Main Menu
Join Undercurrent on Facebook

The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975 | |
For Divers since 1975
The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
"Best of the Web: scuba tips no other
source dares to publish" -- Forbes
November 2019    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 45, No. 11   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
What's this?

Flotsam & Jetsam

from the November, 2019 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

A Pill to Treat the Bends? The U.S. Navy has announced it's researching the possibility that the common malaria prophylaxis, the antibiotic Doxycycline, may work as a treatment for decompression sickness, preventing severe effects. Studies are just beginning.

Jason deCaires Taylor Underwater Art Installation in the Maldives as we reported, was smashed up on orders of the Maldivian President, because, with human likenesses, it contravened Muslim law. Well, it's been resurrected as a coral regeneration project with soaring sculptures constructed of more than 500 ceramic 'starfish' designed to attract fish and crustaceans -- the hard shells catch and hold biomass, or 'fish food,' which encourage coral larvae to attach and thrive.

Rays of Hope. Shortfin and longfin mako sharks and 16 species of 'rhino rays' such as guitar fish and are to be added to Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Scuba divers have been among conservationists campaigning to win this protection for the threatened species. More than 23,000 Project AWARE supporters have signed its #Divers4Makos campaign petition.

More Full-Face Snorkeling Mask Bans. The Pride of Maui joins a growing list of tour boat operators that have decided not to allow full-face snorkel masks on board while a state committee continues to study whether they may contribute to snorkeling deaths. In September, a 64-year-old Texas man drowned while using a full face mask in calm waters off Kaanapali Beach in Maui. In another incident in October, a 33-year-old Canadian man died while snorkeling with a full-face mask at Hanauma Bay.

The Britannic Claims Another Life. On September 29, British company director Tim Saville, 61, died during a dive on the sister ship of the Titanic, sunk in Greek waters in 1916 when it was a hospital ship. The 410-foot-deep wreck is on the bucket list of many technical divers and claimed the life of legendary technical diving pioneer and British company director Carl Spencer back in 2009.

No Freshwater Rinse? Subscriber Harry Haley (Yorktown, VA) wisely suggests that in the absence of a freshwater rinse on a dive boat, it's better to keep your camera in a bucket of seawater between dives. Failing that, wrapping your camera in a wet towel will stop it drying out before you get a chance to give it a proper rinse in fresh water. "It's easier to rinse out salt water than try to dissolve encrusted salt crystals, especially any that may have been pushed into crevices under depth pressure that surface pressure fresh water rinsing may not reach."

Mission Impossible? Egypt's tourism authority has announced that visiting divers will be instructed not to feed the fish, break coral, or throw garbage, food leftovers or chemicals into the sea, and they will strictly monitor the work of companies that organize dive tours. The Reef-World Foundations says that in its first year in Egypt it hopes to reach 30 operators, train 150 dive-guides, and through them, raise awareness of sustainability best practice among 30,000 tourists.

Critter Man Passes. Bill Tewes, the ebullient Texan, who left diving jobs in Papua New Guinea to turn St. Vincent into the critter capital of the Caribbean, passed peacefully on October 10 after a long bout with Alzheimer's. Bill Tewes' Dive St. Vincent has been in operation since 1978 and continues under the tutelage of previous employees and friends.

An Unusual Underwater Photography Magazine. World Shootout is an annual international underwater photography competition that rewards its winner with prizes that would otherwise bear a hefty price tag. The new quarterly online World Shootout Magazine not only shows the best of such underwater photography collected in one place, but it allows those who produce it to have a voice, explaining what they go through to get such outstanding results.

Shark Attack Victim? Alan Delatorre, 45, was declared missing after he failed to return from a night dive off the coast of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, on October 4. His clothes and diving equipment, recovered from the ocean close to the marker buoy he was using, revealed signs of damage, possibly from a shark attack. There have been 13 incidents involving people and sharks off Hawaii in 2019. In May, sharks killed a Californian man swimming off Maui. In the meantime, Delatorre is still missing.

Another Fatality on Closed Circuit. Dr. Fiona Sharp, 55, from Perth, Australia, a well-known face in the technical diving world and a hyperbaric doctor who often gave insights into the medical aspects of diving to Undercurrent, died on October 17 during a solo leisure dive to 295 feet deep on a reef at Bonaire. She was found unresponsive at 80 feet deep without the breathing loop mouthpiece in place in her mouth. She was using an Inspiration rebreather. The dive had progressed normally until she reached her first deco stop.

Your Bed Away from Home. No one wants to get sick on a dive trip, but some experts say you're increasing your risk when you toss your suitcase on your bunk or bed. Ever think what those wheels have picked up as you dragged your bag through the airport, into the loo, even the betel nut juice splashes to your waiting ride, down the dock across the seagull splatters? Just sayin'.

Li-ion Battery Fire Update. Two readers wrote to us to say the information in our mid-month email was incorrect and that if the fire occurs in an airplane cabin, the FAA instructs flight attendants to use water or CO2-laced soda pop. Water-based products are most readily available and are appropriate since Li-ion contains very little lithium metal that reacts with water. Water also cools the adjacent area and prevents the fire from spreading.

I want to get all the stories! Tell me how I can become an Undercurrent Online Member and get online access to all the articles of Undercurrent as well as thousands of first hand reports on dive operations world-wide

Find in  

| Home | Online Members Area | My Account | Login | Join |
| Travel Index | Dive Resort & Liveaboard Reviews | Featured Reports | Recent Issues | Back Issues |
| Dive Gear Index | Health/Safety Index | Environment & Misc. Index | Seasonal Planner | Blogs | Free Articles | Book Picks | News |
| Special Offers | RSS | FAQ | About Us | Contact Us | Links |

Copyright © 1996-2024 Undercurrent (
3020 Bridgeway, Ste 102, Sausalito, Ca 94965
All rights reserved.