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Current Online Updates*
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Updated May 4, 2024

MY Bahamas Master Detained
eGloves for Divers Who Want to Chat
Southwest Ends Flights to Cozumel
Are You Safe to Dive?
Scientists Combining Efforts in a Beacon of Hope
The Flying Lifebuoy Drone
Conception Captain Sentenced
Another Bad Day for the Liveaboard Industry
Car Tires in the Dock
Another Yucatan Blue Hole is the Deepest Anywhere

MY Bahamas Master Detained   May 4, 2024

Formerly the Yemaya II but now operating out of Miami, the vessel is no longer featured on the Master Liveaboards website. That's because it was detained by the U.S. Coast Guard in Fort Lauderdale in March due to an oil leak and for contravention of other regulations. Every vessel over 100 gross ton should have a garbage management plan. There was no such plan. There was no proper record about the stowage and position of lifeboats. Neither could the crew produce a valid Certificate of Competency. More about this in the June issue of Undercurrent.

eGloves for Divers Who Want to Chat   May 4, 2024

If you've ever watched deaf divers chatting happily underwater by signing to each other, you could be forgiven for being envious. Now, researchers have constructed a waterproof eGlove that wirelessly transmits a diver's underwater hand gestures to a computer that translates them into messages. It's in the early stages of development, but could it, in the future, put so-equipped divers on par with their hard-of-hearing friends? We guess it will be some time before these dive eGloves will be available in dive shops. (American Chemical Society)

Southwest Ends Flights to Cozumel   May 4, 2024

After August 5, it will no longer fly to Cozumel from any airport. So, if you have reservations, you’ll need to rush to make changes, because other airlines are filling rapidly.

Are You Safe to Dive?   May 4, 2024

Far be it from us to discourage anyone from scuba diving, but if you have suffered a seizure or an epileptic fit or you have a family history of such, you should not be going diving. If you suffer from diabetes, you should get clearance from your doctor to dive. (Also, if you have a heart or lung condition.) And there's no substitute for an annual comprehensive medical examination for all of us. You owe it to your nearest and dearest.

Scientists Combining Efforts in a Beacon of Hope  May 4, 2024

Scientists combining efforts in a beacon of hope for coral reefs were featured recently in a BBC documentary, Our Changing Planet. One group from Australia's Southern Cross University has pioneered a form of "coral IVF" that involves capturing millions of spawn from "heat-tolerant" reproductive coral after it floats to the sea surface, or alternatively, surrounding healthy coral with a cone-shaped net. The net functions like a huge "coral condom." To attract the larvae to settle on a degraded reef, another group of scientists from the U.K's University of Bristol are broadcasting recordings of fish noises captured near a busy, healthy reef. (See Flotsam in April's Undercurrent). Coral larvae detect sound according to the way the hairs on their bodies move, and so can be tricked into swimming to and settling on a typically silent, unhealthy reef. They are presently testing the effectiveness in the Maldives. (The Guardian)

The Flying Lifebuoy Drone  May 4, 2024

Manufactured by Chinese drone company Didiok Makings, the TY-3R is essentially a cross between a quadcopter and a lifebuoy. It takes off with the push of a joystick remote button and provides the pilot with a real-time view from a tilt-able onboard 720p camera. When rescuers spot a struggling diver, they'll just fire up the drone, fly it out to the diver in distress, and land it on the water, where the swimmer will use it as a floatation device. A slower-traveling human rescuer will then swim or boat to the diver and bring him back to his boat or shore.

Conception Captain Sentenced   May 4, 2024

A federal judge on May 2 sentenced Jerry Boylan, captain of the ill-fated liveaboard Conception, to four years in prison and three years’ supervised release for criminal negligence after 34 people died in a fire aboard the vessel off Santa Barbara, CA. The September 2, 2019 blaze was the deadliest maritime disaster in recent U.S. history. Boylan was found guilty of one count of misconduct or neglect of by ship officer last year. Family members of the deceased pleaded with Judge George Wu to give the 70 year-old Boylan the maximum 10-year sentence in an impassioned hearing. The lighter sentence -- and the fact that the judge is allowing Boylan to remain free until after a restitution hearing -- left many of the victims’ family members furious. “There’s no justice,” said Robert Kurtz, the father of one of the victims. “He’s not even being remanded. He’s still free.” (AP, LA Times).

MY Seafari VII

Another Bad Day for the Liveaboard Industry  May 4, 2024

On May 2, MY Seafari VII burned while making day-time passage between the islands of Rinca and Komodo in Indonesia. All aboard were successfully evacuated and no injuries were reported. More information in the next Undercurrent email.

Car Tires in the Dock  May 4, 2024

More than three-quarters of microplastics entering the ocean come from the synthetic rubber in car tires, according to a report from the Pew Charitable Trusts and the British company Systemiq (see Undercurrent April). They emit huge quantities of chemicals as they wear out on highways, and the heavier the vehicle, the worse the effect. Testing by a British company, Emissions Analytics, found that a car's tires emit more than one trillion ultrafine particles per mile driven -- from five to nine pounds of rubber per conventional gas-powered car annually. And what exactly is in those particles is a mystery because tire ingredients are proprietary. So, consider the weight of the next vehicle you buy.

Another Yucatan Blue Hole is the Deepest Anywhere  May 4, 2024

The Taam ja' blue hole in Chetumal Bay at 1365 feet is being hailed as the deepest in the world. Discovered in February last year, scientists have not yet determined the exact depth to the bottom. It is part of a system of blue holes within the Manatí Sanctuary-Bahía de Chetumal State Reserve. No word on when sport divers will get a chance to drop in for a look.

Ben Davison, editor/publisher


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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