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Updated March 21, 2023

Tell Us About Your Liveaboard Safety
Hungry Orcas Kill 17 Sharks in One Day
Probation for Florida's Reluctant Diving Eco-warriors.
Does Your Mask Continually Fog?
Bacteria Helps Create Artificial Coral
Are Caribbean Dive Operators Priced Out of the Insurance Market?
The Old Man and the Sea
Don't Pay Extra for a Visit to Bonaire
Undercurrent is Unique Among Diving Media
Pink Dolphins Aren't as Benign as You Imagine
Unawareness of IPE Strikes Again
Liquid Gold in a Discovered Wreck
In the March Issue of Undercurrent

Tell Us About Your Liveaboard Safety   March 21, 2023

Have you been on a liveaboard trip in the last year? Did you get a thorough safety briefing before you left port? Was there a fire drill? Were you shown a functioning emergency exit from your cabin? Did a crew member stand watch throughout the night? Did you have a functioning alarm in your cabin? Were you instructed what to do if an alarm went off? Were lifejackets stowed in your cabin or somewhere accessible on an upper deck? Were there life rafts clearly marked with the date of their last inspection? How were the battery charging facilities? Let us know about the boat, the crew, and how safe you felt. Write to BenDDavison@undercurrent.org, not forgetting to mention your town and state.

Hungry Orcas Kill 17 Sharks in One Day   March 21, 2023

Two orcas nicknamed Port and Starboard killed 17 seven-gill sharks on one March day, according to researchers at Marine Dynamics, a Gansabaai, South Africa, cage diving company. Orcas delight in the shark livers of several species and leave the corpses after ripping open their bellies. They even attack great whites, which the pair were seen attacking in 2017.

Probation for Florida's Reluctant Diving Eco-warriors  March 21, 2023

As we reported in our March issue, a jury convicted the two divers running a shark diving charter -- John R. Moore (56) and his mate, Tanner J. Mansell (29) -- of theft after they recovered a baited long-line and released 19 hooked sharks and a grouper. The judge placed them on one-year probation and ordered them to compensate the fisherman $3,345 to cover his equipment and the value of the fish.

Mask with windshield wiper

Does Your Mask Continually Fog?   March 21, 2023

Did you forget to pack some antifog solution? Do you avoid spitting in your mask and rubbing it in? RKD Outdoor & Water Products Co. is developing a dive mask with windshield wipers on the inside to defog the lenses. Press the button on the top and, Hey! Presto! Of course, you might have to withstand the ridicule of those diving with you, so we doubt this idea will ever reach the marketplace. And besides, anyone you dive will be happy to lend you their antifog bottle.

Bacteria Helps Create Artificial Coral  March 21, 2023

It's being used to create a bone-like 3D-printed composite material that may be used for building artificial coral reefs that will attract coral polyps and become live reefs. Scientists at Switzerland's EPFL research institute combined a bacterium called Sporosarcina pasteurii with an eco-friendly polymer gel that ultimately converts into a hard calcium carbonate, free of bacteria after further treatment.

Are Caribbean Dive Operators Priced Out of the Insurance Market?  March 21, 2023

The upscale Antigua Hotel Curtain Bluff, which operates a PADI Dive Center, has written: "After many decades of offering scuba diving, Curtain Bluff will, effective immediately, suspend all scuba diving operations. This is due to the fact that we no longer can secure insurance for this activity." They add that the problem affects many more operators throughout the Caribbean. If you're engaged in any Caribbean dive business and experiencing similar difficulties, write to BenDDavison@undercurrent.org, with your name and location.

The Old Man and the Sea   March 21, 2023

The doyen of underwater filmmakers, Stan Waterman, the winner of five Emmy Awards, turns 100 on April 5. Known for his camera work on Blue Water White Death, his life has been filled with underwater adventures detailed in his two autobiographies, Salt: Memories and Essays, and More Salt. If you know Stan and want to wish him a happy birthday, send him a card at Shark Research Institute, 70 Heather Lane, Princeton, NJ 08540 USA https://www.sharks.org.

Don't Pay Extra for a Visit to Bonaire  March 21, 2023

Long-time subscriber Mary McCombie (New Haven, CT) reminds travelers to Bonaire that the Bonaire Visitors' Entry Tax is only US$75 and should be purchased ahead of time from the Bonaire government website. You see, some resellers have created official-looking websites charging far more than $75; they may not be fraudulent, but you're paying them to pay the tax for you, and, as we have reported, some divers have to pay again when they arrive in Bonaire. Pay your fee at the Bonaire official government website, https://tourismtax.bonairegov.com, or via the link on the tourism website www.bonaireisland.com. Thanks, Mary!

Undercurrent is Unique Among Diving Media   March 21, 2023

Undercurrent is unique among diving media because it does not accept any advertising and is genuinely independent. Subscribers get a lengthy newsletter eleven months per year that deals with many subjects traditional magazines shy away from for fear of upsetting their sponsors. Mid-month mail keeps you up to the minute with diving news (this is an abbreviated version), and you get the Travelin' Diver's Chapbook every December. Not only that, subscribers get full access to more than 11,000 Undercurrent independent readers' reports -- opinions and impressions posted without fear or favor by those who have actually stayed at diving resorts and been on liveaboards worldwide. I am offering you a seven-month trial subscription for just $19.95. And I'll send you a FREE download of the 40-page e-books Eight Great Liveaboards (and One Disaster) and Eight Great Dive Resorts (and One Dog). If you want your money back at any time during this period, you'll get it, a promise I've kept since we started publishing in 1975. Click Here

Pink Dolphins Aren't as Benign as You Imagine   March 21, 2023

A 28-year-old British woman was savaged by a pink river dolphin while swimming in Bolivia's Santa Rosa de Yacum river. The dolphin grabbed Claire Bye's right foot with its sharp teeth and almost ripped it off. She was rushed to a nearby hospital, where doctors closed the wounds with 32 stitches. She flew to La Paz for further treatment, where she waited two weeks before she could fly home for reconstructive surgery.

Unawareness of IPE Strikes Again   March 21, 2023

If a diver has difficulty breathing and signals out-of-air when he still has a working supply of air, he could be suffering from Immersion Pulmonary Edema (IPE), where the lungs spontaneously fill with body fluids upon immersion in cold water. If the diver is not pulled from the water and treated quickly, he asphyxiates. Nigel Craig, a British technical diving instructor, was prosecuted in 2022 for the death of a trainee in 2016. The prosecution based its case on the macabre idea that Craig had held his unwilling student underwater, in the misguided belief that forcing him to make a safety stop was more critical than preventing him from drowning. Yet both had adequate air. The prosecution had largely ignored that IPO may have caused his death. Craig was eventually found not guilty.

Liquid Gold in a Discovered Wreck   March 21, 2023

In December 1854, the passenger steamer Westmoreland sank in the frigid waters of northern Lake Michigan. Seventeen lives were lost in addition to 280 barrels of whiskey. Shipwreck diver Ross Richardson discovered the wreck in 2018, 200 feet down. The cold and calm conditions worked wonders in preserving the vessel . . . and its whiskey as well. Bearing in mind a single bottle of scotch whiskey salvaged from the SS Politician off the coast of Scotland fetched more than $15,000 at auction in 2021, it's hard to imagine what the Westmorland's liquid gold could be worth.

In the March Issue of Undercurrent   March 21, 2023

Two superb resorts on Komodo island . . . When no PADI Solo Diving Certification is accepted . . . Bahamas, Turk & Caicos, Raja Ampat, Belize -- Readers Report . . . How to be ready to survive a liveaboard emergency . . . It's not always the bends . . . Insurance -- Tales of Triumph and Woe . . . Why does your regulator let you down so often after servicing? . . . Golden tides threaten Florida and Mexico beaches . . . Those damned fuel charges . . . PADI pays up after a training death . . . Thieves? Or Eco-warriors? Maybe we need more like them? . . . Insurance claim denied, but I'm a new person -- a personal story . . . and much, much more.

Ben Davison, editor/publisher
BenDDavison@undercurrent.org

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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.

 

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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