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September 2014    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 29, No. 9   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Readers’ Letters: Bends, Photographers and Scaring Sharks

from the September, 2014 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Dear Ben,

I read with interest the article published in the August issue of Undercurrent about my dive shop. I am dismayed that mention of Michael Richards' dive accident was made. Mr. Richards was not employed by me at the time of his DCS accident. He took my boat without my permission (stole it, in other words). I did assist with his first aid and spent time with him in hospital on the day of the accident. He received the best treatment that was available. At the time I was not made aware of the profiles that he had undertaken on the day and in the days that preceded.

-- Kay Wilson, Indigo Divers, St. Vincent

****

While I enjoyed your travel article in the March issue about snorkeling with manatees in Homosassa, FL, it reminded me of recent negative developments in nearby Crystal River. I first experienced snorkeling and photographing manatees there in December 2008, and I had a wonderful time and got some great images. But I visited again in March 2012 and was very disappointed. New regulations do not allow snorkelers to wear weight belts! This restriction prevents a photographer from getting a decent image. One of the first rules of underwater photography is "shoot upwards." I do not plan to return. This is an example of why diving is dying in the USA.

-- Jim McKnight, Leominster, MA

****

I had to email after reading the article "Why Did This Shark Diver Disappear?" in last month's issue. In his article for the British magazine Diver, John Bantin mentions a shark nicknamed Emma that likes swimming off with cameras and Bantin's tank while he was still wearing it. Maybe Emma got a hold of missing diver John Petty's tank, which could explain the gear with unbuckled buckles. Speaking of Diver, I am the person described as the "lucky escape" in this crocodile attack article ( www.divernet.com/Marine-Life/392398/crocodile_attack.html ). I appreciated having a massive camera rig that I was able to hold at the nose of the crocodile that chased me. If I had a tiger shark interested in me, I would probably try chasing it. All of us who photograph underwater know that most things will swim away when chased. If that didn't work, I would probably take off my tank and try using it to distance myself from the shark.

-- Lauren Greider, Encinitas, CA

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