Guide to Scuba Diving
Once considered a dangerous and expensive activity scuba diving has become common for vacationers, explorers, and others who wish to experience the underwater world. Scuba, which originally was an acronym for self-contained underwater breathing apparatus has become a general term for underwater diving using a scuba set. There are many different forms of diving, all of which require a diving certification from a recognized institute. There are incredible diving sites throughout the world which scuba diving fans can plan their vacations around.
Types of Diving
Scuba diving has become such a popular activity that it is now divided into multiple categories:
Recreational Diving: This form of diving includes maintaining large public aquariums, cave diving, leisure, and underwater tourism.
Commercial: Those divers who are involved in civil engineering for harbors and drainage systems, demolition and salvage of shipwrecks, maintenance of oil rigs, and search and recovery diving fall under commercial scuba diving.
Professional: Divers training for rewards, diving for media such as television, and underwater photography are considered as professional scuba divers.
Technical: This form of diving can include cave diving, deep diving beyond 40 metres, and solo diving.
Military: Armed forces who are involved in mine clearance, bomb disposal, stealthy infiltration, and manned torpedoes are involved in military diving.
Scuba Super Power: Details about the different types of scuba diving, including penetration, wreck diving, deep water diving, cave, drift, river, ice, night and rescue diving.
Rose-Hulman: The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology provides information on recreational diving news and announcements, education, training and much more.
Taking the Plunge: A guide to starting an underwater welding career
There are a number of institutes which offer certifications for those who wish to become regular divers. When choosing an institute make sure that you are comfortable with their global recognition, ISO certifications and the level of knowledge of the instructors. There are many different certifications available including: Beginning Diving, Open Water Diving, Adventure Diving, Rescue Diving and quite a few others. The more advanced certifications will always require you to have at least one prerequisite certification. All the information for these certifications is available on the individual websites of the institutions.
PADI: Professional Association of Underwater Instructors
IANTD: International Association of Nitrox and Technical Divers
NAUI: National Association of Underwater Instructors
PSAI: Professional Scuba Association International
SSAI: Scuba Schools International
UTD: Unified Team Diving
Top 5 Diving Locations
Almost every coastal area has some suitable place for a good scuba dive. That said, there are a number of countries that have used their natural marine resources to promote their tourism industry. It is extremely important to point out that such places have come to greatly respect the underwater beauty of corals and native wildlife. Visitors are expected to value this respect and not to harm the environment in any way. In fact in all these locations divers are not even allowed to touch the reefs with their hands or feet. Everyone is welcome to appreciate the eye candy of colorful coral, plants, fish and animals and take as many photos as they like. However, all guests must refrain from disturbing the natural habitat in any way.
The Great Barrier Reef, Australia: Any list of top diving locations will have the Great Barrier Reef of Australia on it. As the world's longest reef, nearly every possibility of underwater wildlife and coral will be visible to the visitors. It is made up of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands over 2,600 kilometres. It's so large it can actually be seen from outer space! With the vast expanse of the reef it's easily possible for an explorer to find a stretch where no one is present and the beauty of the blue wilderness can truly be appreciated.
Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt: You would not expect to find one of the top 5 diving locations in the middle of a dry piece of land, but Sharm El-Sheikh is home to one of the best diving locations in the world. This location is definitely not for beginners since the Egyptian Red Sea is full of strong currents, but it will give you the opportunity to view unbelievable coral structures and even sunken shipwrecks. The area is also known for pearl diving so if you're looking to find yourself some treasure, head on over to Egypt!
The Maldives: Looking up photos of the Maldives will give you images of endless blue and turquoise water. Located in the Indian Ocean, this is perhaps one of the most gorgeous locations on the planet. The 26 islands form an archipelago which is actually the tops of an underwater mountain range. This structure makes it ideal for both beginning and advanced diving. There are coral reefs, exotic fish, turtles, sharks and shipwrecks to be discovered.
Hawaii: These chains of islands have long been known to be teeming with exotic underwater wildlife. The islands of Hawaii offer many different locations for world class diving. To make the most of this experience it would be a good idea to hook up with a well recognized group and do your research to make sure that you don't miss out on any of the numerous opportunities. Hawaii is home to the largest marine reserve in the United States so make sure to visit the area.
Great Blue Hole, Belize: Off the coast of Belize in Central America lies an underwater sink hole 300 metres across and 127 metres deep. Several types of reef sharks thrive in the crystal blue waters and hammer heads are also sometimes seen. The reef itself is actually visible from outer space and provides a glimpse of the secrets that reside on the coral.
Scuba Diving Locations: Information on the best scuba diving locations in the world with lots of photos of various diving locations, such as drift and ice diving.
Aqua Views: Top 10 summer scuba diving destinations
Top Listed Scuba Diving: Top 50 scuba diving sites ranked on a five-star rating system
Health Conditions to Consider Before Diving
There are a number of reasons for which health conditions must be considered before you begin diving. Most responsible diving institutes will require you to bring a medical certificate to ensure that you are physically fit for this activity. Other than the effects of pressure on the body, psychological effects of being underwater also need to be considered. Below is a list of conditions that would most likely not allow you to dive. It's important to remember that this list is not comprehensive and that you should consult with the institute and your doctor before going on your first dive.
Taking Prescription medication
Being over 45 and a regular smoker, having cholesterol issues, a history of heart attacks and strokes in the family, or being a diabetic
If you are pregnant
Having breathing issues such as asthma, hay fever or other allergies
Back or spinal injury
Any issues with your ears such as a hole in the ear drum
A recent head injury or problems with the limbs after surgery
Panic attacks, fear of closed or open spaces
Family Doctor: A website which provides health information for the entire family and focuses on scuba diving safety.
Divers Alert Network: A guide to health and fitness for scuba divers by the director of medical services.
Undercurrent: Diving health and safety articles with unique information on drug use and its effects on diving, and even shark bites.
Scuba Diving Hazards and Precautions to Take
As with any physical activity there are precautions that every diver must take to prevent accidents from occurring. There are a number of dangers involved with scuba diving. These include injuries due to pressure changes, effects of breathing high pressure gas, losing body heat, cuts from rocks, coral and possibly even from animals. All these hazards and how to prevent them will be covered in detail by any institute that is providing a genuine diving certificate. It is important to be aware of the dangers out there so that you can avoid them as much as possible.
Scuba Diving Regulators: Precautions to take while on a scuba trek
Crash Course in Scuba: Information on associated risks and how to avoid them
Wreck Diving: A website providing information on wreck diving and what precautions you can take
Scuba Diving Palace: A website dedicated to making scuba diving safe as well as tips for taking it to a professional level
The Scuba Dive: Focuses on scuba diving products but also provides a great deal of information
The Scuba Site: Provides a forum and up-to-date scuba diving news
Cyber Diver: An online scuba diving magazine
Good Dive: A collection of useful information on equipment, scuba vacations, last minute scuba offers, a gallery, and a forum
Diving Courses Around Australia
- ACT: ACT
- NSW: Central Coast
- NSW: Central NSW
- NSW: North Coast
- NSW: North East
- NSW: South Coast
- NSW: Sydney
- QLD: Brisbane
- QLD: Cairns
- QLD: Gold Coast
- QLD: Maryborough
- QLD: Rockhampton
- QLD: Sunshine Coast
- QLD: Toowoomba
- QLD: Townsville
- SA: Adelaide
- SA: Eyre Peninsula
- SA: Fleurieu Peninsula
- SA: South East
- TAS: Hobart and South
- TAS: North West
- VIC: Ballarat
- VIC: East Coast
- VIC: Geelong
- VIC: Melbourne
- VIC: Northern District
- VIC: South Coast
- VIC: Western District
- WA: North West
- WA: Perth
- WA: South West
- WA: Wheat Belt