Old Diving Suit

Who Invented Scuba Diving?

Scuba diving is a form of underwater sport where you breathe underwater using special equipment known as the scuba. Not only does it allow you to visit stunning underwater locations you’ve only dreamt of, but scuba diving facts have also shown a healing effect on skin and bones. A reduction in blood pressure, a stress reliever. And an improver of blood circulation!

Exploring the unknown underwater world has fascinated people for centuries. In olden times simple resources used for breathing were neither safe nor effective. And it took decades for modern scuba diving techniques to develop. Want to learn more about the history of scuba diving – who invented scuba diving? Take a look…

Frequently Asked Questions

What does scuba stand for?

The word scuba is an abbreviation of Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. The dictionary definition is “an apparatus utilising a portable supply of compressed gas supplied at a regulated pressure and used for breathing while swimming underwater”

Who invented scuba?

Jacques Cousteau and Emile Gagnan co-invented the modern demand regulator. And in 1943 the Aqua-Lung was bornRedesigneded from a car regulator that automatically provided compressed air to a diver on an intake of breath. This fundamentally improved apparatus was used in 1947 for a 94-metre dive.

Who invented scuba diving?

As diving became more popular it became apparent that the ocean didn’t just have to be explored for military purposes, but for science, interest, and pleasure. Jacques Cousteau and Emile Gagnan were pioneers of research, filming, and undersea exploring using scuba devices.

When was scuba diving invented?

The art of underwater breathing dates back to 500BC when archives indicate a Greek soldier dived off a ship. And using a hollowed-out reed was able to breathe for hours underwater.

Dates and Data

1600’s – a diving bell was developed by Guglielmo de Loreno. This allowed the large upside-down bucket with air trapped inside to be lowered into the water, letting the diver breath.

The first air pump was designed by Guericke, and Robert Boyle initially observed decompression sickness known as the bends. Edmund Harley patented another diving bell with weighted barrels and an air pipe connected to the surface.

1700’s – an underwater cylinder supplied by an air pipe with compressed air was built by John Lethbridge. Inside this device, a diver could stay submerged for 30 minutes at a depth of 18 metres. The diver’s arms were outside the cylinder with the water being kept out by greased leather cuffs around the ding suit.

A rebreathing device invented by Frenchman Sieur Freminet recycled exhaled air from inside a barrel – but the inventor died from lack of oxygen after being inside the device for just 20 minutes.

In 1788 British engineer John Smeaton constructed the first modern diving bell with a roof-mounted force pump and tube arrangement that allowed the bell to be totally submerged.

1800’s – saw the development of a self-contained diving rig by an English merchant seaman – Henry Fleuss – using compressed oxygen and allowing submergence for up to three hours.

Who invented scuba gear?

Charles Anthony and John Deane patented a helmet for diving in 1826. It was attached to the diver’s body with straps and air was supplied from the surface. In 1837 Augustus Siebe sealed that particular design of helmet to a watertight diving suit that became an essential part of many diving expeditions.

In 1865 underwater breathing apparatus was developed by Benoit Rouquaytol and Auguste Denayrouse. A tank made from steel was filled with compressed air. And connected to a valve and mouth-piece. The tank was then strapped to the back of the diver.

In 1917 the Mark V diving helmet was introduced and used for salvage work during World War II. It became standard US Navy diving equipment.

When escape artist Harry Houdini invented a diver’s suit in 1921 that allowed divers to easily and safely get out of suits underwater it was called the Houdini suit.

In 1925 a self-contained underwater breathing unit was designed by Yves Le Prieur and was very successful. And in 1930 rubber goggles with glass lenses were developed by Guy Gilpatric and were soon followed by face masks and snorkels.

1933 saw the patent of swim fins designed by Louisde Corlieu in France. And Yves Le Prier develops the demand valve that in conjunction with a high-pressure air tank made the diver independent from surface hose connections.

In 1943 Jacques Cousteau and friends make over 500 deep sea diving excursions using the aqualung.

Modern Scuba Equipment

Essential scuba diving gear consists of:

  • Drysuit or wetsuit
  • Mask, fins, and gloves
  • Scuba tank
  • Regulator
  • Depth and pressure gauges
  • Dive computer
  • Buoyancy compensator

Recreational Diving

In 1967 PADI – the Professional Association of Diving Instructors trained over 3,000 divers during its first year of operation.

During the 1990’s over 500,000 new scuba divers were being certified annually. And recreational diving started to become a multibillion-dollar industry. Technical diving by amateurs using advanced technology including full face masks, underwater communication, and propulsion systems developed substantially. And continues to grow with advancing expertise.

World Records

Look at some outstanding scuba diving records here…

In 2001 John Bennett broke his own world record in the Philippines with a dive that reached 308 metres

In 2011 Cem Karabay from Turkey spent 192 hours and 19 minutes in a pool in Turkey – the longest scuba dive in a controlled environment

In 2013 Sean McGahern from the UK recorded the longest open saltwater scuba dive in salt water submerging for 49 hours and 56 minutes

In 2018 Ahmed Gabr broke this world record by diving 332.35 metres and spent more than 14 hours underwater

Scuba Diving Today

Go scuba diving in Playa del Carmen with Koox to experience amazing underwater adventures. Diving in cenotes takes you into underground chambers with fascinating visual effects as the water changes from fresh to salt. Diving deep will bring you face to face with columns, stalagmites, and stalactites. And a whole array of marine life.

Scuba diving tours and activities include a complete set of diving gear, transportation, and entrance fees. And you’ll be able to borrow a GoPro camera to photograph it all. Discover a beautiful underwater world that gives you an adrenalin rush. And utterly delights you.