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The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
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September 2022    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 48, No. 9   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Flotsam & Jetsam

from the September, 2022 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Another Safe Sunscreen. After reading the item about sunscreen in Undercurrent in August, Mel McCombie (New Haven, CT) adds the brand Elta MD sunscreens also contain zero harmful ingredients. It's recommended by every dermatologist she knows and comes in formulations for all skin types. It's also available online at Amazon.

Four Generations in a Family Dive Together. The Van Raden family submerged together in the waters of Lake Six (Frazee, MN) in late July for a bit of scuba diving. While just about the whole family scuba dives, it's the first time the 80-year-old great-grandfather to the seven-year-old great-grandchild got to do it together. The family owns Northwest Divers, a Moorhead, MN, business that's been going strong for over 50 years.

Capt Paul Watson Resigns. Sea Shepherd Founder Captain Paul Watson has resigned from Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (USA), citing political differences with members of the board of directors, who wished to be less confrontational with illegal poachers and turn the Sea Shepherd fleet into research-only vessels. He remains a director of Sea Shepherd Global.

They're Still Finding Bodies. The vehicle discovered in a California lake by the independent dive group Adventures With Purpose contained the remains of missing teenager Kiely Rodni, who disappeared on August 6, near the Prosser Family Campground. The divers discovered it in Prosser Lake, about 35 miles from Reno, NV, in about 14 feet of water.

Pirate Kidd's Treasure. The massive engraved silver ingot that weighs more than 110 pounds, discovered by divers off the coast of Madagascar, is thought to have been part of the treasure of notorious Scottish sea pirate Captain William Kidd. He was executed for his crimes in 1701 but tried to barter the locations of treasure he'd buried in return for his life. The tale spawned the classic novel Treasure Island.

Authorities in Raja Ampat Getting Serious. According to sources, at least seven bomb fishermen were arrested on July 30 in the Sele Strait in the Sorong Regency, and each faces up to 20 years in jail. The fishermen were from Buaya (Crocodile) Island, which lies very near to Sorong. This island is infamous as the home of migrant bomb fishermen originally from Sulawesi Island. An official statement says they were caught red-handed and in the process of detonating a series of bombs.

$12,000 Fine for Diving With Orcas. Thomas Gould, a British Colombia, Canada resident and owner of the commercial dive vessel Ice Cube, has received a record fine for getting too close to orcas near Prince Rupert Harbour in April 2020. In full scuba gear, Gould entered the water on two different occasions after his vessel got close to a pod of seven resident killer whales, contrary to Canada's Marine Mammals Regulations. The orcas have been regular visitors for more than a decade, and signage posted in the area indicates mandatory minimum approach distances. It is also illegal to swim, dive, or interact with them.

Still Want to Dive the Solomons? A U.S. coast guard cutter conducting patrols on an international mission to prevent illegal fishing in the Coral Sea could not get clearance for a scheduled port call in the Solomon Islands. This incident comes amid growing concerns about Chinese influence on the Pacific nation. The cutter Oliver Henry was to make a scheduled stop on August 26 at Guadalcanal to refuel and re-provision. It went on to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, instead.

Judge Tosses Manslaughter Charge. A Los Angeles federal judge threw out an indictment charging Conception skipper Jerry Boylan with manslaughter in the deaths of 34 people in the 2019 Labor Day fire aboard the vessel, out of Santa Barbara and anchored at night off the Southern California coast. Boylan (68) was charged with misconduct, negligence, and inattention for which he entered a not-guilty plea. The indictment failed to specify that Boylan acted with gross negligence. Family members of seven of the victims said in a statement that they were stunned by the decision.

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