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Updated January 20, 2014
These brief news articles below were sent out via email to all divers who signed up for our free email list.
You can sign up here to receive future Undercurrent Online Updates and get news alerts and special offers like these every month.

Crazy Check-out Dive Requirements
Husband Sues PADI for Wife's Death from Carbon Monoxide
Are You the Typical Diver?
Live "the Pleasure and Beauty of Diving" with a Subscription to Undercurrent
Help John Bantin with His Book Sequel
What You're Missing in This Month's Issue
Blackfish Is Hurting Seaworld
A New Chamber in Cozumel
Travel Tips and Helpful Dive Hints, Part I
The "Super Bowl" of Underwater Photo Contests
A Shark Film is Seeking Your Help
Coming Up in Undercurrent

Crazy Check-out Dive Requirements:  January 20, 2014

We received an e-mail from reader Dana Muir (Ann Arbor, MI) asking if we could do a story on irritating requirements dive resorts have that make divers jump through hoops. For her, it's checkout dive requirements. "I understand requiring a checkout dive. I don't understand inflexibility in making arrangements. Why won't CoCo View ensure that people arriving on a noonish plane can do their checkouts same day?" Many dive resorts won't check out people on the day of arrival, or they have other odd checkout rules, and we want to know about them. Tell us about your checkout dives, especially if they have put a damper on your trip. Send me your stories - good or bad - comments and opinions to

Husband Sues PADI for Wife's Death from Carbon Monoxide:  January 20, 2014

In March 2012, Ronda Cross died while diving on vacation in Baja California. Her husband believed she was overcome by carbon monoxide in her tank, fell asleep and drowned. Now he is suing PADI, alleging that the training agency inadequately teaches divers to protect themselves from carbon monoxide poisoning. What do you think? Plenty of people have commented about whether she has a case or not on our Facebook page, where we posted a link to read the article we wrote about it in this month's issue. Read it for yourself, give your opinion, and become a fan of our Facebook page if you have not already. "Like" us at

Are You the Typical Diver?:  January 20, 2014

The Diving Equipment and Marketing Association (DEMA) publicly released some of its industry research on diver demographics recently, classifying them into four groups for dive businesses to market to - see if you fit the profile. The typical openwater diver makes more than $100,000 and almost certainly owns his/her own home, but only 35 percent are women. Nearly 60 percent are college graduates. The typical diver taking advanced training averages 36 years old and is the most likely to have children under age 18 at home (67 percent). In terms of who's buying gear, 78 percent of purchasers are male, and more than half of them earn over $100,000. Divers more likely headed to dive resorts are the least likely to be married (just 62 percent are), and the least likely to have teenagers at home (42 percent).

Live "the Pleasure and Beauty of Diving" with a Subscription to Undercurrent:  January 20, 2014

We get many e-mails from former divers who, although they have hung up their fins due to age or health issues, still subscribe to Undercurrent to stay up to date. The latest e-mail came from Stan Yokell, who writes, " Although I am almost 92 years old and made my last dive six years ago, I want to thank you for allowing me access to your site so I can re-live the pleasure and beauty of diving. During my underwater career I made nearly 1,000 dives, as deep as 225 feet (on compressed air, believe it or not.)" Whether you're an active diver or just an armchair one, join Stan by subscribing to Undercurrent with either a monthly or an annual subscription. Sign up here

Help John Bantin with His Book Sequel:  January 20, 2014

John Bantin, our fearless veteran dive equipment tester and frequent Undercurrent contributor, had his first book, Amazing Diving Stories, published by Wiley Nautical 15 months ago, and he tells us, "Just had a note from my publisher: Amazing Diving Stories was their best-seller during December. Time to start collecting stories for a sequel!" You can buy John's book, and many other must-have dive books, at our website. The cut of proceeds we get from your Amazon purchases go to the protection of coral reefs. Oh, and you can send John your stories for his sequel through me at, and I'll pass them along to him.

What You're Missing in This Month's Issue:  January 20, 2014

A tiny island with some of the Caribbean's best diving . . . California puts "the rub" on a shady fish collector . . . dive travel tips for avoiding cockroaches, cyclones and a lack of cash . . . a DEMA trade show report: serious gear, but no fun . . . the diver who made a fatal mistake during Typhoon Haiyan . . . a dive resort that's taking a stand against shark finning . . . why are starfish dying en masse along the Pacific coast . . . and much more.

Blackfish Is Hurting Seaworld:  January 20, 2014

The documentary describing the 2010 killing of SeaWorld Orlando trainer Dawn Brancheau by Tilikum, an orca previously associated with the death of two other people, traced the grim story of killer whales in captivity. While thousands of parents have decided to take their kids elsewhere when in Orlando, rock musicians are also stepping up. Heart, Willie Nelson and the Barenaked Ladies have pulled out from SeaWorld Orlando's annual Bands, Brew & BBQ Festival, slated to begin February 1. Joan Jett has issued a letter demanding that her hit song "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" be removed from the park's "Shamu Rocks" killer-whale show. And congratulations to Blackfish director Gabriela Cowperthwaite - her film was short-listed for the Oscar in the documentary feature category (the final list of nominees is announced later this month).

A New Chamber in Cozumel:  January 20, 2014

Alongside the chamber run by the SSS Recompression Chamber Network, a second opened up in November. It's run by the Costamed Medical Group inside the Cozumel Medical Center, and it's part of DAN's chamber network. It's tragic that there may be enough bent divers in Cozumel to keep both chambers busy, so dive safely.

Travel Tips and Helpful Dive Hints, Part I:  January 20, 2014

This year's Chapbook for Travelin' Divers, which I sent to subscribers last month (you can also order a print copy here, is chock-full of great information. I noticed a number of themes, incidents and tips that can make your travels less stressful and more fun. Read the first installment -- how to avoid the dive travel nightmares of cockroaches, cyclones and a lack of local currency - free of charge here

The "Super Bowl" of Underwater Photo Contests:  January 20, 2014

The 2014 Our World Underwater international underwater photography and video competition is now accepting entries. The competition, hosted by Wetpixel and DivePhotoGuide, calls itself the "Super Bowl" of underwater imaging competitions, and has over $85,000 in prizes, including liveaboard trips, dive resort vacations, camera lighting accessories and a $1,000 cash prize. Entries must be received by February 2; details are here

A Shark Film is Seeking Your Help:  January 20, 2014

A team of filmmakers have launched a crowdfunding project to raise money for FINdonesia, a film on shark fishing. The team, led by underwater photographer and conservationist Mark Thorpe, wants to make an expose of Indonesia's shark fishery, offering a "live view" perspective of the harvesting of shark fins straight from the boats and shores. But rather than just highlighting the problem, the film aims to change the situation, with the idea of a business model to benefit Indonesia's fishermen as well as the remaining shark population. Thorpe's team is looking for $75,000 to make FINdonesia. For more information, go to

Coming Up in Undercurrent:  January 20, 2014

Our divers go undercover to report on diving in Colombia and Baja California . . . can anything be done to eradicate lionfish from the Caribbean? . . .subscribers tell their stories about being abandoned by their dive boats . . . John Bantin reports on the latest in rebreather technology . . . a new study shows how narcosis affects memory and thought processing . . and much more.

Ben Davison, editor/publisher
Contact Ben


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.

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