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May 1999 Vol. 14, No. 5   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Those Pampered American Divers

from the May, 1999 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

“American divers are totally pampered on their dive boats,” says the cranky “Beachcomber” columnist in the British magazine Diver. He claims we’re so pampered “that one recently sued his charter-boat skipper on the grounds that the captain had told him it would be calm and it wasn’t — the ripples on the sea had made the boat rock.” Seemed pretty farfetched to me, so we requested his source. His publisher responded:

“Unfortunately ‘Beachy’, in typically irascible as well as irrepressible mood, has refused to play ball! He’s always doing this to us, the crotchety old so-and-so, saying that the cornerstone of his work is that he protects his sources and that, since this case involved an American threatening to sue another American over operations in an area ‘far from the Florida Keys,’ he didn’t want to repeat his source to ‘another American who could do God-knows-what’ with the information. Please accept our heartfelt apology that we cannot winkle out of him anything remotely useful.”

So perhaps this is all fiction, but it is fact that a high-ranking Brit made the PA newswire on March 15 because, of all reasons, the poor baby’s mask flooded. Yup, that’s all.

“Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott ran into difficulties while scuba diving off the Maldive Islands in the Indian Ocean. Mr. Prescott was taking part in a dive designed to highlight the problem of the destruction of coral reefs in the Indian Ocean when his face mask filled up with water,” BBC Radio 4’s “Today” programme reported.

“But the Deputy Prime Minister, an experienced diver, remained calm, cleared his mask and continued with the dive, even though he continued to experience difficulties with the mask, which was borrowed and badly fitting, until he returned to the surface. Mr. Prescott was not harmed.”

While we Americans may be pampered, Beachy, I do know we wouldn’t find a flooded mask newsworthy. Pampered or not, we’re tougher than that.

— Ben Davison

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