Diver Afloat Foour Days Without His Boat. John Lowe, a 60-year-old sport diver from Singapore, was stranded in the sea for four days after the speedboat he was travelling on to Malaysia's Tioman Island sank. Lowe told the Straits Times the driver had anchored the boat when it ran out of fuel, and swam to shore, but when the weather turned stormy and waves sank the vessel, Lowe was left drifting with nothing but a life buoy. He resorted to drinking seawater, then dehydration and starvation led to hallucinations, but his almost-charred body was finally discovered after 80 hours by a fishing boat passing by. Lowe was airlifted to Singapore, where he spent a week in intensive care, and is reported to be making a good recovery.
Do You Use Dive Equipment Insurance? We're
thinking of doing a story on buying insurance
specifically for your dive gear, the pros and cons of
that, and how it differs from insuring gear under
your homeowners policy. Send your good and
bad experiences, and your opinions via email to BenDDavison@undercurrent.org
A Vivid Correction. In the article we wrote
about underwater photography in last month's
issue, we botched the name of a software program
we were recommending. If you are near enough to
the surface for some red light to penetrate, and you
are shooting jpegs with a digital camera, you can
enhance the red and yellow parts of the image in
post-processing -- and the software we recommend
to do so is Vivid-Pix (https://vivid-pix.com).
Renowned Diver Lost in the St. Lawrence River. Andy Phillips, a well-loved PADI dive instructor
and trainer, went missing on June 11 during a dive
in the St. Lawrence River near Cornwall, Ontario.
Phillips, 46, was born in Inverness, Scotland, and some of you might have known him from his time
at Koh Tao in Thailand, Dahab in Egypt, and as
manager of the Utila Dive Center in Honduras' Bay
Islands. He was responsible for training thousands
of instructors at all levels, and setting up a global
network of dive professionals.
A Very Valuable Underwater Video. A person
who was deliberately standing on a green sea turtle
while snorkelling near Taiwan on June 10 has been
arrested for violating the Wildlife Conservation Act.
He was witnessed by another diver, who recorded
it on film, contacted the authorities and provided
the video as evidence. That allowed the police to
track down the snorkeler at a local hostel that same
day. At first, the suspect denied the accusation, but
changed his tune when he was shown the video,
and now faces a fine of up to US$9,500.
Komodo Island Still Scheduled for a Shutdown. The Indonesian government is pressing ahead
with plans to make the home of Komodo dragons
-- recent prey for animal smugglers -- off limits to
tourists starting in January. They intend to keep it
closed for a year while they carry out a conservation
program to increase the dragon population and
restore its habitat. You can still dive the island's
waters via liveaboard, but those who prefer landbased
resorts will need to look elsewhere -- the other
171 islands within the Komodo National Park will
still be open during the shutdown.
Rob Stewart Honored with a Ship. Fins
Attached, a marine conservation nonprofit,
decided to name its new research expedition
dive vessel Sharkwater in honor of the late Rob
Stewart, environmental activist and the director
of the Academy Award-winning documentary Sharkwater. The boat was christened on June 8 in
Fort Lauderdale and then left on her maiden voyage
to further Fins Attached research and help Stewart's
team finish his film Sharkwater Extinction.