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The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
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September 2008    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 23, No. 9   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Flotsam & Jetsam

from the September, 2008 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Avoid Camera Disaster with a “Leak Detector.” Australian photographer Jeff Mullins has designed a “Leak Detector” for underwater digital camera housings. A small sensor gives early warning of the slightest moisture gathering inside your housing. The electronic circuit triggers a high-intensity LED placed near the camera’s LCD screen, alerting you to impending disaster and giving you time to ascend before disaster strikes. Cost is $70;

Oxygen Deprivation. Why can’t Greta Van Sustern of Fox News get it right? On May 27, when talking about the alleged underwater murder of Tina Watson by her husband Gabe in Australia (see our July 2007 issue), she asked her interviewee, “And I take it she had sufficient oxygen for the dive?” She did it again on June 23, when she said, “I guess the theory the prosecution has is that he removed oxygen from her or cut off oxygen some way?” CNN’s Nancy Grace gets bad marks, too. She reported on June 23 that “police believe [Tina’s] brand-new husband, after a dream wedding, allegedly bear-hugs her, and turns off the oxygen valve to her tank.”

Is the Dive Industry Behind Change? It is regularly surveyed by the Cline Group, a research and marketing firm, which asked this question in July: “If you had to choose today, which of the two main U.S. presidential candidates do you believe will be the best for the diving industry, and your individual business, for the next four years?” Of the 317 dive businesses that responded, the results were: John McCain, 40 percent; Barack Obama, 20 percent; No Answer, 40 percent.

Two Divers Fake DCI - - in 37 Other People. David Welsh, 49, and Michael Brass, 43, were found guilty of swindling the United Kingdom’s National Health Service out of $500,000 for treatment of bogus cases of the bends. The two worked as divemasters in Plymouth, England and paid 37 strangers they met in pubs around $350 each to pose as divers needing decompression treatment, then billed the NHS around $12,000 for each fake victim. The four-year scam was easy to carry out because the NHS didn’t check the claims’ validity other than to verify personal details of the “patients” and whether they were registered with physicians. Wonder how long it would take U.S. health insurers to find out.

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