A couple of years ago, I had been searching for a job as a search-and-recovery diver. Well, I had to start from the very bottom recovering... golf balls! Yes, that's right. My job was to dive into those tiny, dirty ponds on golf courses and remove the golf balls that had been hit in by years of terrible golfers. (Somtimes I'd find the occasional golf club that had been thrown in too!) Well, the pay had been pretty decent, averaging at about 10 cents per ball. But the sacrifice was knowing that you literally had one of the dirtiest jobs in the world. (Golf Ball Recovery Diving was actually featured on that TV show on the discovery channel, called Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe!)
Anyway, instead of describing the job, I'm here to tell you about a tool we used that really made our lives easier! This tool was called the "Brownie's Third Lung" hookah-rig system(a.k.a., hookah diving). For those of you who don't know, hookah-diving is when you go diving without those big air tanks strapped to your back. Instead, air is supplied to the divers by an above-water air compressor, which pumps the air down to the divers through hoses. This not only saves you the trouble of toting around heavy tanks, it also allows you to stay underwater for more extended times, and it eliminates the need for costly air-tank refills. This particular hookah-rig system floats on its own little buoy, so the diver can take it as far out into a body of water as he wants.
This system can be used for much more than jobs. Anyone can use them for ocean dives, lake dives, or nearly anywhere else you would want. As for depth, the particular one I used was designed to allow three divers at a time, to go down to a depth of 90 feet. The hoses are combinable, so it can be used for one or two divers to reach a respectable depth of up to 150 feet or more!
On my system, the air was being pumped down to me by a quiet little 4.5hp, 4-stroke, gasoline engine. It does make a little bit of noise, which may bother some people. (It was actually quite useful during my job. A couple of places I have been had snakes, turtles, and even crocodiles! The vibrations put off by the gas engine actuall y kept them away whie we worked!) But, if you don't like the noise, Brownie's sells several different types of systems. One of the options is a nearly noise-less electric motor.
I highly recommend this system to anyone who like to dive frequently, or if you just need to for your job. Take a look at different options to choose from on Brownie's official site: http://www.browniedive.com/
Enjoy! (And remember, watch out for bad-tempered crocadiles!)
(Brownie's Marine Group has rights to the pictures)