Commeinhes develops open-circuit scuba
Last updated: November 10, 2019 at 1:35 am
[ 1937 ] The first model of a two-cylinder open-circuit breathing apparatus with demand regulator is developed by Georges Commeinhes (1911-1944) for the French Navy. The open-circuit scuba is a modified version of a breathing apparatus that Commeinhes’ father, René, designed for use by firemen in 1934. The original twin-tank system equipped with a full-face mask is demonstrated in a pool at the 1937 Paris International Exposition. It is first registered under the name RC.35 Amphibie. An improved version is named and patented GC.42 in 1942. It is ultimately replaced by the final model, the GC.47. On July 30, 1943, Georges Commeinhes dives to the record depth of 53 m (174 ft) off the coast of Marseille, just a few weeks after the historic first sea trial of Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s Aqua-Lung at Bandol in June. WWII halts further development of Commeinhes’ apparatus when he is killed by a German sniper while approaching Strasbourg inside a Sherman tank in 1944.
Capitaine de frégate Philippe Tailliez. Plongées sans câble, Arthaud, Paris, 1954.
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Jeffrey Gallant is the Editor-in-Chief and Records Keeper of the Diving Almanac. He is also a contributing editor of DIVER Magazine, and the scientific director of the Greenland Shark and Elasmobranch Education and Research Group (GEERG). Jeffrey started diving in 1982.