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The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
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April 2020    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 46, No. 4   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Flotsam & Jetsam

from the April, 2020 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Shark Attack in Fiji. A Fijian farmer and part-time diver survived a shark attack while he was spearfishing at Tawake, off the coast of Vanua Levu in early March. He suffered deep injuries to his right arm and was rushed to Labasa hospital, where he is expected to remain for a month.

Scofflaw Scuba Divers Are Making Millions of Dollars salvaging British wartime shipwrecks amid accusations that they are "desecrating" maritime graves. More than 40 ships serving as war graves in British waters have been plundered by divers in the past five years. More than 400 relics have been plundered from merchant navy war graves since 2014, ranging from gold coins and artillery shells to false teeth.

Full Face Snorkeling Masks become Coronavirus Weapons. A company called Isinnova is working on a 3D printed adapter that could turn a snorkeling mask into a C-PAP mask for oxygen therapy -- a crucial treatment for more severe COVID-19 cases. They've solved the expired CO2 problem by reversing the front valve. Ocean Reef can also supply an adapter to connect its snorkeling masks to P3 and other types of filters, transforming it into a personal protection mask.

Dray Van Beeck TrumpetfishStuck at Home with Photoshop? Dutchman Dray Van Beeck is using the down-time from running a dive center, Bali Diving Academy Permuteran, and teaching underwater photography courses to create surreal images of creatures familiar to scuba divers, led by a play on their names.

Rebreather Manufacturer Makes an Adapter. Many COVID-19 sufferers arrive at the hospital with dangerously low levels of oxygen in their blood. AP Diving, the company that made Inspiration rebreathers, has closed down during the virus crisis, but before it did, the boss, Martin Parker, made 250 adapters (from all the material he had available). These allow those CCR divers with adequate oxygen supplies at home to be able to supply emergency breathing apparatus to anyone in dire need and waiting for the medics to arrive. He is supplying them at no charge, first-come-first served.

Napoleon Wrasse Lips on Dinner Plates. The Napoleon or humphead wrasse is in major decline, thanks to an Asian gourmet predilection to dine on the lips of these extraordinary creatures. They are now more endangered than elephants, according to National Geographic.

Our Man in Cozumel tells Undercurrent, "A concrete arch at the end of a pier collapsed on March 9, killing an Aqua Safari divemaster called Paulo in a freak accident." No other information was forthcoming.

Short of Toilet Paper? In his regular monthly newsletter, Ken Curtis of Reef Seekers Dive in Beverley Hill, CA, recommends going down to the beach and collecting washed up kelp for use as a substitute. Dry it out until it's not too crisp - you can use your oven or microwave for this. He goes into more detail but we'll spare you that. We don't suggest you take still-growing kelp from the ocean. We do suggest you use water from a hose, squeezy-bottle or bidet instead.

NAUI Issues a Warning. Criminal gangs take advantage during times of crisis and NAUI's email has been hacked, resulting in fake emails sent from asking for a favor. NAUI instructs all members to disregard this email. It's a phishing scam.

Our Coronavirus Correction. The CDC and WHO state that the incubation period for the virus is 2-14 days. In our recent email on the coronavirus and diving, we said that period can be as long as 37 days, but that number is an outlier, as two of our subscribers have pointed out, and we should have stuck with 2-14 days. A study in the medical journal The Lancet states that the contagion period can be as much as 37 days.

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