Friday, February 15, 2008

Underwater Moped?

Is it just us, or is this one of the strangest inventions to hit the scuba diving market in some time?

The fish weren't the only curious snappers yesterday at Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World when Kiwi boat builders Calibre Boats launched their Scuba Scuta, an Australian invention which the company is exclusively building and marketing in Helensville. A bit like an underwater jetski the $20,000 scooter can cruise at 2.5 knots at a depth of 10 metres for an hour and a half with air pumped into the perspex dome.

But rather than scare away the creatures in the big tank, the fish's curiosity at times made it difficult for photographers to get pictures, chief executive officer Olaf van Daal said.

He described riding the scooter as "like sitting on a little moped".

"It's a bit strange at first but all of a sudden you find yourself at the bottom of a lake or somewhere and it's amazing."

Yesterday's demo was almost a tease though - none of the scooters will be available for sale locally, with production destined for large export orders only.

This year the company will build 100 units from fibreglass moulds for a chain of international resorts in Malaysia and by next Christmas it's hoped a million of the units will be out for sale.

Does anyone think sending someone with no necessary training in SCUBA underwater in one of these contraptions is a good thing?

Hat tip: Shark Divers



2 comments:

Kevin Z said...

At 20K I don't see how this adds anything to the SCUBA experience anyways. Is it just for fat old lazy american tourists?? So they can "experience" what a diver does? lol

Neutral Dive Gear said...

"At 20K I don't see how this adds anything to the SCUBA experience anyways. Is it just for fat old lazy american tourists?? So they can "experience" what a diver does? lol"

Haha! No kidding! And to think, these are probably some of the same people who never obtained their SCUBA cert because they thought it was too expensive.

=)