Updated November 2, 2006
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In early October, Scubapro and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall of Scubapro MK20 first stage regulators. If someone servicing the regulator over-tightens the yoke or DIN retainer, it could cause a stress crack that might ultimately interrupt air supply. Divers should stop using the regulators and take them to any Scubapro dealer, where, for no charge, the retainer will be modified to prohibit over-tightening. This recall comes more than 16 months after Undercurrent first reported the problem. For information: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml07/07501.html
Have you had problems with trip insurance, presuming that you were covered for a mishap, delay or cancellation, only to have the insurance carrier refuse to reimburse you. We're preparing a story about scuba travel and trip insurance to help our readers decide when to get coverage and with what company. Please let me know about your experiences, good or bad, with travel insurance policies. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Since Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin died of a sting ray barb to his chest, operators taking tourists to Grand Cayman's Stingray City have reported a 40% drop in business. Now, rays are even more in the news. In early October, an eagle ray jumped into a boat of an 82-year-old Florida retiree and when he tried to throw it back the barb pierced his chest. The Cayman government expects to toughen its regulations on Stingray City boat operators and has issued cautions about feeding moray eels. Yet, Cayman Net News reports that many operators have ignored those rules. On October 11 a dive guide named Chester from Captain Marvin's was seriously injured when a large green moray attacked him while he was playing snake charmer for two young girl tourists.
If you've got the money -- $1700 - you'll soon be able to purchase an emergency breathing device that weighs only five pounds, but at 50 feet will deliver up to 55 minutes of air. Created by HSG International for military and law enforcement personnel, it will appear in the sport diving market early next year. It's a 13-inch long sealed tank filled to 9400 psi. To use it, a diver pulls a ring to break the seal and then breathes through the attached regulator. The downside is that the tanks are nonrefillable, so a diver in trouble will face a $1700 question. http://www.marketwire.com/mw/release_html_b1?release_id=175840
If you're looking for fish and critter ID books, Undercurrent has them all, covering the waters from Micronesia to Baja Mexico, from the Caribbean to Indonesia. Go here to order. Remember, all profits from Undercurrent book sales go directly to protect coral reefs.
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Note: Undercurrent is a not-for-profit organization. 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.
-- Ben Davison, editor/publisher
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