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For Divers since 1975
The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
"Best of the Web: scuba tips no other
source dares to publish" -- Forbes
June 1999 Vol. 14, No. 6   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Inflatable Sharks

Contents of this Issue:
All publicly available

Return to Fiji Aboard the Nai’a

NASA, Spit, Soap, and Olive Oil

Fiji Insider Travel Tips

Travel Updates

Reader's Travel Tip

New Credit Card Fees

Inflatable Sharks

After Divers Die

Are Rebreathers Safe?

Jellyfish Sting

Editorial Office:

Ben Davison

Publisher and Editor


3020 Bridgeway, Suite 102

Sausalito, CA 94965

Contact Ben

from the June, 1999 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Florida inventor John Underwood writes that he’s recently developed and patented a shark protection device designed to offer protection to divers and snorkelers. The unit, a 14-inch cylinder one inch in diameter that’s filled with 3000 psi of compressed air, is designed to be placed near or against an attacking animal’s torso and discharged, “driving a hypodermic plunger six inches into the offending animal. When the hypodermic plunger is at full extension, the compressed air is vented into the animal, causing a sudden and violent embolism” which is “normally fatal or at the very least, incapacitating.” According to Underwood, preliminary tests have shown that the device is capable of penetrating an inch into solid wood.

Underwood stresses that the device can only be used if an animal approaches the diver and thus cannot be used to hunt or indiscriminately kill sharks. He also advises that the device is “reusable and convenient” and can be used either as a self-contained unit or attached to the high pressure side of a regulator’s first stage for greater air supply. He states that he hopes to have “some underwater footage of the device in action just as soon as the water warms up enough for the big bull sharks to come to it.”

Underwood has solicited our feedback and adds that, since the unit is still unnamed, he may also sponsor a “Name the Device” contest. Knowing our readers are a savvy lot, I’m certain they’ll provide some insightful evaluations Underwood can use to fine-tune his product, and I’m even more confident that they’ll come up with a few good names. Please forward your suggestions and comments to John Q. Trigger, Editor, P. O. Box 90215, Austin, TX 78709, via fax to 512-891-9813, or via e-mail to

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