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Topic – Exploring Underwater

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Exploring Underwater

There are many interesting things to see underwater. How do people breathe when they are exploring underwater?

Swimming with a Snorkel

A snorkel is a long tube. One end of the snorkel goes in the swimmer’s mouth. The other end of the snorkel sticks up above the water. A snorkel lets swimmers breathe air in and out while they are underwater. Swimmers must stay close to the surface of the water so the top end of the snorkel stays in the air. If the top end goes underwater, the swimmer will breathe in water. People do not need special training to use a snorkel.

Scuba Diving

Scuba divers go deep underwater, so they cannot use a snorkel. Instead, scuba divers carry a tank of air on their back. A tube goes from the air tank to a piece that goes into the diver’s mouth. Scuba divers breathe in air through the tube. When they breathe out, air escapes as bubbles from a hole in the mouthpiece.

Scuba divers get special training to learn how to dive safely. They must be careful about how long they stay underwater. They need to return to the surface of the water before the air in their tank runs out.

When divers go very deep underwater, they must return to the surface slowly. Divers who return too quickly can get a sickness that is sometimes called “the bends.” This sickness can cause pain in the body, trouble breathing, and even death. Scuba divers are always careful to stay safe.


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