underwater diving

also called  underwater swimming,  
 swimming done underwater either with a minimum of equipment, as in skin diving (free diving) or with a scuba (scuba diving) (abbreviation of self-contained underwater-breathing apparatus) or an Aqua-Lung. Competitive underwater diving sports include spearfishing and underwater hockey, sometimes called “octopush.”

      Underwater swimming and diving is as old as swimming and has been perpetuated into the present by pearl divers and sponge divers. Skin diving requires only a face mask or goggles, a short breathing tube (protruding from the mouth and kept above water), and flippers, or foot fins. A wet suit, a dry suit, or the latter over the former may be used in cold water. Skin diving was first popularized in the 1920s and 1930s in the Mediterranean and off the California coast, notably by the American diver Guy Gilpatric, whose The Compleat Goggler (1938) gave great impetus to the sport and aroused the interest of the French naval engineer and diver Jacques Cousteau (Cousteau, Jacques-Yves). The goggles, flippers, snorkel (the name given the air tube from the German submarine air exhaust and intake device that allowed submerged operation), and face mask were all developed into their basic forms in the 1930s.

      Attempts to construct diving apparatus go back to the 19th century, but the sport of scuba, or Aqua-Lung, diving dates from 1943, when Cousteau and the French engineer Émile Gagnan developed the first fully automatic compressed-air Aqua-Lung. Cousteau also did important work on the development of underwater cameras and photography and popularized the sport in Le Monde du silence (1952; The Silent World), written with Frédéric Dumas, and in other writings and television and film productions. Clubs formed after 1943 as fast as scuba equipment became available; national associations were formed in France, Italy, Great Britain, Canada, and the United States; and in 1959 Cousteau formed, with 15 national organizations (later more than 50), the Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatique (CMAS; World Underwater Federation).

      The fish hunted for food and the coral hunted for ornament by primitive divers are still sought by contemporary skin divers and scuba divers. An improved spear gun devised in the 1930s is used for food hunting, and special underwater cameras are widely used for recreational and scientific purposes. In addition, scuba diving has been useful scientifically in oceanography, in the study of fish and other marine organisms, and in the study of water pollution, as well as in the exploration of ships on the ocean floor and for salvage work, in which the earlier diving helmet with air line from on shipboard has been largely replaced.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Underwater diving — This article refers to underwater diving by humans. For other uses of the term diving, see dive and diving Underwater diving is the practice of going underwater with or without breathing apparatus. Recreational diving is a popular activity (also… …   Wikipedia

  • Diving equipment — Surface supplied commercial diving equipment on display at a trade show Diving equipment is equipment used by underwater divers for the purpose of facilitating diving activities. This may be equipment primarily intended for this purpose, or… …   Wikipedia

  • Diving regulator — and Octopus Other names Demand valve Uses Reduces pressurized breathing gas to ambient pressure and delivers it to the diver Inventor Manuel Théodore Guillaumet (1838), Benoît Rouquayrol (1860) …   Wikipedia

  • Diving physics — explains the effects that divers and their equipment are subject to underwater. Contents 1 Laws of physics for diving 2 Physical effects of water for divers 3 Physical phenomena of interest to divers …   Wikipedia

  • Underwater searches — are procedures carried out by divers in order to find a known or suspected target object or objects in a specified search area under water. There are a number of techniques in general use by Commercial, Scientific, Public service, Military, and… …   Wikipedia

  • Diving safety officer — (DSO) is the title held by the person who administers a United States university s research diving safety program. He or she serves as a member of the institution s Diving Control Board (DCB) and needs broad technical and scientific expertise in… …   Wikipedia

  • Diving bell spider — or The water spider Female (on left) and male Scientific classification Kingdom: An …   Wikipedia

  • Diving in the Maldives — Diving in the Maldives. The Maldives has become one of the world’s premier scuba diving destinations, because of the abundance of amazing white sand beaches, coral reefs, clear warm waters, many scuba diving sites and rich marine life. Most… …   Wikipedia

  • Diving Science and Technology — (or DSAT) is a corporate affiliate of the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) and the developer of the Recreational Dive Planner.[1] DSAT has held scientific workshops for diver safety and education.[2][3][4] …   Wikipedia

  • Diving certification — is an award recognising a level of ability and knowledge in scuba diving. Divers carry a qualification record or certification card ( C card ) which is required to prove their qualifications when booking a dive trip, hiring scuba equipment or… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.