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Current Online Updates*
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Updated May 20, 2024

A Bad Start to the Year for Liveaboards
Bullets in your Bags? You're in for a long stay in Turks and Caicos
Shark Bites Spearfisher
Before Your Next Dive Trip
New Red Sea Wreck Dive near Elba Reef
Crown-of-Thorns Re-Targeted
Increasing Checked Baggage
Living Dangerously
The Wrong Body Recovered
Undercurrent Independent Reader's Reports

MY Sea Safari VII

A Bad Start to the Year for Liveaboards   May 20, 2024

In what is, unfortunately, becoming a common event, another liveaboard safari boat has been engulfed in flames and destroyed. This time, it was the Indonesian MY Sea Safari VII. On May 2, it was making passage between Komodo and Rinca Islands when all aboard were forced to abandon ship hastily. Based in Labuan Bajo, with 14 en-suite air-conditioned cabins, she was the largest phinisi-rigged vessel in the Sea Safari fleet, constructed of ironwood. None of the 26 passengers was hurt and one crew member had a minor injury. On February 23, MY Sea Legend in Egypt was destroyed by fire. On March 1, another Indonesian liveaboard, MY Oceanic, suffered a similar fate, and on April 2, it was the turn of MY Sea World I in Thailand.

Bullets in your Bags? You're in for a long stay in Turks and Caicos   May 20, 2024

An American woman arriving at Providenciales airport on May 12 was arrested when immigration authorities found two rounds of ammunition in her luggage. In April, two other Americans were jailed for the same offense, joining two others arrested previously. The offense has a penalty of up to 12 years in jail. Arrestees are jailed but may seek bail while awaiting trial, which may take months and must stay on the island at their own expense. A 26-year-old U.S. citizen is serving an eight-month sentence for arriving with ammunition last August. All those arrested claimed they failed to clean out their luggage before leaving home.

Shark Bites Spearfisher   May 20, 2024

A 10-foot-long sandbar shark bit a 65-year-old man on the forearm while he was spearfishing 20 miles off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina, on May 2. The captain of his boat applied a tourniquet, and they returned to shore, where the victim received medical treatment. (The Post & Courier)

Before Your Next Dive Trip,   May 20, 2024

get your regulator serviced, check that your B.C. inflates and holds the inflation overnight, make sure your computer (and transmitter) has a fresh battery, and verify that your dive light didn't flood the last time you used it. Put spare fins and mask straps in your dive bag and ensure any O-rings subject to movement when tightened down are lightly greased. Maybe even treat yourself to a medical check-up.


New Red Sea Wreck Dive near Elba Reef  May 20, 2024

Yasser Elmoafi, owner of the Egyptian liveaboard MY Royal Evolution, tells us that his crew has located a Grumman Albatross flying boat in the far southern waters of the Egyptian Red Sea. The aircraft lies only 15-45 feet deep north of Elba Reef and reveals minimal damage, indicating it might have sunk while on the water rather than crashing in flight. Albatrosses were used by the U.S. Navy and the Indonesian military until 1991, but its sinking remains a mystery.

Crown-of-Thorns Re-Targeted  May 20, 2024

For three decades, crown-of-thorns starfish that predate on coral have been culled on Australia's Great Barrier Reef, involving a lot of volunteer sport divers. During a major eruption of the starfish between 2012 and 2022, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority carried out a large-scale culling program, increasing coral cover in some parts, so researchers are calling for the program to be dramatically scaled up to conserve more of the reef. (New Scientist)

Increasing Checked Baggage   May 20, 2024

and overweight charges means Japanese airline JAL will now rent you clothes if you travel to Japan and wish to reduce the amount of baggage you travel with. That's certainly a step up from renting gear at your dive destination. Do you rent gear? Or do you prefer to travel with your own, though hauling it is cumbersome and baggage fees sky-high? Tell us why you will only dive with your own gear. Or why you're happy to rent everything at your destination. Have you ever had any problems? We'd like to hear. Email, not omitting to include your town and state.

Hulhumale incident

Living Dangerously  May 20, 2024

That's what divers do when they dive the site outside Hulhumale Airport in the Maldives. It's where an American woman lost her leg to the propeller of her diving dhoni in January (Undercurrent February), and shortly after, a shark attacked three divers. The area is busy with transfer boats and scavenging sharks. On May 8, divers from MY White Pearl had an unfortunate interaction with a large tiger shark that persisted in attempting to feed off any member of the group. Nobody got hurt but a lot of thoroughly shaken divers hurried back to their boat. Our Recommendation? Don't dive that site even if invited.

The Wrong Body Recovered  May 20, 2024

Searchers looking for missing free diver Virgil Price, who was thought to have blacked out while diving the S.S. Halsey, a WWII wreck 13 miles off Fort Pierce, FL, on May 13, came back with a body, but it wasn't Price. The unknown man weighed around 200 pounds and appeared to be over 50 years old. Nearly everything about the man remains a mystery: He does not match any missing person reports in the area, and it is not clear what caused his death. Despite the U.S. Coast Guard covering more than 1,415 miles over 36 hours, at the time of writing Price, an experienced free diver, had not been found. (New York Post)

Undercurrent Independent Reader's Reports  May 20, 2024

are essential reading for anyone booking a dive trip. They are your opportunity to tell everyone about the trip you experienced. Unedited and unmoderated, your reports will brief other subscribers about dive resorts you've visited and liveaboards you have taken. Don't hold back. You can tell both the good and the bad and everything in between. Over 11,000 entries have become essential reading for traveling divers. You can post photos. It's easy to post a report of your last dive trip. And your fellow divers will be thankful. File your report at, and we will also include it in this year's Chapbook, which will be sent to readers in early December.

Ben Davison, editor/publisher


Note: Undercurrent is a registered 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization donating funds to help preserve coral reefs. Our travel writers never announce their purpose, are unknown to the destination, and receive no complimentary services or compensation from the dive operators or resort.

Highlights of Previous Online Updates*

Here are past Online Update emails sent out . You can sign-up for free to receive these in the future here.


4 May, 2024

20 May, 2024

23 April, 2024

16 March, 2024

16 February, 2024

15 January, 2024

16 December, 2023

28 November, 2023

25 October, 2023

26 September, 2023

18 August, 2023

20 July, 2023

12 June, 2023

27 May, 2023

22 April, 2023

21 March, 2023

21 February, 2023

22 January, 2023

17 December, 2022

26 November, 2022

19 October, 2022

23 September, 2022

15 August, 2022

21 July, 2022

21 June, 2022

16 May, 2022

29 April, 2022

30 March, 2022

25 February, 2022

24 January, 2022


3 December, 2021

27 October, 2021

21 September, 2021

August 18, 2021

28 July, 2021

12 June, 2021

21 May, 2021

26 April, 2021

11 April, 2021

27 March, 2021

12 March, 2021

28 February, 2021

9 February, 2021

31 January, 2021

20 January, 2021

5 January, 2021

20 December, 2020

1 December, 2020

15 November, 2020

1 November, 2020

13 October, 2020

1 October, 2020

21 September, 2020

9 September, 2020

21 August, 2020

8 August, 2020

18 July, 2020

8 July, 2020

25 June, 2020

9 June, 2020

May, 2020

April, 2020

March, 2020

February, 2020

January, 2020

Online Updates* Archive, 2000-2019

* Sometimes referred to as Upwellings

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