What do you imagine when
you hear “drowning men”, “first aid” and “lifeguards”? Probably, most of
you have watched the series “Baywatch”. There are some episodes where the
accidents happen not on the surface while swimming but under water.
The cases of emergency, in
which divers need help, are various. Sometimes, the victims enmesh in nets
or have muscular cramps and need the immediate assistance of their buddies.
Under other circumstances, the diver is in a confined place (such as a
cave) under water with an inadequate supply of air. One of the most common
diseases – decompression sickness should be treated without delay by taking
the diver to a recompression chamber. There are such teams called
“rescue teams” which consist of experienced divers. They take care of emergency
procedures. They participated in the following operation:
A group of scientific divers
descend with a small submersible to observe the flora and fauna in particular
area. One hour after it had submerged, alarming signals came from the bottom:”
The submersible is enmeshed in a cable of a ship and we’re trying to get
out.” The observers did not have enough air to breathe which made the situation
dangerous. The first team of divers descent and started the operation.
When they approached the submersible, they found out that it was not a
single cable. It looked like “spaghetti” – the situation was critical.
Then, the rescue team sent an underwater device which had a system of hooks
and it could pull out the submersible.
Filming and Photography
documentation can be done using three principle ways –visual, written and
auditory. Photos and films are used to record natural phenomena, to inspect
and assess damages of ship, conduct researches, document world records
or experiments, etc.
Underwater photography is
practiced either by professionals – working or scientific divers, or by
amateurs who take pictures of beautiful fish and plants for pleasure. Underwater
photography operates with diver-held cameras and remote cameras. The former
cameras are preferred because they allow the object to be observed from
a closer distance and in various positions towards the object.
art offers people the unique opportunity to observe the marine blues from
their seat at home, as if they were in diver’s place.
Modern harpoons look like long
guns charged with a spear. Some of them use the power of elastic cords
to “fire” the spear. Others are based on pneumatics. Both kinds have their
advantages and disadvantages but elastic-cord-harpoons are becoming more
Spearfishing or as some
call it “underwater hunting” dates back from ancient times and had slowly
developed to the beginning of this century. But from then on, a spearfishing
boom has occurred mainly with the development of the harpoon – the main
weapon used in it.
only the harpoons are different but the spears too – they can be long or
short, thick or narrow and with different heads. The choice of spear and
harpoon depends on many factors such as the kind of fish which is going
to be hunted and visibility under water. Spearfishing has gained great
popularity and now it is a sport. And as in every sport, there are competitions
and championships. Among the most famous are – the World and European Championships,
the Winter Cup of the Nations, etc.
Spearfishing is not only
a sport but also a leisure activity or a hobby for many people all over
the world. In order to save the environment and especially fish, many countries
have proclaimed it illegal to spearfish in some regions. The killing of
young fish is forbidden.
Underwater tourism is the
main attraction of some resorts such as those situated near the Grand Barrier
Reef in eastern Australia, at the coast of the Red Sea, on the Bahamas
and the Caymans. It is a ludicrous business which allows the ordinary person
to observe in live the beauties of the ocean. The coral reefs are considered
to be the most colorful and splendid masterpiece of nature. Underwater
tourism not only introduces people to the marvels of the deep but also
teaches them how to save it from pollution, coral hunting and poaching.
In the last few years, another attraction offered to the thrill-seeking
tourists is the so-called “shark-diving” or “shark-feeding”. People, accompanied
by an experienced diver enter the realms of the notorious sharks. They
offer them food and observe the phenomenon “feeding frenzy”. When the observed
species is a Great White or Blue Shark, the tourists are placed in a metal
Some people think that diving
is not a sport and there is no possibility to become such because it doesn’t
have a competitive element. Besides, it is too risky. That is why there
are no competitions and championships. Only occasionally do some divers
set a new Guinness record for a deep dive (or for longest stay under water).
The World Federation doesn’t acknowledge the records because the attempt
for them might be fatal. In spite of that, there are some tournaments such
as “Trofeo Abissy” and “The Treasure of the Tunisian Princess” in Italy.
The former includes looking for and finding a small golden chain. There
are also TV-sets and motorbikes to be won. The divers should find the boxes
in which the names of the prizes are. The boxes are spread and hidden in
an area at a depth of 15-25 meters. “The Treasure of the Tunisian
Princess” is basically the same as “Trofeo Abissy” but here the boxes contain