Naturally, we can’t breathe underwater, so we use scuba equipment to explore the underwater world. First, you should learn to breathe from a regulator in confined water before breathing underwater in the ocean.
Water is heavy, and although we can feel weightless underwater, the pressure exerted by the weight of the water affects everything from the air in our tank to the air in our lungs. Breathing Underwater may seem pretty straight forward, but there are still a few things you should know before you take the plunge.
The relationship of depth, pressure, and air supply.
Shallow diving uses less air, giving you more time underwater.
Deeper diving uses more air, giving you less time underwater.
As we descend below water, molecules of air in our scuba cylinder start to compress. As the air molecules in your tank compress, the air becomes denser and each breath we take consumes more molecules than it would at the surface. The deeper you go the less time you have underwater because you are breathing more air proportionally with each breath.
As your ascend the molecules expand. Air in your BCD and your lung will also expand this is why we deflate our BCD when ascending and continue to breathe out. This lets the expanding air escape our lungs and an important reason why we never hold our breath while scuba diving.
How can you breathe efficiently and save air underwater
When you are underwater it is important to remain calm and take deep, slow breaths. Make sure to catch your breathe before you start a dive, if you are feeling nervous on the boat take a few deep breathes.
If you become tired or out-of-breathe while underwater, slow down and let your instructor or dive guide know you need to catch your breathe. You can hold onto a rock or kneel on the sand, especially if there is a current.
Pace yourself and breathe normally, diving should be fun and not a race. Practice achieving neutral buoyancy and kicking from your hips to save energy underwater.