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September 2005 Vol. 20, No. 9   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Getting Hooked. . . and Unhooked

from the September, 2005 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

In a heavy current when divers want to stay in one place and watch the action, many use a hook to latch onto the reef. There are two type of reef hooks, each featuring a rust-resistant hook that can be lodged into a crack or dead coral and a strong 4-6 foot line. To disengage, divers move forward or down, relieving tension on the line, and then retrieve the hook.

The Palau live-aboard Ocean Hunter provides hooks with brass or stainless steel snap clips that fasten to a D Ring on the diver's BCD, so both hands are free. If the current is too strong or the hook is stuck, the diver can unfasten the snap clip and leave the hook behind, perhaps for the divemaster to retrieve. Owner Navot Bornovski told Undercurrent, "We've never had such an event but it may happen." An affiliate, Fish 'n Fins in Palau, manufactures reef hooks, which it sells to other local operators or visiting divers.

Another Palau operator, Sam's Tours, produces a reef hook attached to a line threaded through a 4-inch piece of PVC conduit that the diver grasps with one hand. In an emergency the diver simply lets go of the handle. Sam's rents the hooks or sells them locally for $15.

Neither operator offers the hooks over their Websites, but you can contact them at navot@oceanhunter.com or dermot.samstour@palaunet.com.

The website www.scuba.com offers a Trident reef hook for $11.95. The UK's Diver Magazine website at www.divernet.com/technique/0101hook.htm has useful information about reef hooks, including how to make one yourself.

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