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Updated May 22, 2013
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.

Do You Have Issues with BCD's Weight Pockets?
PBS Goes Underwater for a New Show
Why You Should Subscribe
What You're Missing This Month
Great Undercurrent Discounts for Diving the Cayman's
Will Australia Join the World's "List of Shame?"
Undercurrent Blogs
Thailand's Lapsed "Seawalking Tour" Law Leads to Lots of Dead Coral
Help Fund a Coral-Repairing Robot
Cayman's New Scuba Relay Race
Three Dead Free Divers in Less than 24 Hours
Coming Up in Undercurrent

Do You Have Issues with BCD's Weight Pockets?:  May 22, 2013

After reading our April issue's article about a recall for Aqua Lung BCs with SureLock II weight pocket handles made after 2008, subscriber Fred Brown (Palmdale, CA) wrote that he has an Aqualung Pro QD from around 2004, and "I have replaced at least six weight pockets because the small locking tab breaks off, and there is no way to keep the pockets in after that. Do others have these same issues?" Actually, weight pockets have been a problem for many, so we're asking, have you experienced problems? If so, please let me know in detail about your problem. E-mail me at PublisherBenD@undercurrent.org.

PBS Goes Underwater for a New Show:  May 22, 2013

Under H2O is a new PBS series appearing every other Monday here . The show focuses on Emmy-winning underwater cameraman and marine biologist Craig Musburger as he leads his team on underwater filmmaking adventures. Episodes so far highlight night diving with manta rays, and the eruptions of underwater volcanoes.

Why You Should Subscribe:  May 22, 2013

Letters from our readers say it all. Mark Ahola (Cleveland, OH) wrote, "I just wanna say that I love your mag. I should have subscribed years ago! I only dive a couple trips annually, but will be well prepared when I do through Undercurrent. Kudos!" Because he subscribes, Edward Leibowitz (Jersey City, NJ), was one of the first to learn about a 32 percent price reduction on a Truk Odyssey trip that we listed in the Flotsam & Jetsam section of our newsletter last year. "Because I'm retired, I was able to go on this trip, taking advantage of the $1,000 discount. It was a great trip, and Odyssey has the best and safest diving operation I've ever encountered in all the years that I've been diving. If I hadn't subscribed to Undercurrent, I would not have known about the price reduction." You can be another fortunate diver who gets the scoop first in our monthly issues. Subscribe now for $39.95 per year or $4.95 per month and it will be delivered about the first of each month directly to your email account. Satisfaction guaranteed or all of your money back.

What You're Missing This Month:  May 22, 2013

Concierge diving on a remote private island in Belize . . . but this resort has some annoying documents it wants you to sign before booking . . . the Aggressor Fleet's maiden voyage kinks in Thailand, and a rude photo pro in Bonaire . . . is your dive computer correct ?. . . what to tip on your next dive trip . . . was this diver's cause of death: a deteriorated mouthpiece? . . . how many calories you really burn while diving . . . why divers should know CPR -- especially when diving overseas . . . and much more.

Great Undercurrent Discounts for Diving the Cayman's:  May 22, 2013

Looking to save 10-15% for diving and accommodations on Little Cayman or Cayman Brac? Go to our home page and click on Special Offers to see special deals offered only for Undercurrent subscribers and friends.

Will Australia Join the World's "List of Shame?":  May 22, 2013

The United Nations is warning the country that its Great Barrier Reef could be added to a list of endangered world heritage sites. When UNESCO's World Heritage Committee meets next month, it will recommend that the GBR be included on the List of World Heritage in Danger, ''in the absence of a firm and demonstrable commitment'' from the state and federal governments to take action in halting coastal development projects that could affect the ''outstanding universal value'' of the site. Australia's Environment Minister Tony Burke said the government had already taken steps and would work with the committee to protect the reef, and that Australia is committing $200 million commitment for reef rescue. Let's hope that money isn't coming too late.

Undercurrent Blogs:  May 22, 2013

We are regularly posting blogs that you can find by going here. The latest is by expert abalone diver Jack Likins, who explains why so many freedivers die on California's north coast (five in a span of 11 days last month) and another by Lada Simek on the impossibility of cleaning his favorite mask. Others are by diving pros and long-time Undercurrent contributors such as Bret Gilliam, John Bantin, Maurine Shimlock and Burt Jones, and Doc Vikingo. Get notified of new blog postings by email here.

Thailand's Lapsed "Seawalking Tour" Law Leads to Lots of Dead Coral:  May 22, 2013

Phuket marine officials say that 650 square feet of coral have been damaged off Khai Nai island to create a pathway for tourists to walk on the sea floor. "Seawalking" -- walking on the sea floor while wearing a helmet supplied with air from a boat above - was banned from 2007 until the law lapsed last year. The manager of J&J Marine, the seawalking tour company, told the Phuket Gazette that seawalking is environmentally friendly and had not damaged any coral. But marine officials replied that coral reef had been cut to create a flat walkway, complete with a metal railing for tourists to hold, and that the cut coral was piled on top of living coral, and protected sea clams had been relocated. Police said they could not take action unless they witnessed the destruction in progress.

Help Fund a Coral-Repairing Robot:  May 22, 2013

Khai Nai could use a "coral-bot" right now. That's the name for underwater robots created by researchers at England's Heriot-Watt University, which can repair busted coral reefs by gathering broken coral from the sea floor and affixing them to the remaining healthy reef. To put them in action, researchers started a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter , to raise $107,000 needed to have the demonstration coral-bots completed in six months and deployed in October 2014. Pledge money and the rewards range from having your name engraved on a coral-bot or, at the highest tier of $5,000, getting one of them named after you. All pledges must be made by May 27; researchers don't get any money if they don't reach their goal.

Cayman's New Scuba Relay Race:  May 22, 2013

The dive industry has forever tried to find a way to make scuba competitive, gain an audience and increase participation. The latest attempt is by Red Sail Sports, Aqua Lung and DAN, which are sponsoring the Scuba Mile, a relay race to be held at Grand Cayman on June 15. Teams of four divers, along with two safety snorkelers, will combine to race a quarter-mile each through the water. The first team to cross the finish line will win bragging rights for a year, as all funds raised go the Special Olympics Cayman Islands, but there will be prizes and goodie bags. The entry fee per team is $200 in Cayman dollars (approximately US$240) and information is here. Registration closes on May 31. So far, no one has offered to build underwater bleachers for spectators on Hookah.

Three Dead Free Divers in Less than 24 Hours:  May 22, 2013

It's abalone season in Northern California, which unfortunately seems to come with deaths every year. On the last weekend of April, two divers died in northern Sonoma County and one in Mendocino County. The first was Cedric Collett, 66, a retired Pacifica firefighter who was found off of Shell Beach, several feet below the surface and still wearing his weight belt. The second victim was a 36-year-old San Francisco diver who had gotten caught in a rip tide near Salt Point State Park early Sunday morning. He was pulled to the beach by other divers but couldn't be revived. Later that morning, a diver was found dead near MacKerricher State Park, north of Fort Bragg. He was about 15 feet below the water and might have been snagged in rocks, requiring a rescue team to work in breaking surf to release him. "It is the busiest we've been in that short amount of time with that many horrible outcomes," sheriff's helicopter pilot Paul Bradley told the Press Democrat.

Coming Up in Undercurrent:  May 22, 2013

Our undercover travel writers visit New Caledonia, the Philippines and Indonesia's Komodo Island. . . our Part II about the when, why and how much to tip on your dive trip . . . shark baiting or eco-tourism: John Bantin gives his take . . . the scandal behind DEMA's refusal to give an award to dive industry pioneer (and long-time Undercurrent contributor) Bret Gilliam . . . the cost of losing your certification card . . . and much more.

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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