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Updated June 9, 2020
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.

Conception Fire Update
The Future of International Air Travel?
International Air Travel May Not Return to Normal Until 2023
When You Think It’s Safe Enough to Take That Dive Trip
POTUS Threatens Marine Monuments
The Tragic and Unnecessary Death of Brian Bugge
Bali May Reopen for Tourism in October
Help Your Favorite Dive Resort
The Bahamas Reopens its Borders
Aquarium Sharks Get Lonely Too

Conception Fire Update  June 9, 2020

Autopsies of the 34 victims of the Conception dive boat fire in California demonstrated that all died from smoke inhalation before being burned. That some of the bodies were wearing shoes raised questions, but many passengers slept in their clothes and the capsizing of the vessel as it sank displaced many of them from their bunks below decks. The pre-dawn blaze swept through the vessel, anchored off the Channel Islands, on Labor Day 2019. Heather Sawdon, sister of Kristy Finstad, who was lost with 33 others, has written a summary of what happened, with her own theories as to the cause. You can read it here.

The Future of International Air Travel?   June 9, 2020

Qatar Airways has announced its cabin crew will be equipped with PPE, including full hazmat suits over their uniforms, together with safety goggles, gloves and masks during flights. In addition, aircraft cabins will be equipped with large bottles of hand sanitizer to be used by both cabin crew and passengers. The move comes weeks after Philippines Airlines and AirAsia reportedly launched new uniforms that incorporate PPE. At the beginning of June, Greece quarantined all 91 passengers arriving in Athens on a flight from Qatar after 12 of them tested positive for Covid-19. (CNN)

International Air Travel May Not Return to Normal Until 2023  June 9, 2020

IATA’s Chief Economist Brian Pearce, says: “Covid’s effects on air travel are certainly going to last several years, with no quick rebound to 2019 levels. If there’s another wave of the virus, international travel might not return to normal until 2024.” It doesn’t mean there will be no travel, just not the volume of travel there was before. (Evening Standard)

When You Think It’s Safe Enough to Take That Dive Trip   June 9, 2020

When you think it’s safe enough to take that dive trip, are you ready to handle international travel? With the prevalence of Covid-19, there are lots of aspects to consider. Ben Davison, the editor of Undercurrent, summarizes them. You can read it in an Insider’s Blog on the website here.

POTUS Threatens Marine Monuments  June 9, 2020

Donald Trump, in his endless pursuit of ideas to benefit his cohorts rather than the greater good, plans to open the Atlantic Marine Monument to commercial fishing. His move to open fishing in the Northeastern Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument will open a new front in the ongoing legal battle over the limits of presidential powers regarding national monuments, with Native American tribes and other environmental groups already challenging the administration. Eric Sala, a marine biologist and founder of Nat Geographic’s Pristine Seas program says, “We need pristine areas set aside so that we can see nature as it was before we overexploited it, and understand the true impact of fishing.” (National Geographic)

The Tragic and Unnecessary Death of Brian Bugge  June 9, 2020

Ashley Bugge, in cooperation with Gareth Lock, has made a program documenting the fatal training journey of her husband Brian Bugge, 35, a U.S. Pacific Fleet Integrated Undersea Surveillance Systems officer, who was off-duty, on a closed-circuit rebreather training dive in Honolulu. CCR diving is very different from conventional scuba and Undercurrent’s Senior Editor John Bantin (a CCR diver for nearly three decades) gives an opinion as to why training must be taken more seriously than it sometimes is. You can read it here.

Bali May Reopen for Tourism in October  June 9, 2020

With as few as 343 reported cases and only four deaths at the beginning of May (the rest of Indonesia had a total of 17,514 confirmed cases and 1,148 confirmed deaths), the tourism ministry is looking to reopen Bali to international tourists from October. In March, foreign tourist arrivals to Indonesia plummeted more than 60 percent compared to March 2019, and Chinese arrivals dropped by 97 percent. 80 percent of people in Bali rely on tourism, whether directly or indirectly. (Evening Standard)

Help Your Favorite Dive Resort  June 9, 2020

If you are concerned that money you donated may not fully reach the people for whom it was intended, you could always take a lead from Allan and Barb Jones (Anaheim, CA) who arranged with the manager of their favorite resort in Indonesia to supply 20kg of rice, a tray of eggs, 5 liters of cooking oil, 3kg of sugar, and 20 packets of noodles to each member of staff, including support staff at the cost of $26 per person. Many resorts operate schemes for the same purpose, so contact your favorite and see how you can help.

The Bahamas Reopens its Borders  June 9, 2020

Hurricane season begins officially on June 1, but undeterred, the island nation is opening its borders to tourism on July 1. To help entice travelers to return, the Bahamas Hotel & Tourism Association also says that most of its members offer a hurricane cancelation policy to protect tourists thinking about visiting the islands in the coming months. (Carib Journal)

Aquarium Sharks Get Lonely Too  June 9, 2020

Some fish at the Cairns Aquarium (Queensland) are missing human interaction and have stopped eating. So they’ve hired an extra diver to amuse creatures such as sharks, grouper, stingrays, and humphead Maori wrasse. Lonely fish are being cuddled to help them get through their coronavirus lockdown-induced gloom. (Australian Associated Press)

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.

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.


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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