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Underwater diving, as a human activity, is the practice of descending below the

water's surface to interact with the environment. Immersion in water and exposure to
high ambient pressure have physiological effects that limit the depths and duration
possible inambient pressurediving. Humans are not physiologically and
anatomically well adapted to the environmental conditions of diving, and various
equipment has been developed to extend the depth and duration of human dives,
and allow different types of work to be done.
In ambient pressure diving, the diver is directly exposed to the pressure of the
surrounding water. The ambient pressure diver may dive on breath-hold, or use
breathing apparatus forscuba divingorsurface-supplied diving, and thesaturation
divingtechnique reduces the risk ofdecompression sickness(DCS) after long-
duration deep dives.Atmospheric diving suits(ADS) may be used to isolate the diver
from high ambient pressure. Crewedsubmersiblescan extend depth range, and
remotely controlled or robotic machines can reduce risk to humans.
The environment exposes the diver to a wide range of hazards, and though the risks
are largely controlled by appropriatediving skills,training, types
ofequipmentandbreathing gasesused depending on the mode, depth and purpose
of diving, it remains a relatively dangerous activity. Diving activities are restricted to
maximum depths of about 40 metres (130ft) for recreational scuba diving, 530
metres (1,740ft) for commercial saturation diving, and 610 metres (2,000ft) wearing
atmospheric suits. Diving is also restricted to conditions which are not excessively
hazardous, though the level of risk acceptable can vary.
Recreational diving(sometimes called sport diving or subaquatics) is a popular
leisure activity.Technical divingis a form of recreational diving under especially
challenging conditions.Professional diving(commercial diving, diving for research
purposes, or for financial gain) involve working underwater.Public safety divingis the
underwater work done by law enforcement, fire rescue, andunderwater search and
recoverydive teams.Military divingincludes combat diving, clearance diving
andships husbandry.Deep sea divingis underwater diving, usually with surface
supplied equipment, and often refers to the use ofstandard diving dresswith the
traditional copper helmet.Hard hatdiving is any form of diving with ahelmet,
including the standard copper helmet, and other forms offree-flowandlightweight
demand helmets. The history of breath-hold diving goes back at least to classical
times, and there is evidence of prehistorichunting and gatheringof seafoods that
may have involved underwater swimming. Technical advances allowing the provision
of breathing gas to a diver underwater at ambient pressure are recent, and self-
contained breathing systems developed at an accelerated rate following theSecond
World War.