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The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
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June 2006 Vol. 32, No. 6   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Flotsam & Jetsam

from the June, 2006 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Sting Ray City: After scores of moray and stingray bites and hickeys, not to mention boating accidents, the Cayman Government says it will regulate activity, though to what extent is unclear. While guidelines have been in place for years, many operations flout them. Nancy Easterbrook, a partner in Divetech, wants the new regulations to dictate the number of visitors and boats at any one time, and regulate stingray feeding. Now, they are overfed, often with unnatural food like processed cheese or someone’s left over dinner. Not only is the feeding harmful, but also it has led to serious accidents.

Born with a BCD. Most long time divers will tell you Scubapro invented the BCD. If so, they must credit the backswimmer, an insect born with a BCD. Backswimmers (Anisops deanei) carry a bubble of oxygen on their abdomens that serves as a BCD. At the start of the dive, the bubble is so big that the insect floats. As oxygen is taken up by respiration, the bubble shrinks and the bug sinks as deep as a meter. It reaches neutral buoyancy, by slowly releasing oxygen stored in its hemoglobin into the bubble. (Nature, vol 441, p171).

She Blows: While the experts don’t think this year’s storms will match last year’s, they expect six major hurricanes. If you’re hell bent on diving the Caribbean, you’re at risk of getting blown out in just about every decent dive destination except the southern fringes of the hurricane belt: Tobago (which did get touched by Ivan in 2004), Bonaire and Curacao.

Coco View Founder Dies: Nearly every diver who has visited Coco View on Roatan, Honduras, has met Bill Evans. He founded it in 1982 and spent the next 24 years with his wife, Evelyn, managing that business. It was, and still is, one of the more revered dedicated dive resorts anywhere. Evans was 74.

Murder: In February, a civil jury found that Jamestown, RI dive shop owner David Swain had murdered his wife while diving in the British Virgin Islands. (See Undercurrent, April 2006). Though Swain had filed for bankruptcy, last month a judge ruled that he must pay the $4.8 million in damages the jury awarded to the parents of Swain’s wife, Shelly Tyre. Swain has never been charged criminally. He insists he’s innocent and has asked for a new trial. BVI officials had listed Tyre’s death as an accident, however Tortola police are now taking a “fresh look.” (Tom Mooney, Providence Journal).

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