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July 2007    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 22, No. 7   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Flotsam and Jetsam

from the July, 2007 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Our Latest Book Pick. The 2007 Diving Almanac and Yearbook by Jeffrey Gallant is perhaps the best single reference book ever published for divers. This 470-page paperback provides capsule glimpses of virtually every diving topic, including diving medicine, diving history and records, navigation, bios of notables, oceanography, absurd stories, even military diving. Plus, plenty of hard data about population, water temps, and vaccinations needed for all countries Essential for any serious diver’s library. $18.95, plus $5 shipping and handling for US and Canada, $7 for other countries. Order at Undercurrent.

Diver Survives Stingray Attack. Joe McKnight will no longer laugh at any jokes about Steve Irwin’s death. That’s because he survived his own encounter with a stingray. While diving for crayfish in New Zealand’s Okiwi Bay, McKnight, 35, swam over a crevice and suddenly felt a stab on his leg. He looked down to see a three-foot-wide stingray attached to it. The stingray pulled away after five seconds, and there was a squirt of blood. McKnight described the pain as “having a dead leg with a bee sting on top of it.” He thinks he provoked the sting by accidentally cornering the stingray. McKnight was released from the hospital within two hours with three stitches and a hole in his wetsuit as a souvenir.

New Options For Frequent Fliers. Undercurrent reader Jose Kirchner (Carmichael, CA) sent us a note that Japan Airlines has joined the oneworld airline alliance (including American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Qantas). Japan Air adds 47 new airports to the oneworld map, meaning divers can use their AAdvantage miles to some new Asia-Pacific destinations.

Fainting and Free Diving. A study in the International Journal of Sports Medicine says competitive free divers commonly faint or show other signs of poor oxygen circulation. In major free diving events held between 1998 and 2004, about 10 percent of competitors were disqualified due to severe signs of brain hypoxia, such as confusion, spasms and difficulty standing. The study’s author, Dr. Peter Lindholm of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, said free diving is risky compared with tennis or chess but not especially dangerous within the realm of extreme sports.

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