Fish-eye view of marine life with new mini-submarine on Great Barrier Reef

Posted: 12/23/2011 in all marine news –

Tourists on the Great Barrier Reef will be able to get a fish-eye view of the marine life with the introduction of new mini-submarines.

Great Barrier Reef Submarines has begun offering the experience at Fitzroy Island, a 45 minute ferry ride from Cairns in Queensland.

Two passengers and a pilot can fit in the 4m wide, 1.8m high mini-submarine, which was designed in Canada.

Passengers enter the cockpit through an opening in the back of the hull guided by a safety diver and met are inside by the pilot. Once inside they sit on window seats either side of the cockpit cabin.

“The cabin is cosy but it’s surprisingly roomy for three people,” Great Barrier Reef Submarines owner Richard Chapman said.

“You duck dive into it and sit up to your waist in water but your upper body is in fresh air. “You’re in a bubble of air.”

While the mini-submarine is capable of going as deep as 40m, you only have to go 6m to get to the bottom of the reef in the area it is used.

Passengers have to equalise when the submarine dives or ascends, similar to scuba diving. Tours will be conducted during the day and at night and cost $150 for 30 minutes.

A pocket of air is trapped inside the cockpit of the sub, like an upside-down cup traps air when pushed underwater.

The air is replenished from the scuba tank supply.

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