This article is a travel topic
Snuba combines what is easy about snorkeling with the experience of breathing underwater like scuba, and does so in a controlled, relatively safe manner.
The commonly used system uses a floating raft, which acts as a platform (almost like the side of a pool) that users can hold onto to practice breathing with their heads underwater and also practice some of the safety measures that the guides will demonstrate. The raft is designed to be highly visible to boat traffic to reduce the chance of being struck by a boat while on the surface.
The air lines limit the depth of the activity to a maximum depth of 7 meters. The air lines also act as a personal descent line to allow users to easily control their descents and remain at exact depths to equalize their ears. To return to the surface the user simply uses a hand-over-hand to ascend the air line to the surface, which brings them back to the raft. The air line provides users with tremendous vertical control to hold at any depth they feel most comfortable, or should there be coral or other object beneath them. It is not possible for you to get lost.
Lightweight harnesses allows more people to experience breathing underwater. The harness eliminates the need to wear, and learn how to use, a BCD (Buoyancy Compensation Device)and Air Cylinder, which combined together are extremely heavy out of the water. This opens this activity up to persons who have weak knees, bad backs, are overweight, older, younger, and even some with disabilities.
Soft weightbelts are used to make participants neutrally buoyant in the water. Soft weights are used to avoid injuries to feet on the surface if dropped and are less likely to damage the reef.
The use of a regulator eliminates the entry of water if used as instructed. Compared to snorkeling where many participants get a few tastes of the ocean or have difficulty clearing the snorkel.
Snuba is also popular because no prior dive experience is necessary. Participants need only to be at least eight years of age and have a basic swimming ability. Its popularity as a first timer's experience can be attributed to several factors.
Tropical islands and beaches are one of the most popular travel destinations.
There are so many activities available aboard today's cruise ships it is sometimes hard to choose. The following is a list of cruise lines that offer SNUBA Underwater Tours at some of their destinations. Inquire about SNUBA aboard your cruise.
There are two main choices when considering a SNUBA dive while on holiday - Beach or Boat.
A Snuba dive from the beach is a very good way for people who are not very confident to get used to being in the water at extremely shallow depths. Snuba tours from beaches generally visit reefs that are just offshore of some of the worlds major tourist destinations. Beach dives are often much cheaper as they do not include transportaion and boat costs. A beach dive is good if the guest does not have a whole or a half day to commit to a boat tour. A Snuba dive from the beach will usually take approximately 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours including the safety briefing, gear preparation, Snuba underwater tour, and debriefing.
Usually presented as full or half day tours, Snuba boat dives are able to visit islands and reefs that are further afield. Getting further away from the beaches often presents clearer water and less crowds. Many Snuba boat dives are offered as an add-on to snorkeling tours for those that want to get closer to the marine life. Boat dives can be done from speedboats, which get guests to the reefs quickly and also have shallow drafts allowing the boats to drop guests on deserted beaches and do more exploring. Large boats and catamarans, which offer more room to spread out and relax. Lunch is usually served on board large boats and the main purpose is to spend the whole day on the water with no land stops.
All SNUBA Guides are experienced licensed diving professionals. Before training to become a SNUBA Guide experience and training to top levels of a recognized diving organization (PADI, Naui, SSI, etc.) is required. Snuba guides are chosen based on their diving experience, safety, and professionalism. Each Snuba guide has recieved and additional level of training on the use, safety, and guidance of Snuba underwater tours. All Snuba guides are licensed and insured members of SNUBA International, Inc.
SNUBA is NOT dive training. Before attempting to scuba dive on ones own, proper training is required.
Pay close attention to your Snuba guide's safety briefing. Never let anyone (husband, family member, friends, etc.) force or pressure you into doing something you are not comfortable with. Discuss any concerns with your Snuba guide before going on a Snuba dive. Snuba guides are trained to inspect all equipment and evaluate all participants prior to every Snuba dive.
After your Snuba dive if you are interested in going to the next step and trying scuba diving, your Snuba guide can assisst you in locating a reputable dive training center / organization.
In strong current, wave action, or breeze, the combination of underwater hose and surface raft can pull quite hard on a diver. Snuba is therefore best used in areas where wind, waves and current are negligible. Since all Snuba use is offered by licensed Snuba operators who operate the systems as a guided tour, the possibility of being subjected to strong current, high waves or high wind is not likely. However it is beneficial if one employee of the Snuba operator remains on the surface to monitor conditions.
Since the depth of a snuba dive is limited to about 6 metres (20 ft), decompression sickness is not likely to be a problem. However, as the snuba diver is breathing compressed air, there is still a risk of injury or death due to air embolism, which is a more severe hazard at shallow depths.
If a diver ascends as little as three feet without venting the expanding gas volume in the lungs can cause rupture of lung tisue and escape of air into the circulation and/or other tissues. Air bubbles travelling with the blood may block circulation in vital tissues such as the brain or heart. This life-threatening condition is known as Arterial Gas Embolism. This danger is easily avoided by breathing normally and continuously while ascending. This point is thoroughly covered in Snuba pre-dive briefings, and should be monitored by the dive guide throughout the dive by watching for the continual release of bubbles from each diver. However most lung overpressure diving accidents do happen within 15 feet of the surface of the water because this is where the greatest change in volume occurs, and a panicking diver may reach the surface before the guide has noticed a problem. Unfortunately this depth range is where snuba diving takes place. According to certified diving agencies, like PADI and NAUI, Snuba is slowly being phased out due to the number of the diving accidents that have been recorded due to the lack of certification and training involved, but according to the Snuba website, ever since starting operations in 1989, with almost 5 million dives, there was never a single injury or fatality. The Snuba Liability Release form releases the operators and developers of the Snuba system from any liability or responsibility for damage, injury or death due to neglect, system failure or any other reason, nevertheless there are many nonofficial reports about inadequate training.
All Snuba Recreational Centers are members of the Reef Alliance. Coral reefs are fragile living organisms and with a little understanding, they can be preserved for hundreds of years to come. All forms of diving help to make people more aware of our coral reefs, what they are, and how to protect them. However, all forms of diving also have the abilty to expose coral reefs to damage.
Please following these guidelines while Snuba diving, scuba diving, or snorkeling:
After your Snuba dive ask questions about what you saw and tell others about what they can do to help preserve our tropical reefs.
Snuba's safety record among introductory diving is quite impressive. Over 4 million dives and not one insurance claim for injury. The Snuba system is designed with every aspect of safety in mind and Snuba guides are trained to ensure your dive is a safe and fun one. However, diving does carry with it risks that one should be aware of.
If you have any preexisting conditions (especially respiratory or cardiovascular conditions) consult your physician before Snuba diving.
Your Snuba guide will thouroughly cover the prevention of pressure related illnesses before your Snuba dive. Pay close attention and follow each rule.
Be aware that flying after diving carries certain guidelines depending on the number of dives and time before flying. Consult your Snuba guide for more details before diving.