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The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
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August 2017    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 43, No. 8   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Flotsam & Jetsam

from the August, 2017 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Man-o-War Jellyfish Sting Advice. Science Daily has revealed a new study by researchers at the University of Hawai'i (published in Toxins) that debunks the idea that urinating on Physalia jellyfish stings -- washing the site in seawater and perhaps peeing on it before applying an icepack --is a real solution. Instead, they found that rinsing with vinegar before immersing in hot water above 113°F (45°C) for 45 minutes was more effective. Earlier studies found hot water is best for most jellyfish stings.

Young or Too Young? Taryn Felde may only be 13 years old, but she's a fully qualified divemaster and helps her dad, Florida PADI dive instructor Tazze Felde, to teach people of all ages how to dive. A divemaster's function during training is primarily to provide safety cover. How would you feel about that if you were learning to dive and she was your divemaster? (Source: Navarre Press)

Arachnid Alarm! Nick Herbert (Christchurch, UK) writes "Just to support your brief run-down on what's in a single mouthful seawater, although there was no mention of piscatorial poo or the fine sand produced by parrot fish when they crunch coral at one end, then jettison fine white beach sand at the other... Your huge readership has to know that most of us ingest several spiders in any given year. At least eight is the current estimate."

Dambuster Bouncing Bombs. A team of British Sub Aqua Club divers discovered and recovered two Highball-type bombs that were used for practice ahead of the world-famous RAF raid on dams during WWII, crippling the German war effort. Found at the bottom of Loch Striven in Scotland, more than 200 of the bombs were tested in Scotland, so the divers had a good chance of finding a couple. They'll be on display at the Brooklands Museum in Surrey and the de Havilland Museum in Hertfordshire, England.

The 'Gator Got Him by the Balls! Scott Lahodik is a scuba diver who works for various golf courses retrieving lost balls from water hazards. He was rooting around looking for balls in a lake at the 6th hole at the Rotonda Golf and Country Club, Charlotte, FL, when he was bitten by the resident 'gator. The unfortunate diver is expected to be OK after sustaining a bite to his left arm. The 'gator was less lucky, however, because it was trapped and reportedly euthanized. (Source:

Quick Solution for Long-Sighted Divers. Subscriber Harry Haley (Yorktown, VA) wrote to remind us that as an alternative to prescription lenses in your mask. Optix 20/20 Hydrotac bi-focal stick-on lenses are designed to give older divers a clear view of gauges in a range of +1.25 to +3 diopter strengths. They are removable and reusable, and the soft clear plastic, supplied in a half-circle, can be cut to fit if necessary. $30.

The Andrea Doria Claims Another. The 24th of July saw another diver fatality on the wreck of the Andrea Doria. Crew members of the dive boat Ol' Salty II administered CPR to British diver, Steven Slater, pulled from the water but he remained unresponsive. Seven people have died while exploring the wreck since 2005. It sank in 1956, 60 miles southeast of Nantucket. (Source: Cape Cod Times)

Jacques Cousteau, the Impresario of the Ocean, died 20 years ago this past June 26th. Many subscribers to Undercurrent were first enthused to go scuba diving after reading his book, later evolved into a television series, The Silent World. Even if you asked a younger person for the name of a famous diver, his would be the first they mentioned. His long list of lifetime achievements keeps his name irrevocably linked with scuba diving in the public's eye.

Return Ring. A scuba-diving treasure hunter who found American Hockey League Hall of Fame, Dick Gambles's ring in one of New York's Finger Lakes is returning it to its owner. Gary Gavurnik (Auburn, NY) returned it after finding it with a metal detector. Instead of wearing the ring, 88-year-old Canadian-born Gamble gave it to his son, Craig, who wore it every day for seven years before losing it in the lake.

Silence of the Sharks. A three-day shark congress organized by the University of Haifa, with Dr. Sylvia Earle, is part of an event in the Red Sea port of Eilat, Israel, culminating in a mass dive by around 500 divers during the period October 19th - 22nd. Would-be attendees should register by going to

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