is SCUBA ?
SCUBA stands for Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus.
It is the equipment developed by the world famous underwater explorer
and conservationist - Jacques Cousteau together with Emile Gagnan
in the mid forties for the French navy during the Second World War.
After the war, diving turned into a recreational sport which has since
been taken up by millions worldwide.
are the requirements to learn diving ?
Recreational diving is a sport that requires a reasonable
degree of physical fitness. One should be able to swim 200 metres
continously and tread water for 10 minutes for Open Water Certification
and above. A reasonable command of english is helpful as the courses
involve a basic understanding of Physics, Physiology, Environment,
etc. Enthusiasm is a major plus !! The minimum age is 10 years and
there is no upper limit.
Who are the
major certification agencies ?
PADI (Professional association of Diving Instructors),
BSAC (British Sub-Aqua Club), NAUI (National Association of Underwater
Instructors), SSI (Scuba Schools International), CMAS (French Diving
Federation) and various small clubs teach and certify divers.
PADI is by far the largest international organisation teaching recreational
scuba diving and with a market share of approx. 80%, the clear leader
worldwide. PADI was incorporated in the early 1970s and is based in
Santa Clara, California, USA. To date PADI has certified in excess
of 12 Million divers worldwide.
For more information - www.padi.com
Why dive ?
The only answer to this question is - Why Not ? There is truly
no greater "high" than an exhilarating dive in crystal clear
waters with plenty of colourful coral and fish!! Diving offers different
things to different people. The list includes appreciating nature
at its colourful best, marine conservation, photography, exploring
shipwrecks, observing and studying sealife, navigation, search and
rescue, etc. Primarily, diving is a social sport and generally divers
tend to be a very easy going lot who make a lot of friends without
hang-ups about colour, caste, race, etc.
Isn't diving dangerous ?
Definitely - if you are not properly qualified or ignore
the rules. If, on the other hand, you are properly qualified, follow
all the basic rules and act responsibly, it is much safer than trying
to cross the street in most major cities during rush hour !! The
only REAL danger of diving is that you get addicted to it !!
What about SHARKS ?
What about them ? Approximately 5 million sharks were killed by
humans in 1998 alone - intentionally or unintentionally as opposed
to a handful of shark attacks on people in the last decade !! Try
and figure out who is more dangerous !!
Divers have something more to worry about than sharks - themselves
!! Most diving accidents happen due to the errors made by divers
than due to attacks by marine animals. While it is true that sharks
are voracious eaters, the following facts must be taken into account
are more than 375 species of sharks of which only a few have been
involved in human attacks.
are not the natural prey of sharks and they generally tend to avoid
all contact with humans.
on humans have been very rare and have mostly been a case of mistaken
identity or provocation on the part of divers. Most of the time
the sharks have mistaken the divers to be their primary food source
In conclusion, Jaws has portrayed a very wrong picture of these
magnificient creatures which are an extremely important link in
the food chain of the oceans. While it would be foolhardy to treat
them as docile pets, they should certainly not be thought of as
mindless monsters waiting for you to jump in the water !!
to dive and see what you've been missing all your life !!