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October 2005 Vol. 31, No. 10   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Flotsam & Jetsam

from the October, 2005 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Stan Waterman's Sea Salt, Memories and Essays: Ever been diving with Stan Waterman, the most highly regarded man in the dive industry? Many Undercurrent readers have joined him on one of his scores of live-aboard adventures. Stan's the father of underwater film making, and his work includes the classic Blue Water, White Death, The Deep and many fine documentaries. Stan has compiled his writings in a 320-page (32 pages of photographs) hardbound book, Sea Salt, Memories & Essays. It's a great read for any serious diver. Get an autographed copy with a personal inscription from Stan by ordering it from New World Publications at call (904) 737 6558. But, you must order before October 30. If you've never dived with Stan, reading Sea Salt is the next best thing.

Croc Severs Diver's Head: A scuba diver, Russell Butel, 55, collecting fish for his own aquarium business on October 1, was killed by a crocodile in Australia's Northern Territory. A crocodile expert said "The croc would have lined him up and gone underwater from 100-200 meters. The animal may then have surfaced next to him and attacked. It would have all been over in seconds." Butel's friends said he knew the risks and accepted them as an occupational hazard. A crocodile killed a snorkeler in the Northern Territories five days previously

Another Benefit of Nitrox: We recently noted that there doesn't seem to be scientific evidence that Nitrox makes you less tired, but then we heard from a reader. "My husband and I had been diving for seven years. Each day of diving was usually the same. An awesome morning of two tank dives, back to the room for a hard 30 minute nap, on to more diving and more napping. Then we got Nitrox certified. We had our first day of diving with a 32% blend, and then something amazing happened. After two dives, we went back to the room and had sex. Yep, that's right, sex. Something that had never happened before the nap before that day. This wasn't just a one time thing. We actually had the energy to engage in this extracurricular activity each day after diving. We've been enjoying Nitrox ever since! Feel free to use my hometown (Oxnard, CA). I'm pretty sure my entire dive club will know who it is, since that's how we convinced them all to get Nitrox certified. Oh, what the heck, let's go ahead and embarrass my parents . . . you can sign my name (Karen Becker)"

Five Divers Disappear: On July 16 two groups of divers began a dive off Misali Island, near Pemba, Tanzania, aboard a Swahili Divers boat. The groups saw each other underwater 20 minutes into the dive. After one group returned to the boat, the captain began a search for the others, then 40 minutes later called for help from public and private vessels, and light aircraft the following day. Some equipment that had been consciously discarded was found, but the Canadian instructor leading the group and four Danish tourists were never seen again. One theory is that strong underwater currents in the area may have dragged and trapped them in submarine caves. The currents go as far as Mombasa, an Indian Ocean port city in neighboring Kenya. The Old Mission Hotel/Swahili Divers is a PADI five star Palm Resort.

Fraudulent Tank Inspectors Busted: Most dive shops send tanks out for hydrostatic testing. One such testing firm, Fire Safety Products, Inc. (Christiansburg VA) was indicted recently for certifying 1,200 tanks (not all were scuba tanks), but never performing the inspections. A disgruntled employee told inspectors he was pressured to cut corners by stamping untested cylinders as certified. Diving Enterprises (Salem, WVA), stopped using FSPI after learning that the DOT had declared hydros done by that facility between 1998 and April of 2001 to be invalid. Proprietor Ken Dunker told Undercurrent that customers from Virginia and West Virginia had sent tanks to FSPI. Most tanks should have since been retested by now, but to be sure, a responsible dive shop should check the stamp that includes the month, year, and retester ID.

The Next Issue of Undercurrent: The November/December issue will be the 2006 Travelin' Diver's Chapbook. We're just finishing it, but it should be more than 450 pages. The Chapbook will be mailed December 10 to all paid up print subscribers. Your expiration date is on the label below. If it is 10/05 or earlier, you will not receive the Chapbook. Call the phone number on the masthead to renew. The January 2006 issue will be mailed about December 26.

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