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"It's completely unique:" Diving enthusiasts head into Lake Michigan in vintage-style gear

NOW: “It’s completely unique:“ Diving enthusiasts head into Lake Michigan in vintage-style gear


MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Divers are heading to Milwaukee's lakefront this weekend for the Lake Michigan Classic Diving Rally.

Participants are hard-helmet diving in vintage-style suits. The gear, including the dry suit and helmet, weighs around 160 pounds.

"Oh, I loved it," St. Francis resident Joe Montana said. 

Divers must be PADI or NAUI certified in order to suit up and go underwater. The one hour experience costs around $50. Unlike scuba diving, the hard-helmet divers are tethered to an air compressor on shore that is monitored by a team.

"It's the experience of being in the old gear, its something that's completely unique," DESCO and Lake Michigan Classic Diving Organization general manager Christian Koellner said. "It's one of the most simplistic types of diving. You don't really have to think about your breathing or breathe through your nose like you do with scuba or anything like that."

Diving slots for this weekend's event are full. Organizers hope to hold the dive rally again next year. 

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