22 JAN 23
Diver Lost to a Down Current in Cozumel. A North American recreational diver went missing at Santa Rosa Reef, at the southern end of Cozumel, on January 16, when apparently caught by a down current while he was near the surface. Navy personnel began a search for the missing diver after being notified of his failure to resurface and the crew’s failure in locating him underwater. A search alert has been extended to local fishermen in Isla Mujeres, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum. More information in the following issue of Undercurrent.
No Hyperbaric Chamber in the Solomons. Because of damage caused by a recent earthquake, the Solomon Islands’ recompression chamber is out of commission. Because the nearest hyperbaric facilities are 1300 miles away in Brisbane, Australia, you’d better be carrying emergency medical evacuation insurance. More about diving insurance and medical evacuation in the next issue of Undercurrent.
The Most Dangerous Thing You Meet Is a Boat. In early January, a surfacing diver at Los Cabos, Mexico, was hit by a passing boat at popular Pelicanos Beach, one of many spots frequented by divers. Though he has a severe head injury, it is not life-threatening. Undercurrent has recently reported on several similar accidents, which seem to be increasing in popular diving areas where pleasure boats run.
Bob Hollis Passes. A pioneering diver, Hollis dived the sunken wreck of the Andrea Doria more times than anyone on the wreck; in 1981, he was the underwater photographer for the nationally aired movie. Hollis founded Oceanic Worldwide, Aeris, and Pelagic Pressure Systems after he opened the Anchor Shack dive shop in Hayward, California, in 1966, and began developing underwater camera housing, strobes, and hand lights. He even opened a diving resort in Papua New Guinea -- Tawali on Milne Bay. Bob Hollis passed away on January 4 in Salt Lake City (UT), aged 85 years.
Indonesia's Adultery Law is not Intended for You. Indonesia recently introduced a law making it illegal for couples who were not married to share sleeping accommodations. But before you cancel that trip with your lover, be aware that this law won't apply to foreigners. The intention is to allow an Indonesian to take legal action against an unfaithful spouse and requires a formal complaint from an immediate family member. Despite what you might read in the sensational press, romantic trips to Bali are still feasible.
Guadalupe Closed For Good. Despite the optimism of Mike Lever of Nautilus (Undercurrent September 22), it looks like great white shark diving at Guadalupe Island, Mexico, is done. All tourism, including liveaboard diving, has been banned, and film and television crews will be prohibited. Unfortunately, the new management plan has no provisions for protecting the 400-plus great white sharks known to frequent the area. More about this in the February issue of Undercurrent.
This Month in Undercurrent: Wakatobi -- luxury in Sulawesi, Indonesia . . . Another Georgia dive instructor found guilty . . . Decaying WWII wrecks threaten coral reefs . . . Easy diving with Divi Flamingo Beach hotel, Bonaire . . . Don't let Bonaire's easy diving fool you . . . Is the Apple watch and dive app the future of dive management? . . . You don't have to hide your keys in the bushes . . . Malta dive accident ruled an involuntary homicide . . . Any diver can get bent -- so get insured . . . Avatars' actors' amazing breath-holding skills . . . Conception deaths spark new owner liability law . . . Conception iPhone video tells a terrible story . . . The Socorro Aggressor fails the test . . . and much, much more.
Before Diving, Children Need Medical Exams. The Dutch Society of Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine strongly advises a diving medical examination for all children who would like to take up diving and points out the self-declaration medical form used by many diving organizations is designed for adults to answer and inappropriate for children. Diving & Hyperbaric Medicine Volume 50 No. 4 December 2020
Boom! There Goes the Aquarium. On December 16, a 265,000-gallon aquarium, home to 1,500 Caribbean and Indo-Pacific tropical fish, burst in the lobby of Berlin’s Radisson Blu hotel, flooding the hotel and nearby streets. The AquaDom was 46 feet high, the largest free-standing cylindrical aquarium in the world. Two people were injured by flying glass shards, and only a few fish survived at the bottom of the ruptured tank.
Diving Close to Home. Two teachers, Rich Cochrane and Henry Sadler from St. Petersburg, FL, recently found a 10,000-year-old ice-age mastodon jawbone with several teeth and a pair of tusks while diving in local private waters of Pinellas County, Florida. As evidence that great discoveries wait for local freshwater divers anywhere, Sadler and Cochrane are confident they’ll find more fossils there.
Are You a New Diver Rushing Out to Buy a Camera? We suggest it would be better to master your buoyancy control first. We've seen too many underwater photographers thoughtlessly damaging the underwater environment. It is now frowned upon even to kneel on the sand, thanks to the knowledge of creatures that live below it. Good buoyancy control is not hard to master using variable lung volumes, but you must practice.
Ben Davison, editor/publisher
Shared By Chris
Guadalupe shark-dive ban made permanent
Divernet - Scuba News Steve Weinman on January 19, 2023 at 8:16 pm
The ban on caged shark diving at remote Guadalupe Island off Mexico, which has frustrated the great white shark divers and liveaboard operators who would normally be several months into the 2022/23 season by now, has been declared permanent by the Mexican government.
But some operators remain defiant and insist that the ban, which has been pinned on increased scrutiny following several high-profile shark-cage incidents in the past, will sooner or later be overturned. They also argue that the move could be detrimental rather than for the protection of sharks.
Guadalupe lies 160 miles off the Pacific coast and has been a marine reserve since 2005. Long renowned as one of the world’s leading white shark locations, dive-boats visited for caged diving between November and June, switching to Mexico’s other celebrated remote diving location the Revillagigedo Islands, which includes Socorro, at other times of the year.
Guadalupe is inhabited only by scientists and some military personnel and seasonal fishers. Eastern Pacific white sharks come to feed on seals and other prey in the area.