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May 2001 Vol. 27, No. 5   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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DAN's Darwin Awards

from the May, 2001 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Did you hear about the diver who found a pretty and apparently empty, conch shell? He placed it inside the front of his swimsuit where the live conch attached itself firmly to his very private parts. You don’t believe it? Well , that was one case the Diver’s Alert Network (DAN) had to deal with last year, Dan Orr, told a meeting of the great Lakes Chapter of the Underwater Hyperbaric Medical Society.

Orr, the Director of Operations for DAN, also reported on a student learning to spearfish who ran out of air. His instructor failed to share air and the diver headed for the surface after discharging his speargun. The instructor was later admitted to the local hospital emergency room with a spear wound to the leg.

DAN also receives some pretty strange calls.

Don’t you wonder how deep the diver was going who called and asked, “Can I get a sexually transmitted disease diving?”

You wonder if the person who called DAN to ask, “My hair turned green, do I have the bends?” simply fell asleep at the hair dressers.

And, while there may be little logic to the diver who speculated, “I must be bent because my hat size changed,” maybe that bubble on his brain was a more likely cause.

And then there was the woman who said, “I read in a supermarket tabloid that my breast implants can explode. Is that true?” Sounds like a new James Bond weapon.

And one diver called to ask, “If I become pregnant during a dive is it covered by my diving accident insurance?” One wonders why the dive guide didn’t go searching for two lost divers, but then again maybe it was a group dive and DAN got more than one call.

Orr cautioned his audience “to be careful not to dive with those who may be from the shallow end of the gene pool.” Like the guy who put the conch in his bathing suit. When I was a kid, I just stuffed the front with socks.

-Ben Davison

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