

Breaking it Down: How Does SCUBA Diving Work?

SCUBA diving gives you a unique perspective of life under the ocean waves. Using a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA), you can spend extended periods of time in the ocean — which allows you to observe sea-life in its natural habitat. To answer the question of ‘how does SCUBA diving work?’, it’s probably best to explain each item of equipment and how it is used.

SCUBA Diving Equipment

Safe SCUBA diving requires some mandatory equipment, as well as a few optional extras.

how does scuba diving workWetsuits and Drysuits

Depending on the sea temperature at the time of diving, you’ll need an insulating suit to regulate your body temperature. Wetsuits are designed to allow water inside, which is then warmed by your body heat. Drysuits keep water out, using insulating air to keep the body warm.

Buoyancy Equipment

Scuba diving involves controlling your diving depth at all times — which is impossible without the right buoyancy aids. A buoyancy control device (BCD) is a vest that can be inflated and deflated (sometimes by mouth) according to the direction of travel. Wet and dry suits are buoyant, so they must be counteracted with lead weights.

Breathing Equipment

Compressed air tanks are carried on the diver’s back, and air is breathed with the use of a regulator — a device that reduces air pressure to a safe level and delivers air on demand. Most SCUBA divers also carry a snorkel for breathing near the surface.

Other SCUBA Equipment

Among the other essential items of equipment you need to scuba dive safely are a mask, a snorkel, fins and a submersible pressure gauge to tell you how much air you have left.

Divers will also carry additional items, depending on where they’re diving and what they’ll be doing while underwater — including a dive watch, a knife, lights, dive computers and various communications devices.

Bringing Everything Together

Having all of the essential equipment is only the beginning. Diving is a potentially dangerous activity, so you will need experienced help or assistance before you go anywhere near the ocean.

A certified instructor will usually teach the basics in a pool. You’ll learn how to put on and use your equipment, and how to perform basic diving functions such as breathing through the regulator, clearing your ears and using the buoyancy device.

The first dives take place in a pool near the surface, which gets you used to breathing, moving and performing basic functions. After mastering the basics, you’ll move onto buoyancy control — so you’re able to dive and ascend safely.

Once you’re ready, you can combine all that you’ve learned in an open water dive in the ocean.

Malcolm Cox is a professional blogger and copywriter based in the United Kingdom. After 15 years in retail management and three years in newspaper journalism, Malcolm now writes copy on a wide and diverse range of subjects. In his spare time, Malcolm enjoys SCUBA diving, reading and going to the movies.

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