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The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
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March 2018    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 44, No. 3   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Flotsam & Jetsam

from the March, 2018 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Shark Net Ensnares Free-Diver. The shark nets off some Sydney beaches may protect swimmers, but they've been criticized heavily for trapping endless other marine animals. In January, free-diver Dimitri Ross, 32, fell victim to such a net off Brighton-le-Sands. His lifeless body was pulled from the water after being cut from netting after an hour-long search.

Stripped Down Scuba. A company called Naughty Nawlins is running vacations, including scuba diving, on a small island off the coast of Belize, where clothing is optional. For one week at the 5-star resort, 48 guests can strip off, eat, drink and indulge to their hearts' content. We're not too sure how scuba gear integrates with the nudity idea, though. The first week available is already fully booked.

Full-Face Snorkeling Masks. Carbon-dioxide, the by-product of respiration, is exceedingly poisonous. It gives us the desire to breathe. There is a growing concern that full-face snorkeling masks can allow CO2 to accumulate inside them, leading to the death by drowning. reports that Heidi Williams, the loved one of a deceased snorkeler in Hawaii, Bryan Beyer, an experienced swimmer and lifeguard, is contemplating a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the full-face mask he was wearing when he died in January. It is only one of such recent incidents.

No Leg to Stand On and Armless. When jet skier Toby Bird, 24, surfaced in Australia's Lake Macquarie after being thrown off his craft, he was missing a leg -- his $32,000 carbon-fiber prosthetic leg. He was hopping mad! He contacted Snorkel & Dive Safari, and a diver rushed out to search, but he had no luck, mainly due to strong currents. If you happen to be in the area, keep an eye out for a heavy, waterproof gray leg with a skin-colored foot. Meanwhile, in New Zealand's Bay of Islands, divers located the lost carbon fiber prosthetic arm of wakeboarder Ty-Ray White.

More Plundered WW wrecks. Dutch divers have been plundering British and German wrecks in the North Sea, displaying British WWI submarine artifacts at the Dutch dive show in February. Items have been finding their way into private and public museums in Europe. One diver told the Dutch diving magazine Duiken that the wreck the HMS E3m, a WWII submarine, had been effectively cleaned out.

Better News for Sharks. According to a report by the nonprofit WildAid, the demand for shark fin soup in China has dropped by 80 percent, with imports of shark fin declining by 81 percent. However, shark fin soup is still in demand in Macau and other parts of South East Asia -- and even, quietly, in the U.S.

Braided Hose Alarm! The interior of lightweight braided hoses can deteriorate, especially those subject to high ambient air temperatures or intense sunshine. Small crystals of the material can come loose and jam hoses and even regulator second-stages. If you have older braided hoses, disconnect them at both ends from time to time to check for any loose material. Old traditional hoses can deteriorate, too, and these should also be checked. Braided hoses should be replaced every five years -- or more often if there is abrasion, or they have spent extended time in the sun. Any braided hose you buy should use polyether-TPU rather than polyester-TPU.

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