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History of deep sea diving

Updated on November 7, 2009
deep sea diving helmet
deep sea diving helmet


Deep sea diving has been around for hundreds of years, yet its only in recent years that the technology for divers to be able to breath for extended periods has been improved to the point that man can freely explore the ocean.

Early Diving History

The Greeks were the first people on record to be known to have practised deep diving. They would use the simple crude methods of a rope for guidance and positioning, and a stone weight to help with the submergence. Mostly for the attempt to find sunken treasure, these naked athletes would risk their life to search & retrieve the commodities. They had to be well built, athletic, and excellent swimmers, or they would not survive, and many didn't. Greek laws and Records show that as early as the 3rd century BC this was happening, and would be used in aid to the Trojan wars.

Diving Suit Equipment

Inventors as early as the 17th cent. sought means whereby divers could stay underwater for extended periods. At that time, various types of diving dress and underwater armor attempted to supply fresh air through a surface pipe kept above the water by a float.

The challenge for inventors in the 17th century was to develop a way to allow divers to stay underwater for longer periods of time. There was a few crude attempts with the divers air being supplied thought a pipe to the surface.

It was Augustus Siebe that made the breakthrough in the early 19th century. He combined a waterproof jacket, along with a helmet which used the pipe to the surface method, but allowed the divers air to escape through open vents at the bottom of the jacket. The air pressure meant the water level would be below the divers head. This was dangerous though, if the diver changed from a vertical angle, as all the air would rush out, and the water rush in, drowning the diver. He improved upon this by implementing closed vent improvements, which would allow the air out, and stop the water coming in, no matter what angle the diver was located at.

There was obvious limitations with having to be attached to the surface with a breathing pipe, and it wasn't until the 20th century that scuba gear with compressed air breathing equipment was designed and tested, and shown to be a safe alternative. The inventors Jacques Yves Cousteau and Emil Gagnan completed their successful tests in 1943, and this is still used today.

Deep Sea Diving


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    • profile image 6 years ago

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