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Swimming amidst schools of fishes and colorful coral reefs indisputably offers the most memorable moments of a lifetime. However, it also comes with a considerable amount of life risk!
The undying craze of scuba diving has fetched more than six million divers from all over the globe. However underwater life looks serene, but there's much at stake because diving underwater comes with certain health hazards. So, if you're inclined to take the plunge, gear up with the necessary precautions!
Scuba diving is not only a fun sport; but it also brings on board a plethora of advantages according to many health experts. If you haven't already plunged into the depths of the Egyptian Red Sea and visited the Shark Reef, then time is ripe to make amends. So, let's explore a few advantages of underwater diving.
Firstly, diving deep underwater offers a visual retreat. The moments can be captured using underwater cameras.
Do you know that scuba diving is the best way of burning calories? A diver spending an hour in warm temperate waters burns around 600 kilocalories!
More calories can be burnt because the human body puts in great effort to maintain the required temperature.
An underwater swim enhances blood circulation because every muscle in the body is engaged.
Breathing techniques used in diving offer similar results as acquired from meditation. All the time spent in the depth of an ocean or sea helps to release stress.
Taking deep breaths and doing physical activity help to alleviate blood pressure.
Scuba diving improves flexibility and strengthens the entire body.
Seawater is considered to be highly beneficial for the skin as it increases elasticity and enhances appearance.
Exposure to sunlight boosts bone health by increasing the levels of vitamin D.
However, scuba diving is also considered as not a safe option for all, and it can be pretty dangerous at times. Some of the potential dangers associated with this amazing water sport have been listed.
Decompression sickness or medically, Caisson's Disease, is one of the serious effects where gas bubbles formed in the body by nitrogen causes damages to the brain and spinal cord, resulting in neuro deficit.
For deeper dives exceeding the depth of 138 ft (42 m), a scuba diver uses a combination of nitrogen, helium, and oxygen in the compressed air because oxygen turns toxic.
Certification is mandatory for a diver to inhale mixed gases called Trimix and Nitrox.
Wrong handling or malfunctioning of equipment or scuba gear can be fatal. Wetsuits function as an insulator by trapping some water and warming it up with the diver's body heat. The hood and diving gear also plays a significant role in preventing the divers from freezing in the cold water.
Studies disclose that most scuba divers face catastrophic death due to factors including problems in air supply, improper use and malfunction of gear, and prevailing health conditions like obesity, heart disease, or high blood pressure.
Data released by the Divers Alert Network reveals that 15% of the deaths are caused by cardiovascular disease and other health issues like hypertension and coronary artery disease.
According to reports, only one is susceptible to death among 211,846 dives!
Scuba divers commonly come up with toe injuries.
The history of scuba diving is quite fascinating. Read these snippets to find more.
In the 13th century, eye goggles were produced by the Persians. They used tortoise shells.
The leather diving suits arrived in France and England during the 16th century.
In 1771, an air pump was invented by John Smeaton.
In 1873, an innovative 200-pound diving suit was introduced by Auguste Denayrouze and Benoît Rouquayrol.
In 1942, Jacques Cousteau partnered with Emile Gagnan to design the first underwater breathing equipment called 'the Aqua-Lung'.
In 2014, an Egyptian named Ahmed Gabr created a Guinness World Record for the deepest dive when he plunged in 1,082 ft (328 m) in the Red Sea.
In 2016, a Turkish diver named Cem Karabay created a world record with the longest duration dive of an astounding 192 hours, 19 minutes, and 19 seconds.
Scuba diving is one of the most popular water sports that offer a glimpse into the enchanting underwater world where underwater caves, coral reefs, and shipwrecks can be explored.
The Great Barrier Reef and the Red Sea are among the favorite deep diving destinations for scuba divers.
Scuba diving can be started as early as eight years of age. However, the child must be adept in diving and carrying the diving gear.
For scuba diving, donning the right pieces of equipment is obligatory.
PADI, or Professional Association of Diving Instructors, is one of the best training organizations for underwater diving.
Diving gear includes a wetsuit, mask, regulator, fins, an octopus or backup regulator, a Buoyancy Control Device, and a mask.
If you think that a scuba diver breathes in pure oxygen, then you're completely mistaken. The compressed air inhaled by a diver is composed of a combination of 79% nitrogen and only 21% oxygen.
Q: What is one advantage of scuba diving?
A: One of the advantages of scuba diving is that along with strengthening the body, it offers mental rejuvenation by releasing stress.
Q: What keeps scuba divers warm?
A: Scuba divers adopt several methods to maintain warmth underwater. The most important is putting on the right wetsuit that provides the perfect fit and thickness.
Q: Why is it called scuba diving?
A: Interestingly, the term 'SCUBA' is nothing but an acronym that stands for 'Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus'. It refers to underwater diving wherein the divers are dependent on breathing equipment that supplies compressed gas for underwater breathing. Christian James Lambersten is credited for coining the term back in 1952.
Q: Who invented scuba diving?
A: No one, in particular, invented this water diving sport, but inventions of several scuba gears led to its initiation. The first breakthrough was achieved when the regulator required for underwater breathing was invented by the duo Jacques Cousteau and Emile Gagnan. This carved the way for the development of the breathing apparatus, the Aqua-Lung. Cousteau and Gagnan were undoubtedly the pioneers in this field.
Q: What are the dangers of scuba diving?
A: The major risks associated with underwater diving are drowning, decompression sickness, nitrogen narcosis, and pulmonary embolism.
Q: How many scuba divers have died?
A: As per statistics, a very low fatality rate has been documented in relation to scuba diving. In 2018, 169 fatalities were recorded, in which 78% of the scuba divers were males while the remaining were female divers.
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