Updated August 1, 2005
The well-liked British expat, Kevin Traynor, an instructor and boat captain at Sunset Waters in Curacao, died in a one-car accident on the island in early July. Undercurrent subscriber Ed "Spyder" Mills has created a tribute for him at www.spydertrips.com/kevin.html.
Hurricane Emily spared the Cayman Islands major damage, but slammed into Cozumel on July 18. Aldora Divers reported damage to beach resorts at Playa Mia (formerly Playa Sol), San Francisco Beach, and Nachi Cocom. As for the reefs, reports to Undercurrent suggest little reef damage and not much silting, though some shallow snorkel sites like Czul Ha suffered significant damage. Interesting photos at www.cozumelweddingplanner.com/emily/emily.htm.
Researchers have found no measurable difference in fatigue, attention levels, or ability to concentrate in divers using either compressed air or Nitrox. They conducted a double blind, randomized controlled study using 11 divers who breathed either air or Nitrox 36% during an 18 m dry chamber dive for a bottom time of 40 minutes.
Bob Charles, a Florida diver from Cudjoe Key, claims to have the bruises and four stitches in a lip following an attack by a 100-pound Goliath grouper. "It was just so fast," Charles told the Keynoter, a Florida Keys newspaper. "I didn't realize my head was in his mouth until I was on the way to the hospital, and I saw the blood." Charles, spear fishing for snapper in 30 feet of water, said the grouper had been following him. Charles' story reminded Bob Berger, owner of Bonefish Bob's tackle shop in Islamorada, of a true story 35 years ago in Maine, when a monkfish killed a diver. "My son-in-law was giving diving lessons to four or five guys near the Nubble Light House off York," said Berger. "They were in 20 feet of water. All of a sudden a monkfish grabbed one diver by the throat and there was nothing the others could do. The fish killed the guy." (Bill Sargent, June 26, Florida Today)
Once a very popular boat with exotic destinations such as Raja Ampat, it's recently been sold to the folks who own Wakatobi resort in Indonesia and will now sail in those waters. But, many divers who paid months in advance for itineraries such as Raja Ampat find themselves with airline tickets to destinations not even near the Pelagian. If you are one of those divers, get in touch with your booking agent.
Popular CocoView scuba guide, Tulio Gomez, died on June 22, while leading a dive at the Roatan, Honduras resort. A second diver, Texan Randy Gibbs, died during the same dive. There were no witnesses. A fund has been established for Tulio's family. See www.websitetoolbox.com/tool/mb/ccv. . . .D.J. Pottorf, a 34-year-old crew member on the Nekton Rorquel in the Bahamas, died Monday, June 21, while free diving off the boat at Orange Cay. . . . The body of a missing San Diego diver was found Monday afternoon, June 28. Steven Donathan, a 50-year-old San Diego scuba instructor, vanished on June 27 on a dive on the Yukon, a scuttled destroyer 100 feet below the surface. His body was discovered on the bottom level of the Yukon, the sixth level, a very difficult place to access.
-- Ben Davison, editor/publisher
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