As people have discovered the breath-taking beauty beneath the waves in this magnificent region, our relationship with the ocean has evolved, and the spread of scuba has been something of an unstoppable force. Here are some of the milestones that have brought diving in Asia Pacific to where we are today.
Diving gear is invented that eventually allows pearl divers off the Aru Islands, Mergui Archipelago and Sulu Archipelago to go 54 metres deeper than freediving.
Part of the Mariana Trench, to eight kilometres deep, is discovered.
Alex Wickham, from the Soloman Islands, son of a shipwrecked English sailor, freedives in Sydney Harbour, inspiring the launch of the sport in Australia.
The Ohgushi Peerless Respirator passes field tests at almost 100 metres. The Japanese device, invented by pearl divers Watanabe Riichi and Ohgushi Kanezo, combines modified false-lung style closed-circuit rebreather technology with
a compressed air reserve. It supplies air to the diver through a manually controlled on/off valve (25 years before Aqua-lung). It is tested by Riichi himself, who dived in the Yokosuka Harbour in front of the Japan Naval force.
South Sea Coral Collecting Company founded in Japan, as a supplier for Ohgushi equipment. The apparatus never becomes commercially successful outside of Japan.
First recorded amateur attempt in Australia to breathe underwater by Keith Vagg and Godfrey Gapp, who construct a diving helmet out of an oil drum and garden hose.