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March 2007 Vol. 22, No. 3   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Flotsam and Jetsam

from the March, 2007 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

That highly venomous shrimp. Somehow in the process of editing our February story on the Sulawesi Aggressor, the Coleman Shrimp became highly venomous, which of course is a pretty dumb error. It wasnt the writers error, it was mine, which I attribute to failing to cross out entirely a phrase about the highly venomous blue-ring octopus.

Anyone missing a crocodile? An eight-foot American Crocodile was captured in Grand Caymans Old Man Bay on December 30. This is the first crocodile sighting in the Caymans since the 1950s, but the American Crocodile actually thrived there until the 1500s when Europeans came and overhunted them. The croc was injured during his capture by a frightened local with a spear gun but is recovering nicely and now resides in a working turtle farm at Boatswains Beach while officials debate his fate. Where it came from is anyones guess.

Questioning Q-tips. In our January 2007 review of new products at DEMAs recent conference, we scoffed at the $100 Ear Dryer and suggested Q-tips as the inexpensive alternative. A few Undercurrent subscribers took issue with our choice, saying Q-tips are not as safe as we made them out to be. Friedel Cunningham (Northridge, CA), a doctor of audiology, says no otolaryngologists (ear, nose, and throat specialists) condone the use of Q-tips or cotton swabs and she sees many injuries due to their improper use. We all know, boats are not that stable and prone to sudden movements. All it takes is one [swift tilt] and your diving is over for the trip or possibly longer. Cunningham vows she wont go diving without the Ear Dryer but for those who do not want to spend that much money, she suggests ear drops as a safer choice.

Jaws of death. An Australian diver survived an attack by a 10-foot great white. While diving in January off Cape Howe, 250 miles south of Sydney, Eric Nerhus, 41, was grabbed by the head and spent two minutes inside the sharks mouth without his air supply as the shark crushed his face mask and broke his nose. The shark came back for a second bite, clenching its jaws around Nerhus torso and leaving deep lacerations in his side. As the great white paused and opened its mouth, Nerhus wrestled free by jabbing its eye with an abalone chisel held in his one free arm. Regaining his regulator, Nerhus tried to be calm and ascend slowly but he could see the shark circling his flippers in tight circles. Nerhus was flown to a hospital with serious injuries to his head, body and left arm.

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