Underwater scooter technology has been in use since WWII, but it is only in the last 25 years that the devices have been used for lengthy cave explorations by various groups, especially in the USA; more recent times have also seen an increase in their use for mainly recreational purposes.
The evolution of the technology, which has become increasingly accessible, has allowed technical experts, sportsmen and women and simple aficionados to explore the mysteries of the seas and oceans in a completely new way.
The HYDRA Project is a multi-disciplinary study undertaken by DAN (Divers Alert Network Europe), PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) and SUEX to collect data on diving with DPVs, an increasingly common pursuit, but on which little research has been conducted so far.
To achieve its objectives, including an examination of the physiological effects of using scooters in dives and an assessment of their environmental impact, HYDRA has placed its trust in citizen science, allowing ordinary citizens (qualified divers and competent DPV users) to contribute to the collection of data.
To ensure the success of HYDRA, SUEX is offering its DPV know-how, resources and staff: specifically, we are providing our underwater scooters at the marine areas taking part in the project (Portofino, Ustica and Plenmirio) and our Trainers for the most important dives.
By so doing, SUEX seeks to liberalise the use of DPVs in marine protected areas, which number 33 in Italy alone, so that divers can admire the natural beauty of the underwater landscape while enjoying all the advantages of a scooter without causing damage to a delicate ecosystem.
To this end, as well as collaborating with the Ministry of the Environment and the WWF, SUEX is seeking an agreement with DAN for a kind of certification of the sustainability of its scooters, in the form of a “green sticker”.
At the same time, SUEX intends to use the data collected to prove the superiority of dives with a DPV through the adoption of a scientific protocol.
Thanks to HYDRA, SUEX is seeking to usher in a new era of scuba diving, by legitimating an increasingly widespread technology and guaranteeing its environmental sustainability, so that there are no limits to the thrill of exploring the fascinating world hidden below the waves.