Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Thanks to those who led the way

One of the instructors that I regularly work with, has decided to add new skills to his resume’ and recently completed a commercial diving course. It was interesting to listen his perspectives on the training and different insights that he gleaned from his course.

The course that he took was very demanding with long days of classroom, pool and open water training. The equipment that commercial divers use is quite a bit different to what we use in recreational diving.

Some of the greatest differences were that they were supplied with air from the surface and used helmets as opposed to masks. He explained the various techniques that they learned to clear the fogging on the inside the helmet and what they did to equalize their ears.  

It was fascinating to listen to his tales of how they learned how to weld underwater, how to recover cars etc. with lift bags and how to survey underwater structures. As one would imagine, commercial divers perform their work under exacting rules and procedures. The team concept is vital to safety for commercial divers.

Recreational diving is a very different animal to commercial diving. However, both recreational and commercial diving share a common ancestry.  We owe a huge amount of gratitude to the great inventors, scientists and explorers who blazed the way – Haldane, Cousteau, Buhlman and others.  These pioneers paved the way for us to be able to conduct safe recreational and commercial dives. The decompression theories formulated by Haldane and the decompression algorithm devised by Buhlman et al, have enabled generations of divers to dive safely. The equipment originally invented and refined by Cousteau and others have enable millions of recreational divers to explore the vast and wonderful marine world all around us.


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