Trying An Underwater Scooter

From the moment I saw James Bond and Emilio Largo use underwater scooters in the movie Thunderball, I knew this would be something I would like to try. A few weeks ago, the opportunity presented itself and I was able to execute two dives with an Suex XJOY underwater scooter.

Diver Propulsion Vehicle

Underwater scooters are also know as diver propulsion vehicle (DPV). Military units sometimes refer to them as swimmer delivery vehicle (SDV). Regardless of naming, they all serve the same general purpose of increasing a scuba divers or snorkelers range.

Shahfaan Waseem (Bob), Dive Instructor at Fuvahmulah Dive and Hank

Bob, a dive instructor at Fuvahmulah Dive began DPV training by providing details of how the machine operates.

We installed a fully charged battery into the unit. The battery is stored and charged separately from the unit. It’s pretty simple to make the connection.

We also checked the o-ring for any damaged and later screwed the housing into position. After a quick operational test, we moved the unit to the dive boat.

Underwater scooter and fins

The unit is slightly bulky on land. However, it is neutrally buoyant in the water. I clipped the device to my buoyancy compensation device (bcd) and took a giant stride to enter the water. The machine I used had two speed modes – high and low. There is a throttle on the right handlebar to help control speed. It was very easy and fun to navigate.

Most scuba divers use these underwater scooters for cave and wreck diving exploration. Underwater Photographers and Videographers use these devices to extend range, manage currents, and keep similar pace with marine wildlife. Some snorkelers will also use the device to help extend their range.

I had a great time during my initial DPV dives. In the future, if I am planning to execute dives that requires a lot of scuba diving into currents and a DPV is available, I would definitely make use of them.

I just need to figure the best place to keep my camera. Do I attach the camera to myself or figure out how to attach it to the scooter? These questions, I will explore before my next dive trip.

Diving was provided by Fuvahmulah Dive, Maldives.

More images from the Maldives can be found here.

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