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Name: Paul
Status: other
Grade: other
Location: IL 
Country: N/A
Date: 11/21/2005


Question:
How do scuba divers now talk to each other under water?


Replies:
Paul,

I am guessing that you are asking this question because it is hard to imagine a scuba diver talking underwater with a regulator in his/her mouth. Most scuba divers communicate with each other with a special sign language. This sign language is based on ASL (American Sign Language), but has been adapted for easier signing while underwater and in full gear.

However, there are special masks that are made for scuba diving that do not require a mouth-fitted regulator. You might have seen these on divers at an aquarium where there is someone outside a tank relaying questions to a diver, and then you can hear the diver talking to the audience. This is just simply through a two-way radio communication. The diver has a walkie talkie built into his/her mask. Divers outfitted in this way can talk to each other in the ocean, too...not just in aquarium tanks.

Hope this answers your question.

Michelle Weinberger


Paul,

Sound will travel underwater, but it is difficult to communicate with your voice when your mouth is otherwise occupied (with the breathing tube!).

SCUBA divers use hand signals (thumb up for "I am ascending"; thumb down for "I am descending"; hands across neck for "I am having difficulty breathing"). Some SCUBA divers also carry an underwater board with a grease pencil to write notes to their partners.

Regards,

Todd Clark, Office of Science
US Department of Energy



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