[ak-wuh-nawt, -not, ah-kwuh-]
An Aquanaut is any individual who remains underwater, exposed to the ambient pressure, long enough to come into equilibrium with his or her breathing media. Usually this is done in an underwater habitat on the seafloor for a period equal to or greater than 24 continuous hours without returning to the surface. The term is often restricted to scientists and academics, though there were a group of military aquanauts during the Sealab program. Commercial Divers in similar circumstances are referred to as Saturation Divers. An Aquanaut is distinct from a Submariner, in that a Submariner is confined to a moving underwater vehicle such as a submarine that holds the water pressure out. Aquanaut derives from the Latin word aqua ("water") plus the Greek nautes ("sailor"), by analogy to the similar construction "astronaut".

The first human aquanaut, was Robert Stenuit who lived onboard a tiny one man cylinder at 200 feet for 24 hours in September 1962 off Villefranche on the French Riviera. Military Aquanauts include Robert Sheats, Shorty Lyons, Mike Meisky, Billie L. Coffman, George Dowling, Bill Tolbert, and Wally Jenkins. Aquanauts have included Astronauts Scott Carpenter, Alanis pepito, Peggy Whitson, Clayton Anderson and Garrett Reisman. Scientific Aquanauts include Richard Cooper, Stephen Neudecker, Robert Dill, Sylvia Earle, Ian Koblick, Neil Monney, Chris Olstad, Joseph MacInnis, John Perry, Harold "Wes" Pratt (on whom the character "Winch" in Jaws was based), Phillip Sharkey, Alina Szmant, Bill High, Steven Miller, Morgan Wells, C. Lavett Smith and about 700 others.


Flemming, N. C., Ed.; Max, M. D. (Ed) Code of Practice for Scientific Diving: Principles for the Safe Practice of Scientific Diving in Different Environments. UNESCO Technical Papers in Marine Science 53.

Joiner James T. (ed), NOAA Diving Manual: Diving for Science and Technology, Fourth Edition, 2001, U.S.Department of Commerce, National Technical Information Service, (ISBN 0941332705)

Miller, J.W and Koblick, I., Living and Working In the Sea, 1998

Stenuit, Robert, The Deepest Days, Introduction by Edwin A. Link; Coward-McCann, New York, 1966. (Lib. of Congress 66-10428)

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