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September 2013    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 28, No. 9   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Flotsam & Jetsam

from the September, 2013 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Take Your CO Analyzer to Florida. The dive physician who wrote the article "CO Poisoning Risk Is Higher Than You Think" for our July 2012 issue came back to us with an update to the story. "I mentioned in the story that Florida is the only state that requires its dive shops to routinely test their compressed dive air. That law has now been repealed. In the legislative analysis about why it was, there's a statement about dive training agencies already requiring regular air testing at its members' fill stations. That's false. The only training agency with that requirement is ANDI, which probably represents fewer than one percent of fill stations in the sport diving world. So make sure you have your CO analyzer on you when you head to Florida for dives."

Correction to Our PADI Card Check Story. Dive instructor Philippe Yersin (Vero Beach, FL) wanted to correct us about the way PADI dive shops check information for customers who don't have their certification cards on them. "We don't go through the motions of ordering a replacement card. There is a much simpler way called Dive Chek Online that can be accessed only through the PADI Pro's web site. It is a fast process; we only need a name and a birth date to verify the diver's current level of certification."

No More White Pants and Blue Blazers. During the America's Cup trials in May, the 72-foot catamaran Artemis overturned, leading to the death of crew member Andrew "Bart" Simpson, who was trapped under the boat. To avoid future mishaps, a number of rule changes were made to enable crew members to survive similar accidents. What's the diving angle? All America's Cup crew members now carry blunt-nosed diving knives with a serrated edge to cut themselves free of entanglements. More important, they carry a Spare Air, which can provide a few minutes of air in shallow depths.

An Easy Way to Track Your Luggage. Ken Kurtis, owner of the Reef Seekers dive shop in Beverly Hills, CA, brought this interesting gizmo to our attention. If you want to know exactly where your bag is when you're traveling, there's a new gadget out called Trakdot, recently approved by the FAA ( www.trakdot.com ). It's essentially a little GPS tracking device you pair up with a cell phone, activate and toss in your bag, and it will transmit the location of your bag to your phone anytime you're both on the ground. The unit costs $50, works (allegedly) with any cell phone anywhere in the world, plus a $9 activation fee and a $13 annual service fee. When you consider the inconvenience of having the airlines lose a bag of dive gear or photo gear, it sounds like it's worth it. And, if you arrive at your resort only to find out too late that someone walked out of baggage claim by mistake with your bag in tow, think how easy this will make it to reunite you.

Diver Tries, Fails to Smuggle Pot into the U.S. Around midnight on August 19, Jess Zunti of Windsor, Ontario, donned his dive gear and tried to smuggle eight pounds of marijuana into Michigan by swimming across the St. Clair River. But someone saw Zunti, 24, swimming in the river and tipped the National Guard, who noticed he was towing a heavy object behind him. The U.S. Border Patrol picked him up at Marine City, MI, and found the pot in a water-tight container tied to a seawall. Despite the current and freighter traffic, Zunti made it unscathed during his swim, three-quarters of a mile (he never submerged), but he now faces four years of prison back in Canada. Ironically, Zunti probably wouldn't have had much trouble transporting pot through legal means -- medical marijuana is legal in both Ontario and Michigan

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