Scuba Diving for
Treasure - Training and Equipment
It has never been easier to get into Scuba
diving, as one of the worlds fastest growing sports, there
are clubs and dive shops everywhere and all of them will be
able to help you get qualified. Advances in technology and a
greater understanding of how the human body reacts to being
underwater and to the pressures of depth etc. mean that
diving has never been safer, and you don't have to be a
super fit gym junkie to take up the sport either.
Whether you are interested in diving wrecks
or getting involved in underwater archaeology, you will need
to get a qualification first, and if you are smart you will
join a club, not only so you can take advantage of regular
clubs trips to wrecks and other interesting locations, but
so you get to dive regularly with people who have a lot more
experience than you.
Before you can even think about working
underwater, you need to learn how to survive and be
comfortable in the underwater environment. Going though a
proper training program and then building up a considerable
bank of personal experience is the only way to do this.
Although I have been out of the diving loop
for a few years, PADI used to run some potentially useful
courses for people interested in underwater treasure hunting
and archaeology, one of which was training in lifting heavy
objects from the sea bed using air filled lift bags, great
for for anyone wanting to salvage a cannon from the briny
deep! (but be sure to read our
Receiver of Wreck - Salvage Law etc.
page before attempting any such thing).
You won't have to worry about diving
equipment when you are first starting out, it will all be
provided for you by your instructor. Sooner or later you
will need your own, but be very sure that diving is for you
before you start buying your own kit as diving can be a very
expensive sport and not everybody takes well to the
As you progress in diving there are some
items of equipment you should buy even if can't afford to
dash out and buy a full set of gear in one hit.
Your first priority should be a mask, this
is particularly important if you wear glasses or contact
lenses, you can have a mask made to your prescription, it
isn't as expensive to get done as you might think and will
make your time spent underwater a lot more rewarding. If you
are borrowing or renting equipment, the mask you get will
probably have seen a lot of use and be leaky and scratched.
Another important item that should be very
high up your list is a good regulator. For the uninitiated,
this is the thing that you put in your mouth and breathe
though. Never skimp on cost when buying a regulator, they
aren't cheap, but as you hand over your hard earned cash,
try to think of what you are buying as life support
equipment. What kind of life support equipment would you
rather depend on? the cheapest crap in the shop, or the
Rolls Royce of regulators?
Support Your Local Dive Shop!
Local dive shops, along with many other
independent specialist retailers, have been hit hard by the
internet revolution, not only are they having to compete
with online stores, they are also having their businesses
eroded by the big dive shows.
A good dive shop will be able to provide you
with invaluable advice on equipment purchases, air fills,
information about good places to dive, and be able to
service and maintain your equipment - no web site can fill
your air tank or repair the regulator your dog chewed on.
Look after your local dive shop and your local dive shop
will look after you.