The crew of the dive boat Sun Diver left behind diver Dan Carlock, 45, who drifted seven miles offshore for five hours, before he was discovered by a boatload of Boy Scouts. Even Carlock's buddies failed to notice he was missing. The incident has led to a Coast Guard call for new regulations for the scuba industry. The June issue of Undercurrent will offer complete coverage of the story.
The Reef House, a popular resort on Roatan, is up for sale. Owner Jeanne Bogran tells Undercurrent that she and Lucian have children entering college and need to return to the U.S. to get them into state universities. They're asking $950,000. www.reefhouseresort.com ... Maya Ha, on Mexico's southern Yucatan Coast, is up for sale. Undercurrent subscribers are advised to hold off making reservations until new owners take over. For information, www.mayaha.com
On April 9, Yap, a favorite Micronesia destination for mantas, got hammered by Typhoon Sudal. The 145-foot S.V. Mnuw, a favorite bar and restaurant, got lifted from the harbor and set ashore. Mnuw's owner Bill Acker also owns the Manta Ray Bay Inn, which originally lost 11 of its 29 rooms, but several are back in commission. Pacific News Service says "reports from divers who were in the water shortly after the typhoon were not good." More about this in the June issue of Undercurrent, but while it's unlikely the manta sightings will be seriously affected, forego making plans to visit Yap until the quality of diving is clearly known.
Texas Border Patrol agents caught two men who may have attempted to smuggle drugs into the U.S. by scuba diving through a drainage tunnel. The men were wearing wet suits, tanks, and masks when they were found on April 28. Another man, the only U.S. citizen of the group, had a two-way radio and probably acted as a scout, guiding the others from the American side, said officials. The Lower Valley station pumps water that is pooling in the area and discharges it into the Rio Grande through a 6-foot diameter drainage tunnel that runs 80 yards and drops at 45-degree angles under the Border Highway and the Franklin Canal. The tunnel opening had been blocked by a metal grate, but officials believe the divers opened it with hacksaws and bolt cutters they possessed. No drugs have yet been found.
Researchers at Texas A&M want to know scuba divers' preferences for various alternatives for coral reef conservation and management. This study is being conducted by Texas A&M University's Department of Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences. You can get information at http://lutra.tamu.edu/hdlab/statprefflyer.htm and if you are interested in participating, please send your snail mail address in an e-mail to email@example.com
Researchers from the University of Washington and the Reef Environmental Education Foundation have found 16 nonnative species of fish -- apparently set free from home aquariums -- off the southeast coast of Florida. Most species were seen at more than one place, meaning more than just a few aquariums have been dumped. Emperor angelfish, with their blue masks and bodies striped in blue and gold, were the most commonly sighted nonnative species. Another commonly sighted nonnative was yellow tang, the most commonly imported species of the U.S. aquarium trade. Scientists worry that even a small number of introduced species might have devastating impact on the environment, the fishery industry, and native species.
-- Ben Davison, editor/publisher
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