National Geographic : 1954 Jan
© National Geographic Society 5 Kodachrome by Jacques Ertaud A Flippered Diver at 140 Feet Hammers Debris to Fit the Suction Pipe Toiling in the wreck's cold, dim graveyard, the Aqualunged excavator must make every second count. At 140 feet he can work actively for only 17 minutes without having to undergo decompression at stages on his way up. A cloud of exhaust bubbles above his head provides silvery evidence of his thirst for air. When the echo of a rifle shot reaches him through the water, he knows his shift is over. Rubber-finned feet beating rhythmically, he then heads for safety. A slim tube attached to the suction pipe carries compressed air to a valve near the diver's left hand. Shooting into the hose, the air stream sucks water, mud, and debris to a strainer on the surface.