Brit invents underwater scooter
A British inventor has created a new underwater scooter that allows tourists to explore coral reefs without learning to scuba dive - or even swim.
Holidaymakers can sit on the HydroBOB and dive to depths of 100ft at tourist sites around the world.
Andrew Sneath, HydroBOB designer and company founder, said: "With minimal training the rider can cruise the underwater world without the need to wear cumbersome dive equipment."
Mr Sneath, a former car factory worker from Bromsgrove, near Birmingham, now based in Florida, added: "Riding HydroBOB is a unique memorable experience of a life time."
The HydroBOB's helmet-like dome contains an air bubble that is continually filled with oxygen from an onboard tank.
The clear acrylic dome gives a 180 degree view and the oxygen tank is big enough to give over an hour's use before resurfacing.
Users don't need goggles, breathing apparatus or a wet suit. They can wear glasses and even talk underwater.
A 12 volt battery stored under the seat allows the scooter to move at two knots. Depth is controlled by a bounce bag, similar to that worn by a scuba diver to control buoyancy.
Users are given a simple ten minute briefing on underwater signalling and how to equalise the pressure in their ears.
Hydrodome has made 350 HydroBOBs - or breathing observation bubbles - for rental at tourist destinations worldwide, including the Bahamas, Australia and Tenerife.