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Updated July 20, 2023

Nailed: Three Chinese tourists
Aqualung Flips Ownership Again
This is our free mid-month email. Why not receive our 10 monthly, 16-page, ad-free newsletters and become a paid subscriber?
Tiger Sharks Attack a Film Crew
Rising Sea Temperatures Threaten Florida’s Coral
Do You Need a Nitrox Certification?
Boy Returns Camera Found in a Lake
Double Bubble, Double Trouble?
The Deepest Breath -- a New Netflix Release
Does the Boat Track You?
Huish BCDs Recalled
New Dream, Old Nightmares
Are Butterflyfish Spreading SCTLD?
All The Back Issues of Undercurrent Newsletter are Now Available Online
This is our free mid-month email. Why not receive our 10 monthly, 16-page, ad-free newsletters and become a paid subscriber?

Nailed: Three Chinese tourists   July 20, 2023

Three Chinese tourists were arrested in Thailand in late June for picking up starfish to use when taking selfies and for stepping on Phuket's coral reefs. They could face two years in jail after being charged with violating marine protection laws. Some Thai social media users directed their ire at "ill-disciplined" Chinese tour groups, while others blamed diving instructors for not telling tourists the laws.

Aqualung Flips Ownership Again.   July 20, 2023

Jacques Cousteau started Aqualung and made it a success, and for years it was owned by the French gas supply giant Aire Liquide. In 2015, they sold it to Montagu Private Equity, which milked it dry, leaving it unable to pay its debts. Recently, a French judge decided it should be taken over by its principal lender, MassMutual Financial Group. No doubt they will sell it when a buyer can be found. Meanwhile Aqualung products are available as usual, reports industry insider Darcy Kiernan.

This is our free mid-month email. Why not receive our 10 monthly, 16-page, ad-free newsletters and become a paid subscriber?  July 20, 2023

We cover subjects other dive publications avoid for fear of upsetting their advertisers. But we don't accept advertising. We are accountable only to divers. Our travel reviews are written by undercover authors who pay their way. Our stories cover equipment problems, liveaboard safety, the ins and outs of tipping, how dive insurance can fail you, and much, much more. In December, you will receive the Travelin' Diver's Chapbook, filled with hundreds of travel reviews by fellow subscribers. Not only that, you have full access to more than 10,000 Undercurrent independent readers' reports -- opinions and impressions posted without fear or favor by those who have stayed at the resorts or have 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.

Tiger Sharks Attack a Film Crew.   July 20, 2023

Following the account of a Russian man being repeatedly attacked and killed by a tiger shark while swimming off a popular beach in Hurghada, Egypt (featured in our mid-June email), a film crew working on the Netflix production of David Attenborough's Our Planet II was attacked by two tiger sharks north of Hawaii. They were attempting to get footage when their inflatables were repeatedly attacked by the 15-foot tiger sharks, which bit huge holes in them. The crew managed to retreat to a nearby beach with what was left of their boats.

Rising Sea Temperatures Threaten Florida’s Coral.  July 20, 2023

Climate scientists say recent weeks have been the hottest worldwide and likely the hottest in the past 100-thousand years. Parts of the world are now underwater while others face sweltering heat, but for oceanside tourist destinations, the effects of climate change threaten both their existence and way of life. The high sea temperatures are causing Florida’s coral reefs to bleach. But hope is placed in those corals that seem to be thriving among the hot turbid water along Florida’s inner waterways and there are now efforts to transplant some of this hardier coral out on the oceanside reefs. Click here to view the article.

Do You Need a Nitrox Certification?  July 20, 2023

With more and more liveaboards and dive centers supplying nitrox as a matter of course, the question has been raised whether you need the certification. The most important aspect of a nitrox course is learning that every gas has a maximum operation depth, including air. So, you should always check what's in your tank and know how to use it, certified or not. Despite what anyone tells you, best get certified.

Boy Returns Camera Found in a Lake.   July 20, 2023

You know how easy it is to lose something tethered to your wrist, and scuba diver Roger Hanson knows only too well after he lost his housed Olympus camera in Lake Perris, Riverside County, CA. As luck would have it, seven-year-old Nathaniel Ramirez spotted it while snorkeling with his mom and was thrilled to return it to its rightful owner after they tracked him down. Hanson rewarded him for his honesty and the owner of Hollywood Divers, Hal Wells, presented the boy with a waterproof housing for his phone.

Lung T-500 sub-mask

Double Bubble, Double Trouble?  July 20, 2023

We keep seeing iterations of Spare Air, the emergency breathing cylinder, aimed at unsuspecting swimmers who don't understand the ramifications of breathing compressed air underwater. The latest has combined it with a full-face snorkeling mask, itself subject to suspicion in the deaths of those who suffer CO2 poisoning or immersion pulmonary edema. It's the Lung T-500 sub-mask. Don't let your friends buy one.

The Deepest Breath -- a New Netflix Release.   July 20, 2023

It tells the story of the loss of Stephen Keenan in Dahab’s Blue Hole in 2017. He was the support diver and coach to free-diving record-holder Alessia Zecchini, and successfully went to her rescue but blacked out himself, drowning as a result. The world-record holder Alexey Molchanov commented, “He was the heart of the community.” In 2023 Zecchini broke her own World Record by descending to 358 feet in the Philippines. You may read more about it here.

Does the Boat Track You?   July 20, 2023

You may have an emergency beacon, a surface marker buoy, a bright light, a whistle, or even a flag on a pole, but are you sure your boat will be looking for you if you're missing? Be sure your vessel has a system for checking you both into the water and out again so that there's no prospect of the crew leaving the dive site with you still bobbing at the surface.

Huish BCDs Recalled.   July 20, 2023

Huish Outdoors sold about 7,445 Oceanic OceanPro, Hera, and Excursion BCDs throughout North America, but it only took one to fail to cause a recall. Huish has discovered that the handle for the QLR4 integrated weight pockets may snap off if you try to dump them during use. If this happens in an emergency, you might be unable to conduct an emergency ascent. If you have one of these BCDs, do not use it and return it to where you purchased it to check it's not one of the affected ones. More details here.

New Dream

New Dream, Old Nightmares.   July 20, 2023

In keeping with the Egyptian diving industry's habit of considering their liveaboards disposable, on June 7, the captain of the MY New Dream (formerly known as Orion), with 26 divers from Poland onboard, ran the craft onto a reef near Marsa Alam in Southern Egypt's Red Sea. The vessel was a total loss, but no one was hurt. The liveaboard was heading back to port with a suspected bends case onboard. Instead of calling a Mayday, the crew and passengers sat it out in the vessel's dive tenders for four hours until recovered by another liveaboard at first light. Egyptian authorities are investigating.

Are Butterflyfish Spreading SCTLD?   July 20, 2023

There appears to be an association between four-eye butterflyfish and Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease. Research scientists in the Florida Keys have found that the four-eye butterflyfish foraged significantly more often on diseased corals than healthy or recently dead corals compared to the other species of butterflyfish. They were observed feeding directly on the SCTLD line of infection, while other butterflyfish were not. The researchers suggest that by feeding on the SCLTD corals, they may contribute to the progression and/or transmission of this insidious coral disease. https://tinyurl.com/563wsshd

All The Back Issues of Undercurrent Newsletter are Now Available Online.   July 20, 2023

If you want to immerse yourself in history, you can read what we were saying about the scuba diving industry from 1975-1993 (and onwards), and it's free for anyone to read. www.undercurrent.org/UCnow/dive_magazine

This is our free mid-month email. Why not receive our 10 monthly, 16-page, ad-free newsletters and become a paid subscriber?   July 20, 2023

We cover subjects other dive publications avoid for fear of upsetting their advertisers. But we don't accept advertising. We are accountable only to divers. Our travel reviews are written by undercover authors who pay their way. Our stories cover equipment problems, liveaboard safety, the ins and outs of tipping, how dive insurance can fail you, and much, much more. In December, you will receive the Travelin' Diver's Chapbook, filled with hundreds of travel reviews by fellow subscribers. Not only that, you have full access to more than 10,000 Undercurrent independent readers' reports -- opinions and impressions posted without fear or favor by those who have stayed at the resorts or have 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.

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.

 

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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