Diving Sport
"There you are, totally weightless, quietly soaring just above the sea
floor with only the smallest amount of physical exertion. Small fish come out of
their holes to look at you. How about that? You are the curiosity. You are the
thing that does not belong. Perhaps this is why you dive. You are taking part in
exploring man\'s last ecological frontier. The very thought would excite anyone
whose blood still flows in his veins. The diver is the observer, he looks at
everything he can. He totally forgets the outside world" (Reseck 4). When I
first read this piece, I got goosebumps. For years man has explored this vast
universe, spending millions of dollars, and only making a tiny scratch on its
surface. For me, to be able to explore a world completely different from mine
sounds like an opportunity of a lifetime. When I had to choose a topic for my
senior project, scuba diving was the most compelling of all. This paper is about
the development and use, the techniques, and the physiological concerns of scuba
diving. Man underwater dates all the way back to the Iliad, but sports diving
for fun and for a profession is fairly new. If one has ever been underwater, he
should know that breathing is impossible. In the early 1940\'s, Jaques Yves-Cousteau,
a Frenchman, developing something that is now a very important asset to scuba
diving. It is known to us as a "regulator." The regulator conserved
air by releasing only the amount of air the Korell 2 diver needed to breathe.

This increased the time the diver could stay down on one tank of air to about
one hour if he were in shallow depths. Cousteau\'s regulator was simple and
inexpensive and marked the beginning of the sport of scuba diving. The sport
grew somewhat slowly through the late 40\'s and early 50\'s because, although the
diver could now stay underwater for an extended period of time, in most parts of
the world the water was so cold that he was forced to leave the water after a
short time (Reseck 16). In the early 1950\'s, rubber suits were designed. They
were used to keep the diver warm. These old "dry suits" were worn over
long underwear and sweat suits or sweaters. The clothing acted as an insulator,
and the rubber suit was used to simply keep the insulation dry. But when the
easily punctured "dry suits" were torn, the insulation became wet,
thus causing the insulation to be ineffective. But a new suit, called the
"wet suit" was invented. The wet suit actually strapped a thin layer
of water next to the diver\'s body, which soon heated up to body temperature and
acted as insulation. Nowadays, foam neoprene is used for all wet suits. When the
demand for wet suits increased, manufacturers developed the standard small,
medium, and large sizes. As the market continued to grow, the neoprene material
was improved by making it softer and more flexible. A backing was also added on
the neoprene to increase its durability and service. The market grew larger
still, and ready made suits came in extra small, small, medium, medium large,
large, and extra large sizes. Today, almost anyone can walk into a store and
come out with a good suit that fits (Reseck 17). Korell 3 Scuba diving can be
very dangerous and, if not approached safely, one must know the precautions and
dangers before jumping into water to dive. There are several ways to dive
underwater. One way is the Pike Surface dive. Start from a prone position on the
surface. Sweep both arms back toward the hips at the same time and bend sharply
at the hips so that the head and trunk point directly toward the bottom of the
pool. With palms facing forward, bring the arms up forcibly, in line with the
head, and lift both legs--straight and together--out of the water so that they,
too, form a straight line with the body. Let the weight of the legs force the
body to submerge. Do not kick until the feet are below the surface, then either
kick for greater depth or straighten out for an underwater swim (Counsilman and

Drinkwater 29). Another dive is the Feet First dive. Tread water over the spot
where the dive is to be made. Raise the body out of the water with a strong kick
and a downward push with the hands and arms. Then straighten legs, point toes,
and raise the arms overhead.