Mistakes in scuba diving as represented in fiction
compiled by Anthony Appleyard

* The 1951 movie The Frogmen showed frogmen using three-cylinder aqualungs, as shown on the DVD cover. At the time DESCO were making three-cylinder constant flow breathing sets without the demand valve of the aqualung, but they were rarely used in the war, and the preferred system in the US armed forces was the rebreather developed by Christian J. Lambertsen.

* The film Submarine X-1, made in 1969, loosely based on the real Operation Source, depicts British World War II frogmen's equipment inaccurately. The breathing sets shown are open-circuit and are merely a very fat cylinder across the belly, with a black single-hose second-stage regulator such as was not invented until the 1960s. Also shown were ordinary recreational scuba weight belts and diving half-masks with elliptical windows. The frogmen in the real war operation mostly used Sladen suits and an early model of Siebe Gorman rebreathers with a backpack weight pouch containing lead balls releasable by pulling a cord.

* Many comics have depicted combat frogmen and other covert divers using two-cylinder twin-hose open-circuit aqualungs. All real covert frogmen use rebreathers because the stream of bubbles from an open-circuit set would give away the diver's position.

* Many aqualungs have been anachronistically depicted in comics in stories set during World War II, when in reality at that time period aqualungs were unknown outside Jacques-Yves Cousteau and his close associates in Toulon in south France. Some aqualungs were smuggled out of occupied France during the war; these may have been Commeinhes regulators.

* Ian Edward Fraser V.C. in 1957 wrote a book Frogman V.C. about his experiences. Its dust cover depicted on it a frogman placing a limpet mine on a ship, wearing a breathing set with twin over-the-shoulder wide breathing tubes emitting bubbles from behind his neck, presumably drawn after an old-type aqualung.

* There have been thousands of drawings (mostly in comics) of combat frogmen and other scuba divers with two-cylinder twin-hose aqualungs shown with one wide breathing tube coming straight out of each cylinder top with no regulator, far more than of twin-hose aqualungs depicted accurately with a regulator, or of combat frogmen with rebreathers. Examples are at these links: here, here, here, here.