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The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
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February 2002 Vol. 28, No. 2   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Thumbs Up

from the February, 2002 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Thumbs UpA competent captain and crew. DAN insurance. Next to your own behavior, those are probably the two most important safeguards you have against a serious dive accident. And thanks to both, the spouses of two divers (and Undercurrent subscribers) recently told us of their harrowing yet ultimately successful accidents.

Betsy Weiss (Milwaukee, WI) got a dive site named after her, but she would have been just as happy not to. She and her husband Jeff went on a Mike Ball Coral Sea Exploratory Cruise aboard the Australian Spoilsport. After a couple of dives on the wreck of the Yongala, four hours from port, they motored another ten hours into the Coral Sea. Jeff writes:

“After the night dive, my wife, Betsy, began feeling pain in her right shoulder and then numbness down her right side and uncontrollable trembling. Betsy was Bent! While this was our 11th dive in three days, we did e v e rything right. We made multiple stops on ascent, did the correct dive profile, lessening depth of dives with each successive dive. It seemed that we were quite safe, and yet, it was more than her system could handle. I did the same profile and I was fine.

“The second night in Townsville we were robbed. They got my wallet and backpack. All our credit cards, passports and dive logs. While Townsville seemed like a nice safe place, the thieves just knew where and when to strike. They dumped the passports and whoever found them turned them in to the police. We spent a week waiting week for replacement credit cards, paying cash for everything and getting Betsy situated for a long stay in Australia. The docs restricted her from flying for three weeks after her last treatment.

“The story has a happy ending. We have the DAN Master Plan, the best investment I have ever made. DAN covered all of Betsy’s medical expenses, her Medivac, her hospital stay, even her airfare home, since our tickets were non-changeable and JAL would not let us change them even with a doctor’s letter.

“Oh! They named the dive site ‘Betsy’s Bend.’ Thanks to the crew of the Spoilsport for a trip that could have been worse.”

The quick-acting crew of the Reina Silvia, the highly regarded boat that dives Ecuador’s remote Galapagos Islands, gets credit for saving the life of one of its passengers, as we reported in the Chapbook. Undercurrent subscriber Patti Churner, on board last year with her husband, Dr. Rudy Churner, wrote:

“I can’t thank the captain and crew of the Reina Silvia enough for their wonderful care. They knew exactly what to do in a crisis. Also thanks to Marc Bernardi who worked with us stateside to assure our safe return. I also encourage every diver to join DAN. The quality of care and level of insurance coverage we received was remarkable . ”

Those are good endings to near-tragic stories. A big “Thumbs Up” to the crews of the Reina Silvia and the Spoilsport for wise and fast actions.

By the way, want to know the cost of a chamber treatment? A doctor in Denver reports of a patient that made two dives in Cozumel, one to 20 feet for 33 minutes on day one, and the next for 40 feet for 20 minutes on day two. On day three he felt some mild left shoulder pain only with movement and some nausea. In the Cozumel chamber, he was given two dives, one for five hours and one the next day for three hours. Dive one was at 60 feet and dive two at 30 feet. He was charged a total of $11,000 by the HBO doctor in Cozumel for these two treatments. While there is speculation he was overcharged, he still had to pay.

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