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Dive Review of Conch Republic Divers in
The Continental USA/Florida Keys

June, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by Ray Simpkins, MI, USA (2 reports)
Report Number 3394
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Great Lakes, Caymans, USVI, Hawaii, Germany, Meditaranian, Florida, Florida
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, rainy, cloudy  
choppy, currents  
Water Temp
83   to 85    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
10   to 15    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  1 stars
Tropical Fish
2 stars  
Small Critters
  1 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
1 stars  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
2 stars  
Shore Facilities  
5 stars  
they had one small rinse bucket on boat.  no more than 2 cameras with
lights could fit without risking collision with other cameras
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
1 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
1 stars   
3 stars    
This was my third trip with Conch Republic Divers and the first for the
rest of my party.  The weather was isolated t-storms and showers.  We
scheduled the Spiegel and Molasses Reef.  I have dived the Spiegel 3 times
with CRD.  The morning boat was unable to do the Spiegel due to current. 
They made the call to move to the Duane when other boats on the same
frequency said the Spiegel was undivable.  We heard this at the dive shop
while waiting to load the afternoon boat.  We left on time but not before a
role call and equipment check.  On the way out we saw a couple of water
spouts.  Our captain said that we shouldnt worry about them because they
fill up with water and disappear.  A meteorologist and a dive boat captain
in one!  We continued right into the same storm.  Thankfully the spout
vanished as my wife was nearly in tears worried we would be swallowed up. 
When we got the 10 minute warning there was only one 6-pack boat moored at
the Spiegel.  My wife, who has 60 plus dives, is for the most part advanced
but has not taken the course for the official certification.  She was
required to pay for a DM to take her on the Spiegel.  The original plan was
that her DM was going to jump in and check the current.  If it was too
strong we were going to head to the Duane similarly to the morning boat. 
The captain came down to address the divers and said we are going to do a
drift dive on the Spiegel and come up on a line for pick-up.  This plan was
different than the one explained by the DM going down with my wife.  Within
a few minutes the captain and the other DM on board was yelling Dive! Dive!
Dive!  I was tossed in ahead of my group.  We drifted back to a mooring
ball behind the boat and grabbed onto the line tied to it.  After everyone
entered, my wife and DM headed down the line first.  My wife got to a depth
of 20 ft. and signaled to the DM 5 times that she wanted to go up.  The DM
pulled her down the line by her BC.  My wife wanted to call the dive
because the current was too strong for her to pull herself down and clear
her ears holding on to the line with one hand.  The current was really
ripping.  She signaled for the rest of us to climb over her to go down to
the wreck and then she surfaced.  A husband and wife team eagerly pulled
themselves over her and disappeared out of sight in about 15 ft.  Our
group, including the DM went down to the wreck after my wife surfaced and
grabbed a line to pull herself back to the dive boat.  When we got to the
wreck I had about 1900 psi in my tank.  Within 7 minutes the DM was
signaling that we were going up.  At that time I had 1400 psi.  She put
another diver on her octo and we started climbing a line.  We did a good 5
minute stop at 15-20 ft and surfaced, pulling ourselves back to the boat. 
When the diver who was on the octo reached the ladder and went up, he fell
forward to his knees on the deck of the boat.  The captain grabbed his
first stage and bc and dragged him back to his station on his knees. 
Seeing this in the water I thought something serious had happened.  When I
pulled myself to the boat and asked my wife if the diver was Ok she said
yes, that he fell, and the captain just wanted to get him out of the way. 
After talking to the DM, she said he had 300 psi in his tank when we were
down on the wreck!  Everyone except the husband and wife team that passed
my wife made it back.  Everyone started looking for divers at the surface. 
After 10 minutes, a rescue diver on our boat and the other DM went back
down to look for the missing divers.  The captain radioed for other boats
in the area to look for the missing divers as well as the Coast Guard.  Two
of the dive crew was talking during the search and made comments about the
skill level and incompetence of the missing divers to each other.  I could
not understand why they were making these excuses.  To make matters worse,
other experienced divers on the boat were making comments like their out
of air now, they are dead for sure.  After 2.5 hours the Coast Guard
chopper spotted the divers on the surface and delivered them back to the
dive boat.  The boat then headed back to the dive shop aborting the second
dive.  When we returned to the dive shop, one of the owners made a joke
when we pulled up Its glad to SEE ALL OF YOU.  We spent the next 30
minutes cleaning our gear at the rinse tanks.  I was hoping that someone
would approach me and offer to reimburse me for my missed dive or apologize
for the experience.  No such luck, only a joke by the owner saying with a
smile interesting day, huh?  The next afternoon I took the initiative to
call and ask if I was going to be refunded.  They did not have an immediate
answer and had to call me back.  They reimbursed me 25%.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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