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Surface supplied diving in an 1873 engraving.
Surface supplied diver at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey, California
US Navy Diver using Kirby Morgan Superlight 17 diving helmet[1]

Surface supplied diving (also known as Hooka diving) refers to divers using equipment supplied with breathing gas using an umbilical cord from the surface, often from a diving support vessel but possibly, indirectly via a diving chamber.[2] SCUBA, which is commonly used in recreational diving, is the main alternative to surface supplied diving equipment.

Surface supplied diving equipment and techniques are mainly used in professional diving or military diving due to the increased cost and complexity of owning and operating the equipment.[3][4] This type of equipment is used in saturation diving. Divers almost always wear diving helmets or full face diving masks when being supplied from the surface. Surface supplied divers also use the spherical helmet with brass and glass windows of the historical standard diving dress.

Some recreational divers employ a surface-supplied setup most commonly known by the brand-name Snuba, where the diver is supplied via an umbilical from a cylinder which floats on a raft at the surface.

Surface supplied diving equipment usually includes communication capability with the surface, which adds to the efficiency of the working diver. Breathing gas is supplied from the surface, either from a specialized diving compressor, high-pressure cylinders, or both. In commercial and military surface-supplied diving, a backup source of breathing gas is always present in case the primary supply fails. The diver may also wear a cylinder called a "bail-out bottle," which can provide breathing gas in an emergency. Thus, the surface-supplied diver is much less likely to have an "out-of-air" emergency than a SCUBA diver.

Surface supplied equipment is required under the US Navy operational guidance for diving in harsh contaminated environments developed by the Navy Experimental Diving Unit.[5]

See also


  1. ^ Curley, MD (1986). "Human Factors Evaluation of the Superlite 17B Helmet in the Surface- Supplied, Open-Circuit Mode". US Navy Experimental Diving Unit Technical Report NEDU-11-85. Retrieved 2008-09-09.  
  2. ^ Gernhardt, ML (2006). "Biomedical and Operational Considerations for Surface-Supplied Mixed-Gas Diving to 300 FSW.". In: Lang, MA and Smith, NE (eds). Proceedings of Advanced Scientific Diving Workshop (Washington, DC). Retrieved 2008-09-12.  
  3. ^ Beyerstein, G (2006). "Commercial Diving: Surface-Mixed Gas, Sur-D-O2, Bell Bounce, Saturation.". In: Lang, MA and Smith, NE (eds). Proceedings of Advanced Scientific Diving Workshop (Washington, DC). Retrieved 2008-09-12.  
  4. ^ Wilkins, JR (2006). "US Navy Diving Program: Diving to 300 Ft Depths Using Surface-Supplied and Saturation Fly-Away Diving Systems.". In: Lang, MA and Smith, NE (eds). Proceedings of Advanced Scientific Diving Workshop (Washington, DC). Retrieved 2008-09-12.  
  5. ^ US Naval Sea Systems Command (2004). "Guidance for diving in contaminated waters.". US Navy Contaminated Water Manual SS521-AJ-PRO-010. Retrieved 2008-09-09.  

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