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August 2005 Vol. 20, No. 8   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Flotsam & Jetsam

from the August, 2005 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Dive Industry Deaths: The wellliked British expat, Kevin Traynor, an instructor and boat captain at Sunset Waters in Curacao, died in a one-car accident on the island last month.Undercurrent subscriber Ed "Spyder" Mills has created a tribute for him at http://www.spydertrips.com/kevin.html . . . D.J. Pottorf, a 34-year-old crew member on the Nekton, in the Bahamas. died June 21, while free diving off the boat at Orange Cay.

Red Sea Liveaboard Sinks: The MV Coral Queen hit a reef and sank in the southern Egyptian Red Sea before dawn on July 5, while the crew was moving the boat to the next dive site. The divers aboard had no time to recover their possessions before they were rescued by the crew of the liveaboard, MV Heaven Majesty that had been moored nearby in Fury Shoals.

Shadow Diver: Among the best of all diving nonfiction is Robert Kurson's Shadow Diver, a tale of two wreck divers who discover the hull of a German U-boat off New Jersey and trace the story behind it and those who died in it. Published last year, the book will be turned into a major film directed by Ridley Scott. It's now available in paperback and can be purchased directly through Undercurrent and get Amazon's best prices, while all our profits on this and any purchase you make will go directly to preserve coral reefs. And don't forget No Safe Harbor: the tragic tale of the sinking of the Wave Dancer and 20 deaths, including 17 American divers, in the 2001 Belize Hurricane. Also available at Undercurrent.

Bonaire Travel: With Jamaican airlines dropping its Bonaire flights, Continental is picking up the slack, beginning with a weekly nonstop service between Houston and Bonaire on December 16. It's a four hour red-eye flight, leaving Houston at 11:15 p.m. Friday, so divers rushing to the dive boats are assured of being rummy; it will pay to study the DCS stats just for that group alone. The return flight departs for Houston the following Saturday at 10:00 a.m., and the fare will be $492. Is it worth not changing planes for that kind of schedule?

Diving in British Colombia: While the beautiful undersea sights are becoming more and more of a draw for divers, in two months three deaths -- two of them heart attacks in stressed divers -- and two other incidents show these cold waters aren't for amateurs or ill-conditioned divers. On May 22, a 37-year-old male diver was pulled away by strong currents in James Bay and had to be rescued by a nearby boater. On June 3, a male and female who failed to return to a charter boat while diving near Race Rocks were rescued later by Coast Guard crews, who found them floating miles apart in five foot waves.

Medicine on the Web: A website for travelers, www.medicinenet.com, provides information on immunizations, medications for maladies such as diarrhea and malaria, traveling with serious illnesses such as diabetes or high blood pressure, antibiotics to carry, and dealing with motion sickness. A section called Travel RX answers such common questions as how to best pack your drugs.

Saved by an Exploding Tank: Wesley Scott Murphy was scuba diving 100 yards off The Breakers resort in Palm Beach, Florida, on July 6th, when he was struck by a 32-ft. boat. His tank probably saved him. Murphy, of Houston, remembers ducking and the boat's propeller hitting his tank. "All I know is my tank exploded," he said. "I can't remember much after that." The boat that hit him was named Makin' Time. The occupants of the boat turned around and helped take Murphy to shore.

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