Scuba diving has evolved from an activity that was the preserve of researchers as a hobby for many people. The popularity of scuba diving has soared with scuba diving clubs and numerous beach resorts offering scuba lessons, equipment rental, and sessions with certified scuba trainers for the newbie divers making their first try.

The term Scuba refers to Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus which is the use of an oxygen tank to dive and explore underwater. The different types of scuba are classified dependent on breathing apparatus used for the dive.

  • Open Circuit Scuba: The most common type of scuba used for recreation. Oxygen is supplied by a tank for inhalation and the diver exhales into the surrounding water.
  • Closed Circuit Scuba: The system recycles air through the use of rebreathers whereby oxygen is reintroduced into the air supply that the diver is using.
  • Semi-Closed Circuit Scuba: The air supply is mixed gases which are composed of air exhaled by the diver and air supply similar to that used in open circuit scuba. It is a fusion of both open circuit and closed circuit scuba. Divers find it more difficult to learn semi-closed circuit scuba since it employs knowledge and skills of the breathing apparatus from the first two types of scuba.

With the ever-growing popularity, basic scuba diving lessons are offered by the clubs such as Sharky Scuba in Ottawa. Advanced scuba lessons are provided at a professional level for trained scuba divers who want to sharpen their repertoire of knowledge and skills as well as improve the ability to dive into the more demanding conditions

The following are the fundamentals for scuba diving and the common advanced scuba courses on offer at Sharky Scuba.

I.            The fundamentals include: good swimming skills and training and experience in snorkeling. Snorkeling offers the foundation for many of the techniques utilized in scuba diving. It is important to first train in snorkeling before taking up scuba diving.

II.            Regular Scuba Certification: Offers the basics in scuba diving which involves exploration of shallow waters and just near the shoreline. The certification is aimed at training people who will be scuba diving for recreational purposes.

III.            Open Water Scuba: The training is meant for divers who want to explore sites far away from the shoreline. Extra skills in operating a boat are required since divers will be taking a boat to reach the required areas.

Knowledge for use of special equipment required for open water scuba is mandatory. The equipment includes floater buoys to alert other boats on the surface about a diver in that spot, underwater floaters for navigation, underwater line maker, and reels.

IV.            Rescue Scuba: A special training course that is mainly tailored for underwater rescue operations. People who proceed to take the course will find or are already employed in the search and rescue field.  Specialized skills include first aid, use of specialized underwater search and rescue equipment, and techniques for saving people in underwater caves or hazardous situations.

V.            Deep Dive Scuba: To scuba dive in extremely deep water conditions, divers require training to use equipment required for high-pressure depths. Deep dive scuba is highly risky and is only meant for highly trained and experienced divers, not those doing it as a hobby.

High pressure at those extreme depths can physically crush an individual wearing the regular scuba gear. The training is common for researchers such as geologist and naturalists seeking to study features and life forms at those extreme depths of the ocean.

VI.            Hazardous Area Scuba: The course is designed to teach the advanced safety practices in scuba diving. The training is not markedly different from regular scuba but it equips the diver with the necessary skills to explore hazardous areas. Examples of hazardous sites include shipwrecks, shark-infested waters, underwater caves and coral reefs with toxic life forms that are all restricted to the regular or recreational scuba diver.

VII.            Instructional Courses: These courses are meant to teach a scuba diver how to train other people in scuba diving. The tutorials are meant to provide a guide on how to handle and direct newbies when underwater. The course also teaches first aid so that the tutor can help injured pupils during a dive. A certificate in the basic entry level scuba diving is a prerequisite for people wishing to undertake the instructional course.