Portal:Underwater Diving
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Portal:Underwater Diving

Underwater diving

Recreational diver between the tectonic plates of Europe and North America, at Silfra, Iceland
Recreational diver between the tectonic plates of Europe and North America, at Silfra, Iceland

Topic definition

Underwater diving can be described as all of the following:

  • A human activity – intentional, purposive, conscious and subjectively meaningful sequence of actions. Underwater diving is practiced as part of an occupation, or for recreation, where the practitioner submerges below the surface of the water or other liquid for a period which may range between seconds to the order of a day at a time, either exposed to the ambient pressure or isolated by a pressure resistant suit, to interact with the underwater environment for pleasure, competitive sport, or as a means to reach a work site for profit or in the pursuit of knowledge, and may use no equipment at all, or a wide range of equipment which may include breathing apparatus, environmental protective clothing, aids to vision, communication, propulsion, maneuverability, buoyancy and safety equipment, and tools for the task at hand.
Portal scope

The scope of this portal includes the technology supporting diving activities, the physiological and medical aspects of diving, the skills and procedures of diving and the training and registration of divers, underwater activities which are to some degree dependent on diving, economical, commercial, safety, and legal aspects of diving, biographical information on notable divers, inventors and manufacturers of diving related equipment and researchers into aspects of diving.

Introduction to underwater diving
Two divers wearing lightweight demand helmets stand back-to-back on an underwater platform holding on to the railings. The photo also shows the support vessel above the surface in the background.
Surface-supplied divers riding a stage to the underwater workplace

Underwater diving, as a human activity, is the practice of descending below the water's surface to interact with the environment. Immersion in water and exposure to high ambient pressure have physiological effects that limit the depths and duration possible in ambient pressure diving. Humans are not physiologically and anatomically well adapted to the environmental conditions of diving, and various equipment has been developed to extend the depth and duration of human dives, and allow different types of work to be done.

In ambient pressure diving, the diver is directly exposed to the pressure of the surrounding water. The ambient pressure diver may dive on breath-hold, or use breathing apparatus for scuba diving or surface-supplied diving, and the saturation diving technique reduces the risk of decompression sickness (DCS) after long-duration deep dives. Atmospheric diving suits (ADS) may be used to isolate the diver from high ambient pressure. Crewed submersibles can extend depth range, and remotely controlled or robotic machines can reduce risk to humans.

The environment exposes the diver to a wide range of hazards, and though the risks are largely controlled by appropriate diving skills, training, types of equipment and breathing gases used depending on the mode, depth and purpose of diving, it remains a relatively dangerous activity. Diving activities are restricted to maximum depths of about 40 metres (130 ft) for recreational scuba diving, 530 metres (1,740 ft) for commercial saturation diving, and 610 metres (2,000 ft) wearing atmospheric suits. Diving is also restricted to conditions which are not excessively hazardous, though the level of risk acceptable can vary.

Recreational diving (sometimes called sport diving or subaquatics) is a popular leisure activity. Technical diving is a form of recreational diving under especially challenging conditions. Professional diving (commercial diving, diving for research purposes, or for financial gain) involves working underwater. Public safety diving is the underwater work done by law enforcement, fire rescue, and underwater search and recovery dive teams. Military diving includes combat diving, clearance diving and ships husbandry. Deep sea diving is underwater diving, usually with surface-supplied equipment, and often refers to the use of standard diving dress with the traditional copper helmet. Hard hat diving is any form of diving with a helmet, including the standard copper helmet, and other forms of free-flow and lightweight demand helmets. The history of breath-hold diving goes back at least to classical times, and there is evidence of prehistoric hunting and gathering of seafoods that may have involved underwater swimming. Technical advances allowing the provision of breathing gas to a diver underwater at ambient pressure are recent, and self-contained breathing systems developed at an accelerated rate following the Second World War. (Full article...)

Diving modes

Diving and support equipment

Diving procedures

Science of diving

Occupational diving

Recreational diving

Diving hazards, incidents, safety and law

Diving medicine, disorders and treatment

Underwater tools and weapons

History of underwater diving

Diver training, registration and certification

Underwater diving organisations

Underwater diving publications

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Diving is a wonderful hobby and it would be wrong for me to discourage it but divers need to be responsible to themselves and to others.

-- Coroner Nigel Meadows, Inquest warning on diving courses

"Inquest warning on diving courses". BBC News, UK, England. 8 August 2006. Retrieved 2018.


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Related projects

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This portal is within the scope of WikiProject Underwater diving, a subject-area collaboration for underwater diving topics, and WikiProject Portals, a collaboration on portal design, development, and maintenance.

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    Biographical articles: (many of these are inductees of the Divers' Hall of Fame so there should be refs for notability

    Diving equipment manufacturers

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    • Bailout gas – Emergency breathing gas supply carried by the diver
    • Bottom gas – Gas breathed during the deep part of a dive
    • Breathing air – Air quality suitable for safe breathing
    • Decompression gas – Oxygen-rich gas used for accelerated decompression
    • Emergency gas supply – Alternative independent breathing gas supply carried by a diver
    • Ankle weights (diving) – Diver trim weights worn at the ankles
    • Integrated weights – Diving weights carried in pockets on the buoyancy compensator
    • Trim weights (diving) – Diving weights distributed primarily to improve trim
    • Weight belt – A ballasted waist belt worn by a diver
    • Jonline – A short line used by scuba divers to clip themselves to something
    • Power inflator – Low pressure gas supply valve for buoyancy compensator
    • Decompression cylinder – Scuba cylinder carrying decompression gas
    • Dump valve (diving) – Pressure relief and manual vent on diving buoyancy compensator
    • Decompression buoy – Inflatable surface marker buoy deployed from underwater
    • Decompression trapeze – Horizontal bars suspended at decompression stop depths
    • Bottom timer – An electronic instrument that records depth and elapsed time data on an underwater dive
    • Pneumofathometer – Gauge on the gas panel for indicating the depth of a surface-supplied diver
    • Submersible pressure gauge – Pressure measuring instrument for underwater service
    • Diving stage – A platform on which one or two divers stand which transports them vertically through the water
    • Dive reel – Device for storing, deploying and recovering underwater guide line
    • Diver's cutting tool – A tool to assist in extricating the diver from entrapment by lines or nets
    • Diver's knife – A tool to assist in extricating the diver from entrapment by lines or nets
    • Diving safety harness – A harness by which the diver can safely be lifted
    • Emergency gas supply – Alternative independent breathing gas supply carried by a diver
    • Surface-supplied diving equipment – Equipment used specifically for surface supplied diving
    • Gas panel – Breathing gas distribution panel for surface-supplied diving
    • Gas reclaim system – System to recover used breathing gas and prepare it for re-use
    • Diver's attendant – The member of a dive team who assists the diver at the surface and tends the diver's umbilical or lifeline
    • Support diver – Recreational diving equivalent of a stand-by diver
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    Longer term goals
    • Get all Top importance articles to at least GA
    • Get all High importance articles to at least B-class
    • Get all Mid importance articles to at least C-class.
    • Get all the others to at least start class. Where this is impossible or inappropriate, look into merging them into other articles.
    • Rationalise coverage of the subject by splitting. merging and creating articles as seems appropriate at the time, and creating redirects wherever they will be useful.
    • Maintain and develop the navboxes to facilitate finding useful articles within the project.
    • Build up the Portal:Underwater diving so that anyone can find any reasonably important information on the subject. This is in abeyance until the purpose of portals has been defined sufficiently to be worth the effort.

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