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Updated October 22, 2018
These brief news articles below were sent out via email to all divers who signed up for our free email list.
You can sign up here to receive future Undercurrent Online Updates and get news alerts and special offers like these every month.

Finding Charlie
Free Special Offer for New Subscribers
Join a Cocos Island Hammerheads Tagging Expedition
Oxybenzone Kills Coral
Red Tide Makes the Jump
For a Few Dollars More
A New Wreck at Truk
A Florida Dive Gone Wrong
Sargassum Weed Reaches Mexico
Sulawesi Tsunami
What’s The Craziest Thing You’ve Seen While Diving?
Free-to-Read in Undercurrent
What You Missed This Month in Undercurrent
Free Special Offer for New Subscribers

Finding Charlie

Finding Charlie  October 22, 2018

Diver Vince Tenchavez, 34, was infuriated when he discovered somebody had vandalized two live corals in the Bauan marine sanctuary in Batangas, Phillipines. They had carefully engraved a name and date on them. At 130 feet deep, it could only have been done by a scuba diver. Around five feet across, the word “Charlie” had been carefully and freshly inscribed, but Tenchavez could find nobody with that name on the guest lists of the local dive centers.

Free Special Offer for New Subscribers  October 22, 2018

Subscribe now to Undercurrent at our new low rate and receive Tropical Ice, the scuba thriller set in Belize that Scuba Diver Magazine calls a Must Read. We don’t accept advertising, and have been telling the truth to experienced divers month in and month out for 43 years. Click here for details and our money back guarantee.

Join a Cocos Island Hammerheads Tagging Expedition  October 22, 2018

The Turtle Island Restoration Network is once again making expeditions to Cocos Island with the next due on December 7 (returning on Dec. 17). In addition to tagging hammerheads, they will also be using new techniques to tag and capture photos of tiger sharks to better understand their behavior in light of recent close encounters with divers. As a non-profit research expedition, much of the cost of the trip is tax deductible. They especially seek divers who wish to help with photographic identification of sharks.

Oxybenzone Kills Coral  October 22, 2018

Yet Tropical Seas continues to produce and sell a sunscreen for scuba divers loaded with oxybenzone, citing discredited science to support its false claim that their special formulation is harmless. Scuba stores should not be carrying their misnamed “Reef Safe” sunscreen, the wholesaler Trident should not be touting it on its home page, and divers should not be using it. If you want to read the full story, click here.

Red Tide Makes the Jump  October 22, 2018

Plaguing the Gulf Coast for months, with disastrous consequences for its marine life, the red tide bloom Karenia Brevis is now confirmed present by the FWC, off the shores of Palm Beach County and north of Haulover Inlet, but it’s unclear as to how it got there. A separate blue green algae bloom emanating from Lake Okeechobee has been detected near Fort Lauderdale and Cape Coral.

For a Few Dollars More  October 22, 2018

Outside of the American sphere of influence, DIN-fitting tanks are becoming the norm, which could be a problem for those of us with International A-clamp-fitting (yoke) regulators. Most foreign dive centers provide a screw-in insert that solves the problem but some can be in a rather battered state, so wise traveling divers take their own. For a few dollars this little item in your bag can save you a lot of grief. Consult your local dive store.

DIN to A clamp

A New Wreck at Truk  October 22, 2018

September 28. An Air Niugini Boeing 737 airplane missed the runway at Chuuk while trying to land and ended up in Truk Lagoon, site of the world’s most famous WW2 wreck-diving. Initial news reports say between 40 and 50 people were on board. All the passengers, mainly locals and visiting divers, survived but the aircraft eventually sank.

A Florida Dive Gone Wrong  October 22, 2018

After two divers went missing last month during a dive on the RJ Thompson, near Tarpon Springs, FL, local law enforcement and the Coast Guard searched more than 1,700 nautical miles of the Gulf of Mexico before finding them. Michael Pavlich spent seven hours in the water, five miles southeast of the wreck. Terry Hayes was spotted nearly a day later, 12 miles farther away. Hayes kept his BC on and drank rainwater he collected with his mask. Rescuers spotted his surface marker buoy.

Sargassum Weed Reaches Mexico  October 22, 2018

Massive rafts of weed that have floated in and piled up on the beaches of Caribbean islands (see our July issue about this) have reached the Yucatán Peninsula. However, Isla Mujeres, famous for whale shark encounters, has been spared, due to the way currents flow, says Jim Silver, owner of Aqua Adventures Eco Diving. Farther south in Cozumel, dive guide Paulo Maçarico says the sargassum has had little effect on the diving, because most gets blown over to Playa del Carmen.

Sulawesi Tsunami  October 22, 2018

The popular North Sulawesi diving resorts in Manado, Bunaken and Lembeh are around 650 miles from Palu, scene of the devastating Indonesian earthquake and tsunami at the end of September. Wakatobi is also around 720 miles from Palu and as such, all have been unaffected, but resorts are doing their best to raise money and send aid. However, Mount Soputan, in North Sulawesi, erupted on October 3 sending a plume of ash 12,000 feet into the air with an Alert level 3 issued to aviation. Flights into Manado are not affected. If you wish to donate money to the relief aid, go to:

What’s The Craziest Thing You’ve Seen While Diving?  October 22, 2018

We wonder what sort of crazy thing have you seen while on a dive trip? If you’ve witnessed something outrageous, tell us about it by emailing not forgetting to mention your town and state.

Free-to-Read in Undercurrent  October 22, 2018

American divers are prepared to travel all over the world to dive with big sharks and iconic shipwrecks, but you can find them as well on America's doorstep. North Carolina is where you will get both -- WW2 wrecks together with lots of toothy ten-foot sand tigers. You can read our intrepid contributor's opinion of the good and not-so-good experiences for free here.

With nitrox being ever more popular and on-tap supplies now readily available, there’s good reason for all divers to analyze the contents of their tanks before going diving. Don’t assume it's always air in your tank. Read-it-for-free here.

What You Missed This Month in Undercurrent  October 22, 2018

Shark diving in North Carolina . . . Divers who need to drop a few pounds . . . Siladen, a special resort in North Sulawesi . . . Pirates in Papua New Guinea . . . Readers tell of diving in ‘washing machines’ . . . Don’t always trust the BBC . . . Was there a cover-up in this diver’s death? . . . .Why air divers should always analyse their gas . . . Who are you calling rude? . . . Should divers and dolphins mix? . . . Shorter dive times at Cocos Island? . . . Suunto finally settles its lawsuit . . . Scubapro steps up to the plastic challenge . . . and much, much more.

Free Special Offer for New Subscribers  October 22, 2018

Subscribe now to Undercurrent at our new low rate and receive Tropical Ice, the scuba thriller set in Belize that Scuba Diver Magazine calls a Must Read. We don’t accept advertising, and have been telling the truth to experienced divers month in and month out for 43 years. Click here for details and our money back guarantee.

Ben Davison, editor/publisher
Contact Ben


Note: Undercurrent is a registered 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization donating funds to help preserve coral reefs. Our travel writers never announce their purpose, are unknown to the destination, and receive no complimentary services or compensation from the dive operators or resort.

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Highlights of Previous Online Updates*

Here are past Online Update emails sent out . You can sign-up for free to receive these in the future here.

December, 2018

November, 2018

October, 2018

September, 2018

August, 2018

July, 2018


May, 2018

April, 2018

March, 2018

February, 2018

January, 2018

December, 2017

November, 2017

October, 2017

September, 2017

August, 2017

July, 2017

June, 2017

May, 2017

April, 2017

March, 2017

February, 2017

January, 2017

Online Updates* Archive, 2000-2016

* Sometimes referred to as Upwellings

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