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January 2019    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 34, No. 1   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Wreck Diving for Beginners

should a teenager with four dives really be visiting Chuuk?

from the January, 2019 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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What do you think about a novice diver taking his equally novice offspring diving deep inside the confines of wrecks?

Penetrating the sunken wrecks at Chuuk (also known as Truk) Lagoon can be a dark, claustrophobic experience, with narrow entrance points in many cases, and plenty of things to get snagged up with. So, it was with some alarm that I read an article by Jim Shepard in Hemispheres, United Airlines' in-flight magazine, kindly sent to us by Undercurrent subscriber Mark Kimmey (Manhattan, NY).

There were initial clues in the first paragraph that revealed Shepard is not an experienced diver -- although he describes himself as "scuba obsessed," the reference to his "oxygen tank" is always a dead giveaway. But it's not the author's lack of experience that concerns me. It's the fact that he describes taking his children, 20-year-old Emmett and 15-yearold Lucy, inside these wrecks. He stressed to their Chuuk dive guide, Tryvin, that they were novices and that prior to their visit, they had made only four dives to 40 feet. When he told his certifying instructor in Florida that their next stop was Chuuk, he was met with jaw-dropped disbelief....

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