There's a noted tendency for those of an Action Hero persuasion to somehow always end up diving into water to avoid an explosion. There's just something cool about Outrunning the Fireball by the skin of your teeth as you enter the water for safety. The diver probably possesses Super Not-Drowning Skills, but it may also involve a Kiss of Life when two or more people dive into the water.
There may be Truth in Television, as this trope was deemed plausible by Mythbusters on 31 March 2010: shockwaves were proven to be partially dampened by the water, to a degree dependent on the explosive used.
- Surprisingly Realistic Outcome occurs in Dunkirk. One character dives under water when an oil slick bursts into flame, but can't hold his breath long enough.
- In Eraser, Arnold dives underwater to avoid a gas explosion.
- In The Expendables 3, Stonebanks drops a smart bomb on the team; they collectively dive into the water to evade the blast. Then Stonebanks snipes Caesar in the back and neck from his chopper as they climb back out.
- Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home has a version with burning oil where Jesse hangs onto Willy and they swim under.
- In Rambo: First Blood Part II, the titular character dives into a lake in the Vietnam jungle, to avoid a massive explosion brought on by a bomb-like object dropped by a helicopter.
- In The Rock, after the SEAL massacre, Mason and Goodspeed do this to escape a fiery death when Hummel's men start dropping C4 charges and firebombs into the sewers.
- In Tomorrow Never Dies, Bond and Wei Lin escape from the Big Bad's exploding stealth ship by dropping into the water through the port used to dispatch and pick up on-board submersibles, emerging to the surface to breath again once the explosions stop.
- The Transporter: Frank Martin grabs a Giant Mook and jumps into the water with him to avoid an explosion, using the man's lungs for extra air while doing so.
- In True Lies, Arnold dives underwater to avoid getting burned by a gas explosion.
- In Temple of the Winds, Kahlan and Nadine are chasing a wizard through a drainage tunnel. Once they come close, he starts launching fireballs from the other end, so they have to dive under the water and swim the rest of the way.
- The Third World War: In the alarmist reconstruction of what might have happened if World War Three had broken out in the 1980s, the war inevitably becomes a limited nuclear exchange. The author notes that people pleasure-boating twenty miles away from Ground Zero had the presence of mind to abandon ship and dive overboard, to seek to escape the blast-wave and backdraft from the fireball washing over them. Dive under the explosion taken Up to Eleven there.
- In Freeman's Mind 2, Gordon attempts this as the Metro cops start dropping flaming barrels into the sewer with him, but also worries, with how shallow the water is, the shockwaves might still collapse his lungs.
- In one episode of The Little Mermaid, after Ariel and the others jam up a machine with a wrench, they dive under the water just before it explodes, Scuttle as well. A few minutes later:
Scuttle: Hey! Why am I underwater?
- Naval personnel are usually taught that if they dive from a sinking ship they are to sweep the water with their arms as they resurface in order to clear away burning oil or debris.