Scuba diving is a water sport which involves diving in the underwater seas. What distinguishes it from diving however is the fact that in the earlier, a diver uses a scuba, which is a breathing instrument that contains air? Other forms of diving usually involve a diver holding in air or using air that is pumped from the seas surface. Diving in North America is said to have started in the early eighteenth century. Modern scuba diving however was introduced in 1948 when underwater breathing units called aqua lungs were invented. The period that followed after the 1950 saw the scuba diving sport attract many people into it. The term scuba diving was however accepted in 1962 where it replaced the word, “aqua lungs.” The topical reefs of Hawaii, Florida and Ontario make north America a suitable place for the sport.
Though the sport can be said to be carried out for a variety of reasons and purposes, it is reported that majority of the people engage themselves in it for recreational purposes only. This has resulted to an influx of the tourist; both domestic and foreign who engage in this sport. Hawaii, Canada and Ontario are the most popular for this sport. Scuba diving in North America has been said to be among the leading sources of income in the region. Tourists are exposed to certain forms of scuba diving which include, night diving, shark diving, high attitude diving, wreck diving and cave diving. However not any one can take part in the sport as it involves standards such as the age limit for one to engage in the sport, the weight and other health qualifications. Persons with disabilities are not limited to taking part in this sport. Diving for the disabled started in the 1970s as part of rehabilitation, the recent years has allowed their participation in the sport as part of recreation.
We also have those who take part in the sport as a profession. These people work in the diving centers as trainers or as part of the rescue team. The professionals have to go through training and assessment before becoming a certified scuba diver trainer. As a result many scuba diving schools and certifying agencies have been set up in North American countries such as the national association of underwater instructors, scuba schools international, the world underworld federation among many more. To assure the security of scuba divers, a set of instructions for both the instructors and the trainers was forwarded by the European committee. The instructions give the divers a guarantee for their safety through the requirement of intense training before engaging in the sport. The instructions also target the government and aim at using the government as the regulators.
Scuba diving has also been for other purposes such as military purposes. The navy during their training have to undergo through the scuba diving training. Special police branches are also taken through this training. Then purpose of this is to curb terrorism that on land military cannot handle. Other professions that are said to involve in this sport include researchers and scientists who seek to explore the seas. The sport has also taken into the competitive field where people register for competitive purposes.
Scuba diving equipment
Scuba diving involves the use of special gear. The most basic requirements include the mask which contains a set of lenses, its purpose it to make the divers vision clear in water. The fins are also part of the scuba diving gear one needs to have, they can be categorized into adjustable fins and the full foot fins. The swimming suit is a must have for the divers; they are mostly full suits that cover the body of the diver from the bottom to top. Through this, the swimmers body temperatures are maintained. Next on the list are the scubas or the cylinders that carry the air. They are mostly made of steel or aluminum. Steel cylinders are preferred to the aluminum ones, this is because they hard and therefore not easily destructible.
The disadvantage over the aluminum ones is that they are more prone to rust and corrosion. The most important factor to consider in the buying or the hiring of a scuba cylinder is its holding capacity. It is a requirement policy that all tanks should be inspected each year, hydrostatic pressure testing should be done after every five years. This is important so as to prevent accidents that may arise as a result of faulty equipment. In a recent study in Canada, ten catastrophic injuries were reported to have occurred in the years, 1986, 1989, 1992 and 1995 some of them which were as a result of faulty equipments. The importance of training and use of the appropriate attire and equipment is stressed by (Tator, 193). Not only is it important in ensuring ones safety but helps in the prevention of minor injuries and diseases that may occur such as decompression sickness, barotraumas and drowning.
Advantages and disadvantages of scuba diving
Scuba diving is a lot of fun but on the other lane it has its disadvantages too.
It is a sport just like any other therefore it has its dangers too. For instance there could be accumulation of nitrogen in a diver’s body after diving which hinders him or her from flying until 24hous are over. In diving there is always a high chance of meeting dangerous water animals like sharks. Annually it is recorded that about 30 people are killed by sharks during diving which is a great lose to both the society more so to the particular families. There could also be accumulation of too much oxygen in a divers body making him toxic leading to seizures or even loss of consciousness. Most divers do not own their own equipment hence they opt to rent from other operators therefore hiring defective equipment could lead to drowning of the diver which would not be the divers fault but that of the operator.
Despite the many challenges posed by scuba diving, there are many fun facts about it. Scuba diving has no age limit, children as young as 8 years old can dive but only if they can manage the weight of the gas cylinders they are expected to carry. Therefore it is open to everyone. It helps one become flexible since it involves movement of all body muscles simultaneously. It also serves as a workout formula for the heart hence great heart functioning. It is also a good way of meeting people from all walks of life and from different parts of the world through attending scuba diving classes.
It also helps one build your courage and confidence more so one’s swimming skills. A person’s sense of direction and focus is enhanced since ones level of concentration and accuracy is improved. Under water, a diver is always keen not to destroy the reefs or anything around him hence his or her body muscle coordination has to be accurate during movement. It is also a great way of exploration since creatures that are deep under the water level cannot be clearly seen from above one gets an opportunity to check on what is below in their natural state without any disturbance hence admiring nature. Under water swimming is also a way of relaxing, after a day or week of stressing issues one could scuba dive for relaxation; a natural way of escaping from the world above.
To conclude scuba diving has a great future since lots of countries have interest in it scientifically. Countries like Australia are coming up with devices that can communicate with divers while under water despite their directions or positioning. More people are expected to be into scuba diving in future hence its popularity is expected to be at a higher level in years to come. Diving suits have also been enhanced for instance there are those made or aluminum that maintain their inner pressure as that above the water hence the divers are able to keep their balance even under lots of pressure. Scuba diving offers a variety of courses hence it would lead to the growth in the research sector which in turn reflects a reduced rate of unemployment. In the military scuba divers use it to draw maps, oil drilling and a lot more which are aspects in growth that are expected to be high in the coming years hence underwater driving will be more popular. Therefore the future of scuba diving is expected to be bright over years.
Bradley, Michael A. Grail Knights of North America: On the Trail of the Grail Legacy in Canada and the United States. Toronto; Tonawanda, NY: Hounslow Press, 1998. Print
Manuel, John. The Natural Traveler Along North Carolina’s Coast. Winston-Salem, N.C: J.F. Blair, 2003. Print. Newman, John. Scuba Diving & Snorkeling for Dummies. Foster City, CA: IDG Books Worldwide, 1999. Internet resource.
Tator, Charles H. Catastrophic Injuries in Sports and Recreation: Causes and Prevention : a Canadian Study. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008. Print.
Warren, Melvin L, and Brooks M. Burr. Freshwater Fishes of North America. , 2014. Print.