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The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
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October 1998 Vol. 24, No. 10   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Readers Write

Insurance and Harassment

from the October, 1998 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Dear Undercurrent:

Prior to an August dive trip to Cozumel, I insured our gear and my Sea & Sea MotorMarine with DEPP after reading Undercurrent. Of course, I hoped we would never have to submit a claim, but life is what happens while you plan.

We were doing a night dive at Chankanaab, shooting a full roll of film, then ascending and lining up to get on the boat. As I unsnapped my camera lanyard to hand up my camera, I heard a voice behind me call out "Help me, I can't stay up any more!" A woman in our group literally looked as if she was headed for the bottom. She was just starting to descend below her nose level with a completely flaccid BC. I swam to her, took her BC inflator hose, and pumped three or four good breaths into it. Then I realized my camera was not around -- and the boat captain said he'd been unable to reach it. We spent a good half-hour trying to find it, but Davy Jones had won again.

Back in the States, I called DEPP and they promptly stated that they would buy and ship my replacement gear! This morning, a BIG box arrived from Berger Brothers -- inside was everything I lost but the roll of film. Losing photo or dive gear can create enough stress to undo much of the good a vacation can do -- and can cost more than the cost of the trip itself. I'm relieved that the company stood behind my belief that in the final crunch, people are more important than things. After my experience, I highly recommend them!

-- Jose Kirchner, Carmichael CA DEPP (800-788-4096 or 502-454- 4152) or at

Aloha Mr. Trigger:

In response to Mr. Randy Brook's letter regarding octopus harassment, I would like to comment. I believe there are many marine animals that we can handle in a friendly manner without doing them harm (shells, echinoderms, etc.) However, soon after Mr. Brook made his dive with us, I initiated a new "no touch" company policy directed specifically at the octopus.

Although I believe that divers often get the short end of the stick when it comes to "marine life rights" as preached by a few motivated, vocal individuals, with knowledge comes responsibility. Anytime a diver knowingly harms an animal, it is wrong. A few years ago no one was thinking about ink and fatigue as being harmful to an octopus. Now that we are thinking it can indeed be harmful to the creature, it becomes our responsibility to act in a responsible manner. Our dive masters have now been instructed to show, but not touch octopus in response to that knowledge.

-- Ed Robinson , President, Ed Robinson's Diving Adventures - Maui

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