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Current Online Updates*
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Updated July 16, 2015
These brief news articles below were sent out via email to all divers who signed up for our free email list.
You can sign up here to receive future Undercurrent Online Updates and get news alerts and special offers like these every month.

Big Discount on the Manthiri's Maldives Liveaboard Trips
Recall of 2,600 Dive Masks Due to Shattering Glass
Any Dive Gear Problems to Gripe About?
Undercurrent Can Sure Use Your Help
"Thanks for Years of Amazing Reports."
The Biggest Lawsuit Payout to Date
What You're Missing in Undercurrent
Legal Scandals at Florida Dive Shops
Spineless
The Siren Fleet Will Leave the Nautilus Alone
Coming Up in Undercurrent
Palau: If You Can't Beat Them, Burn Them
The State of Divers' Mental Health
Is It Jaws All Over Again?

Big Discount on the Manthiri's Maldives Liveaboard Trips  July 16, 2015

The luxurious liveaboard typically has full charters for its Maldives trips, but it has opened up some spots for individual divers on trips this year and in 2016. For the week of October 23 - November 1, book one spot and the second person gets a 50 percent discount off the list price of $425. In December and January, some trips are offering the second-person discount of 50 percent off the list price of $419. For more details, look at our Special Offers page, e-mail manthirimaldives@dhivehinet.net.mv and view more about the Manthiri at its website.

Recall of 2,600 Dive Masks Due to Shattering Glass  July 16, 2015

Technosport is recalling 2,600 of the Omersub Zero Cube dive masks it sold in the U.S. between April 2012 and April 2014, because non-conforming glass was used for the lens, causing them to shatter more easily. So far, 12 shattered masks have been reported to Technosport, which says no injuries were reported. Its sales manager, Mike Stallings, told us the recalled masks, made in China, had 2mm lens. "All those produced after April 2014 now have 3mm tempered lens that have been impact tested; the easiest way to differentiate between the two is the finish of the silicone apron. Masks with a gloss finish are the earlier production with the substandard lens." Divers with recalled masks will get the new ones at no cost. Call Technosport at (800) 853-1911 Monday through Friday, email them at info@technosportinc.com, or go online at http://www.omerdiving.com.

Any Dive Gear Problems to Gripe About?  July 16, 2015

We received a few reports lately about dive gear with which our subscribers have had problems, so we want to cast our net farther as we look into these issues. Have you had any significant gear problem recently? Have you purchased any equipment that just didn't live up to your expectations? Have you had difficulties getting replacements or repairs? Please let me hear from you at BenDDavison@undercurrent.org.

Undercurrent Can Sure Use Your Help  July 16, 2015

We get most of our new subscribers from divers who receive our monthly email list and then decide to subscribe to our issues. You can help us add to our email list by sending us a roster of your dive club members, your dive buddies, or even your dive shop customers, as some of our subscriber/shop owners have. We never share any of our names nor do we indicate how a name gets added to our email list. We find that 99% of the people who receive our email love getting updates and many eventually become subscribers, which helps our ad-free nonprofit newsletter maintain itself. Can you help us out? Send your list to me at BenDDavison@undercurrent.org.

"Thanks for Years of Amazing Reports."  July 16, 2015

"You are a wonderful read and a blessing to the dive community," subscriber Barbara Soucy (Midlothian, WA) recently wrote us. One big perk for subscribing to us is our Reader Reports, the 8,000-plus reviews and ratings for dive resorts, liveaboards and dive destinations worldwide. These are unedited diving reviews submitted by Undercurrent subscribers, the most serious divers around. And the more divers we have submitting their report, the more valuable of a resource it is to all our subscribers. Benefit from them now by becoming a subscriber to Undercurrent. Your satisfaction guaranteed or your money back. Subscribe now here.

The Biggest Lawsuit Payout to Date  July 16, 2015

Seems like settlements for dive-related lawsuits are getting bigger. We recently reported on the $7.8 million settlement for professional underwater photographer Michael Prickett, who was bent on a shoot in Rangiroa. It was the largest to date, but that has now been surpassed by a $12 million settlement for a father and son who suffered severe head injuries when struck by a dive boat propellers on a Florida Keys dive in 2011. Read our story on the lawsuit, free for all to view on the homepage.

What You're Missing in Undercurrent  July 16, 2015

Nautilus Explorer, Mexico: big animals but little value . . . putting a camera on a shark? "Not a brilliant idea" . . . why we recommend avoiding new liveaboards for at least a month . . . a dive shop must pay $103,000 for a diver killed by its boat propeller . . . what amateur photographers need to know about photo contests and contracts . . . how to master the "breathe slower, dive deeper" approach . . . a better heart-check tool than a stress test? . . . and much more.

Legal Scandals at Florida Dive Shops  July 16, 2015

In the February issue of this e-newsletter, we wrote about how Florida's Attorney General filed a complaint against Ocean Hunters Dive Center in Doral and its owner, Abdiel Falcon, for issuing fraudulent dive training certificates, faking being an authorized PADI instructor and dive shop, and charging 300 people up to $399 for fake certification cards. On June 22, the AG's office shut Ocean Hunters down, and Falcon is permanently barred from doing any type of scuba diving business, and he must pay $50,000 in restitution to the customers he cheated.

Spineless  July 16, 2015

In this amazing, full-color coffee-table book, acclaimed photographer Susan Middleton captures "the haute couture of marine life" -- nudibranchs, jellies, octopuses, sea nymphs, and other creatures whose spectacular bodies defy description. The 150-plus images were obtained by special photographic techniques developed by Middleton to best capture these fragile -- and often tiny -- creatures on camera. Serious divers with an eye for the spineless creatures of the seas will find the photos astonishing and the discussions enlightening. Click here to order through Undercurrent, and you'll get Amazon's best price -- and our profits will go to save coral reefs.

The Siren Fleet Will Leave the Nautilus Alone  July 16, 2015

Our May article, "Leave the Nautilus Alone," on new research about why the overfished nautilus dies so quickly in captivity, is the latest good example of a dive operator following our recommendation, as Undercurrent readers Gary and Robin Schiendelman (Limerick, PA) tells us. "We recently spent 10 days on the Palau Siren; a nautilus dive is offered on each trip. We decided this was something we could not support, so we opted out. Fortunately, most other guests seemed to feel the same, and didn't do that dive, but our fear was that offering the nautilus dive would continue as long as there was interest by divers. When we saw your article, we knew it was the perfect way for us to petition the Siren Fleet. We emailed them, asking that they discontinue offering these dives, and included a copy of your article. To our surprise and delight, only a day or so later, we received this email reply from the Siren Fleet, "After consideration of your and other guests' comments, management has agreed to stop offering the Nautilus dive on the Palau Siren with immediate effect. Thank you for your very valid points. Your effort is much appreciated." Kudos to the Schiendelmans for speaking up, and to the Siren fleet for listening and making the right decision.

Coming Up in Undercurrent  July 16, 2015

John Bantin explains how you can get the most from a GoPro underwater . . . how dive operators are at keeping track of their divers while in the water, and which ones need to do a better job . . . does this class-action suit against AquaLung -- for distributing dive computers it didn't make -- have teeth? . . . our annual analysis of "Why Divers Die". . . and much more.

Palau: If You Can't Beat Them, Burn Them  July 16, 2015

Because seizing boats and destroying fishing gear has been unsuccessful, Palau decided to send a stronger message to bad fishermen: We're going to burn you. It set fire to four Vietnamese boats off Kayangel Island last month that were carrying more than eight tons of sea cucumbers and reef fish. The 77 crew members were sent back to Vietnam aboard two (unburned) fishing boats. "This message goes to the captain and crews of these vessels: Palau guarantees you will return with nothing," president Tommy Remengesau, Jr., said after the boat-burning. "Nothing will be gained from poaching in Palau. From one fisherman to another, respect Palau." Palau was the first nation to create a shark sanctuary, in 2009, and last year, it was the first to declare all its waters a no-take fishing zone.

The State of Divers' Mental Health  July 16, 2015

The Diving Diseases Research Centre (DDRC) in Plymouth, England, has run the Health of Divers research project since 2008, looking at the effects of drugs and alcohol on divers, along with their cardiac and dental health. Now the project starts a new phase: evaluating divers' mental health. The DDRC says it's aiming for a "better understanding [of] the general mental fitness of divers, and any implications this may have on diving safety." To do this, they're asking divers to fill out a mental fitness questionnaire that takes just five minutes. Fill it out at here.

Is It Jaws All Over Again?  July 16, 2015

It is the 40th anniversary of this summer blockbuster, you know. But reality may be mirroring fiction a little bit, with seven shark attacks off the North Carolina coast in less than a month, scaring some out of the water. With more sharks making their northerly summer migration up from Florida, should East Coast swimmers - and divers - be concerned? George Burgess, curator of the International Shark Attack File, told the New York Times , there's more a risk of drowning at the beach than getting attacked by a shark there (similar to what he said in our article "Putting a Camera on a Shark," in this month's issue). He has compiled a list showing other relative risks compared to shark attacks, although when it comes to these seven shark bites in less than 30 days, he said, "I've been grasping for answers." If you want to see where the sharks hang out - and plan your dives accordingly -- the organization OCEARCH offers live tracking of tagged sharks worldwide.

Ben Davison, editor/publisher
Contact Ben

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Note: Undercurrent is a registered 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization donating funds to help preserve coral reefs. Our travel writers never announce their purpose, are unknown to the destination, and receive no complimentary services or compensation from the dive operators or resort.

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