• Diving History of Sri Lanka

Diving History of Sri Lanka

Pearl Divers were the pioneers and the only divers in the ancient Sri Lanka for a long time. They dived for oysters in their quest for pearls. In the days where there were no diving equipment of any sort, they were skin divers and sometimes dived down to dangerous depths in this fashion in search of Oysters.

Apart from this, the only incident where a person dived deep down was of an Italian Painter who visited Sri Lanka in 1864 and dived to sketch the coral banks off the shore of Galle. And that too was in a Diving Bell.

But, in 1930's with the advent of diving masks, snorkels and flippers more and more people were drawn to view and enjoy the underwater wonderland, at least from the surface. Although deep diving was employed during the World War 2 for various purposes pertaining to war, the real diving: diving for fun, enjoyment, adventure, treasure and later archaeology came into being with the chance meeting in Colombo of the two Englishmen, Arthur C Clarke and Mike Wilson with the Sri Lankan Rodney Jonklass - the pioneers of diving in Sri Lanka.


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