Scubadoc’s Ten Foot Stop

April 4, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:26 am

Join us for Chamber Day 2011 – May 4th, 2011

Help support the USC Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber in its 37th year of service to the Southern California Diving Communities.

Chamber Day 2011 ( is only a month away. The 23rd annual Chamber Day and 13th annual Chamber Evening Fund Raiser for the USC Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber will be held on Wednesday May 4th.

For the past 37 years the USC Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber has been dedicated to the treatment of diving accidents on a 24/7/365 basis. Having the Chamber available gives divers in Southern California waters a vital safety net in the event of a diving accident.

The Chamber’s contract from LA County provides a little over 50% of the Chamber’s annual budget needs. The annual Chamber Day contributions from divers, clubs, shops, manufacturers, organizations, publications and dive boat operators provide a significant portion of the remaining budget.

These funds go to covering transportation of Chamber Volunteers to and from the mainland, treatment gas, equipment purchases, maintenance, and repairs.

If you haven’t already signed up for Chamber Day 2011 there are many ways you can participate:

  • Go diving and tour the Chamber with the 23rd Annual Chamber Day Dive
  • Attend the 13th Annual Chamber Evening Dinner at the Aquarium of the Pacific
  • Enter the Chamber Day Raffle and have a chance to win valuable prizes
  • Donate to the 2011 Catalina Chamber Challenge
  • Get your own print of our Limited Edition Original Chamber Day painting (matted or matted & framed)
  • Join the Ghostly Crew and “dive” The Flying Dutchman
  • Order Chamber Day & Chamber Evening Shirts and Posters On-Line

For more information on how you can be involved in Chamber Day 2011 visit the Chamber Day web site at or call 310-652-4990. To view a short video about Chamber Day, go to: “What is Chamber Day 2011?” on YouTube. You can also get updates on Chamber Day and other Chamber Events by becoming a Facebook Fan of the Chamber. Please forward this message to anyone you think might be interested in supporting the Chamber and participating in Chamber Day.

Thank you for your support.

Karl E. Huggins – Director, USC Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber

January 30, 2011

Iron Overload and scuba diving

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 3:08 pm

Here is a very interesting presentation from Martin Kirk.

“Please find attached an article on iron overload correlated to scuba diving. The long version (below) was reduced for publication in Jan/Feb 2011 issue of Scuba Diving magazine. Hopefully you will find the article interesting enough to consider posting it on as it relates to a potentially important health issue. most likely you would be interested in reading the NASA study on which my article is based….

Points to consider…last year the NASA study provided me with a possible explanation for my extremely high iron levels after doctors had initially diagnosed hemochromatosis as the probable cause.
I would like to emphasize that it’s professional/commercial divers who make repetitive dives over an “extended period of time” (weeks or months as in my case) who need to be concerned about iron overload.
soon to be published NASA research confirms serum iron levels in astronauts in space and in the underwater habitat returned to normal in 3 months, as did my levels.

As a matter of interest, I am a healthy 54 year old male, don’t drink any alcohol or smoke or even eat red meat and lift weights and do interval training 5 days a week.
Lastly, it was suggested to DAN chief medical officer, Dr. Nick Bird, to conduct a study of the correlation between diving and iron overload but not sure if any study has been initiated.

Is Too Much Iron Dangerous for Divers?

NASA researchers recently quantified a number of physiological changes, previously detected in astronauts in outer space, in divers in an underwater habitat off the coast of Florida. In the underwater habitat during the nearly 2 week saturation dive at a depth of 19 meters, researchers detected a decrease in hemoglobin and hematocrit and an increase in body iron storage in divers. They also detected and measured, perhaps for the first time, an increase in serum iron levels.
NASA scientists hypothesize exposure to increased oxygen pressure during the dive indirectly caused neocytolysis or destruction of newly formed circulating red blood cells (you will recall from biology courses that hemoglobin protein binds to iron and transports oxygen in red blood cells). Implicationsof neocytolysis include a potential for increased release of iron into free form from the lysed RBC. Their results, published in a leading journal, are of concern to divers because excess iron in free form causes the formation of free radicals, which damage DNA and proteins.               The health implications of increased body iron stores are well documented in medical literature and include liver cirrhosis, liver cancer, cardiomyopathy, diabetes and cataracts.
Fortunately, I became aware of this study, Body Iron Stores and Oxidative Damage in Humans Increased during and after a 10 to 12 Day Undersea Dive, published in The Journal of Nutrition, but not before some experienced anxious moments. I had just returned to USA from Palau, where I had been captain/dive master on a live-aboard for 7 months, and
went for a routine medical checkup. I requested an iron test be conducted along with the usual blood tests to check for anemia since I had recently cut red meat out of my diet. A few days later the lab results came back normal except for serum iron levels, which were quite elevated. My doctor informed me that iron overload produces nearly the same symptoms as anemia or low iron. He suggested the cause was most likely the primary hereditary disorder in Caucasians of northern European descent, hereditary hemochromatosis, which affects 1 in 200 of that group. Since I am Caucasian and do have northern European heritage, the likely culprit of iron overload was apparently something I had little control over, or so I thought at the time. Google searches yielded the above mentioned NASA study of divers and a previous study with similar results detected in astronauts in outer space. Since I had not been in outer space recently, there was a chance the 3-4 daily dives in Palau could account for my iron overload. Immediately, I contacted Diver’s Alert Network (DAN) and was put directly through to the chief medical officer’s voice mail. The following day, DAN’s Dr. Nick Bird called to discuss my health issue and disclosed DAN medical staff were unaware of any correlation between iron overload and scuba diving.
After that initial blood test, I continued to have my serum iron as well as serum ferritin (body iron stores), transferrin protein and alpha-fetoprotein (to rule out liver cancer or cirrhosis) levels checked on a monthly basis. In
addition, I became proactive and initiated steps to mitigate the effects of excess iron and to reduce iron intake. I donated blood to remove iron, avoided vitamin C supplements, which help the gut absorb iron, avoided multi-vitamins with iron, took the natural herb milk thistle, continued with a no red meat diet and suspended scuba activities. All tests returned
normal except for the serum iron levels and those levels began to drop 14% each month between June and August and by September levels were down 40% from August and well within a normal range. At that time, I contacted the lead researcher in the NASA study to thank her and her colleagues for publishing their findings. That information alone had encouraged me there could be another cause for my iron overload other than an hereditary disorder, which apparently is managed primarily by phlebotomy treatments.
At the end of the day, based on the length of time required for iron levels of subjects in a followup NASA study to return to normal (results related but not yet published) and the length of time it took for my own iron levels to return to normal, the only countermeasure may be to sit on the sideline for 3 months or just snorkel. Hopefully this topic will be researched further and divers who make multiple daily dives over an extended period of time will be made aware of the potential risks and consequences of iron overload and will be encouraged to have iron levels checked during their next physical.

Martin Kirk is a PADI Dive Master who developed iron overload after logging 315 dives in 7 months

November 14, 2010

Thought you might be interested in this item about “Harvesting Divers”

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:36 pm

Dear Friends

For the better part of 2010, I have been traveling to collect information, photos and stories to tell the story of harvesting divers around the world.  The main story is in Alert Diver being mailed out this week. Or, if you can’t wait, you can read it online at

This link will take you to the primary article. At the bottom of that story are links to the second article and the photo essay. Or you can follow the additional links I have provided below.

If you’re not a DAN Member, you can still see the article, but you’ll have to give up your email address to do it. It is free, but you have to sign in.

Main Story: Harvesting Divers at Risk

Sidebar: Diving Cooperative on Isla Natividad

Photo gallery of the Harvesting Diver Project

Below are two links to other parts of this project.

•         Using still images and video segments I shot along the way, we created a video you can watch on Youtube– DAN Video Guy page:


•         National Geographic took an interest in this project and featured it in the Nat Geo News Watch:


Eric Douglas

October 14, 2010

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the treatment of post cardiac surgical strokes–a case series and review of the literature.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 8:51 am

In an article in Anaesth Intensive Care. 2010 Jan;38(1):175-84, Gibson AJ, Davis FM write about patients treated at the  Hyperbaric Medicine Unit, Christchurch Hospital, Christchurch, New Zealand  with HBO for strokes following open heart surgery.

An Abstract of the article

Strokes remain an uncommon but significant complication of cardiac surgery. Cerebral air embolism is the likely aetiology in the majority of cases. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is the recognised treatment for cerebral air embolism associated with compressed air (SCUBA) diving accidents and is therefore also the standard of care for iatrogenic causes of air embolism. It follows that there is a logic in treating post-cardiac surgical stroke patients with hyperbaric oxygen. The aim of this retrospective review was to examine the outcomes of 12 such patients treated in the Christchurch Hospital hyperbaric unit and to appraise the evidence base for the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in this setting. Despite delays of up to 48 hours following surgery before the institution of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, 10 of the 12 patients made a full neurological recovery or were left with mild residual symptoms, with nine returning to their previous level of care. One patient remained hemiplegic and there was one early neurological death. There is a paucity of prospective data in this area, but based on sound pathophysiological principles and clinical experience, we believe that patients suffering a stroke following open cardiac surgery should be considered for hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Related Citations:

September 24, 2010

Undercurrent Online Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:43 pm

Undercurrent Online Update

For Non-Subscribers September 23, 2010
Undercurrent Logo
Consumer Reporting for the Scuba Diving Community since 1975

Camera-Covering Manta Ray

Videographer Travis Matteson was filming a school of mantas during a night dive at Kailua-Kona, HI, when the biggest manta of the bunch swam by, grabbed his $5,000 Canon underwater rig and swam away. With the camera still rolling the entire time, the manta got an opportunity to do some filming of its own. When it was done, the manta dropped the camera right below the boat, and did not leave a scratch on the rig. See video of the manta’s footage here.

The Endless Diving Websites

There seems to be no end to the proliferation of websites related to diving, but very few, if any, become financially viable. Undercurrent is looking for merger partners, and if any website creator or owner out there, no matter how large or small the website, sees merit in the idea, email me at

An Interesting Election-Year Tactic

Last week, Allen Sherrod of Groveland, FL, decided to break the Guinness World Records mark for longest scuba dive in open freshwater without resurfacing – the world record is five days, and he planned to stay down for seven. He says he decided to do it because, as his family owns a dive shop, he wanted to call attention to the pollution in area lakes. But Sherrod is also running for mayor of Groveland. Unfortunately, Sherrod ended his attempt early on the third day. He resurfaced at 2:30 a.m. on September 15, walking out of Lake David with help from fellow divers. He said he had the flu and became increasingly sicker underwater. Allen, we know politicians will do anything to win elections but next time you decide to go for a world record to gain votes, get your flu shot first.

Lionfish Derbies in Florida

REEF and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary held their inaugural Lionfish Derby on September 11 in Key Largo, and 100 divers rounded up 534 lionfish. The fish were then sent to Coconuts Restaurant and served fried or ceviche style. One dive team won $1,000 for capturing the most lionfish, 111 of them. Another team won $500 for bringing back the biggest one, measuring 10.6 inches. The next Keys Lionfish Derby will be October 16 in Marathon, followed by November 13 in Key West. Go to REEF’s website for details. And check out our upcoming October issue — we’ll have an article about lionfish in the Caribbean, whether there’s a tipping point for them and if so, what’s the worst-case scenario.

Shark Victims against Shark Finning

Despite all the Shark Week hoopla on the Discovery Channel that makes people fear sharks even more, an unusual group of people recently came out to support them: survivors of shark attacks. A group of nine survivors went to the United Nations building on September 13 to pressure UN members to halt shark finning. It has been more than a decade since 130 nations agreed to develop “shark management plans,” but only 40 countries have done so. All survivors said it wasn’t the sharks’ fault; they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Says Krishna Thompson, who lost his leg to a shark in 2001, “If I could endure such an attack and lose a limb and still support shark conservation, I don’t see why anybody else shouldn’t.”

What Scared Ving Rhames?

In the Flotsam section of our September issue, we reported how Hollywood tough-guy actor Ving Rhames, most noted for Pulp Fiction and the Mission Impossible films, said he would never snorkel or dive again after meeting a scary-looking fish on the Great Barrier Reef. Based on his description of “a catfish and something with an oblongish-type head,” two Undercurrent readers think they know the answer. Elaine Stamman (Berkeley, CA) and John Hollinshead (Houston, TX) both believe Rhames saw a wobbegong. We think they’re right and while wobbegongs do bite, these bottom-swelling carpet sharks are generally not dangerous unless they’re provoked.

Jacques Cousteau, The Sea King

Cousteau has been dead for nearly 14 years but he left a profound legacy for every last soul on our water planet. He was committed, full of hopes and dreams, but the Cousteau Society crumbled in the 90s. It’s a sad story, one of many tales told in this excellent new book by Brad Matsen. The author goes into great detail about Cousteau’s development of diving and photography equipment, his outfitting the famous Calypso, and the traumas and joys of his decades aboard his beloved craft, bringing the undersea world to life for worldwide viewers. It’s a great tale of the sea and a must-read for any diver. Go to to order the book via Amazon, and whatever profit Undercurrent accrues from the sale will go to support saving our seas.

Subscriber Offer

This monthly e-mail is a free service to all divers out there but as a subscriber to Undercurrent, you’ll get 16 pages every month of solid information that’s not found in any other dive publication. Subscribe to our monthly batch of dive news you can use, and your next trip will be a better one. Give us a try thru December for only $10.80 here or add $1 and get a copy of the 2010 Travelin’ Diver’s Chapbook sent to you (US/CA only).

There’s a Cockroach in My Regulator:

Our new book has 240 pages of the best of the unusual, entertaining and jaw-dropping stories Undercurrent has published during the past 35 years. They’re all true, though nearly unbelievable and always fascinating, like the stingray that gave the diver a hickey, an exploding tank that yielded $150,000 of cannabis, and buddy couples fighting with each other. We’re offering autographed copies for just $17.95. (Shipping/handling is $5 for U.S. resident, $9.95 for Canada; California residents add $1.80 for sales tax.) Go to Undercurrent and click on “Editor’s Book Pick of the Month” for details and to order online.

The Risks of Oxygen

There’s lots of misconceptions about the risks of oxygen toxicity to one’s central nervous system, and the effects of “low dose” exposure. In the September article, free to read at Undercurrent, our longtime contributor Bret Gilliam clears up a confusing subject and describes what the real risks are for Nitrox-using divers.

What You’re Missing in this Month’s Undercurrent

Castle Comfort Lodge, Dominica . . . the reasons to dive Greece’s Aegean Islands . . . will Katie Price’s breast implants explode underwater? . . . dive operators at Mexico’s Guadalupe Island take shark tours to the extreme . . . California declares diving “hazardous” . . . the risks of oxygen at increased depths . . . two diver-friendly life insurance firms . . . and much, much more.

Coming Up In Undercurrent

aboard a Philippines liveaboard . . . a British Columbia dive lodge … the worst-case scenario for the Caribbean’s lionfish invasion . . . a British dive shop was fined for its role in a diver’s death; why don’t we do the same over here? . . . readers tell us about bad dive guides who wrecked their dive trips . . .diving and erectile dysfunction . . . what you can do to help convince Bahamas not to allow shark finning in its waters. . . and much, much more.

Ben Davison, editor/publisher
Contact Ben

September 13, 2010

Abstracts from the medical journal, Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:13 am

May 4, 2010

Undercurrent Online Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 9:28 am

Undercurrent Online Update

For Non-Subscribers May 3, 2010
Undercurrent Logo
Consumer Reporting for the Scuba Diving Community since 1975

OMS Recalls 20,000 BCs:

Ocean Management Systems is recalling 20,000 BCs after they discovered the seal ring can crack, posing a drowning risk. The BCs were sold in black or red between May 2006 and August 2008. The item and serial numbers for recall are here ; check for the numbers printed on the warning label, in the BC’s non-inflation area. Take the BC back to an OMS dealer for new parts to be installed free of charge, call OMS at 877-791-0315, or e-mail

Gulf Coast Alert

Dive shops along Florida’s east coast are on alert and monitoring the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Pensacola is an area of concern for clean-up teams but Douglas Hammock, captain of the H20 Below, says the spill is not yet affecting his trips to the U.S.S. Oriskany. “It’s still over 100 miles away,” he told us on April 29. “The majority of it seems to be headed toward the mouth of the Mississippi.” Bob Holston at Dive Key West doesn’t expect any effects in his area for at least the next week. “Because of the southeastern winds, it’s now north of what is known as the ‘Loop Current.’ However, if it got below that, we can expect the currents to spread the damage into the Florida Keys and up along the eastern seaboard.” Check daily updates at

There’s a Cockroach in My Regulator: Shipping May 15:

We’re putting the finishing touches on our brand-new, 256-page book that’s filled with the best of the unusual, entertaining and jaw-dropping stories Undercurrent has published. They’re true, often unbelievable and always fascinating, like the stingray that gave the diver a hickey, and an exploding tank that yielded $150,000 of cannabis. We’re offering it to you now for the pre-production price of just $17.95. (Shipping/handling is $5 for U.S. resident, $9.95 for Canada; California residents add $1.80 for sales tax.) Go to Undercurrent and click on “Editor’s Book Pick of the Month” for details and to order online.

TUSA Regulator Recall

Tabata USA is recalling about 250 TUSA RS-670 regulators, sold in the U.S. between May and September 2009. The first-stage’s balance chamber plug can loosen from the regulator, causing a high-pressure leak and creating unstable pressure. The recall regulators have the following serial numbers: UR600022 through UR600029, UR600031 through UR600103, UR6000637 through UR6000676, UR600708 through UR600716, UR600737 through UR600776. Go to an authorized dealer for inspection and replacement, call TUSA at 800-482-2282 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., or e-mail

Dive Club Members:

Every diver you know ought to be getting our monthly email, especially so they’re updated on important safety issues. Send your club members’ names and emails to me at and I will add them to our email list to get free monthly emails.

What Is It with Divers and Ironing?:

Some divers seem to think the best way to get into the Guinness Book of World Records is to participate in “extreme underwater ironing.” Now Key Largo wants to beat the record and has rescheduled its ironing event from May 1 to June 12. Organizers hope to attract 100 ironing divers in order to break the current record of 86 participants, currently held by British scuba divers. They’ll iron underwater for 10 minutes near the Christ of the Deep statue. Event details:

iPads for Dive Photographers:

Is this new Apple device worth buying for better underwater photography? DivePhotoGuide’s Jason Heller and Matt Weiss give their perspective as dive photographers on its usefulness. In this five-minute video , they talk about using the iPad for slide shows and video; its apps, accessories and wireless ability; and whether it’s worth taking on your next dive trip.

Death in the Galapagos:

Why was a dive site with a strong current picked as the first dive on this Galapagos Aggressor II trip? It was a fatal first dive for a 23-year-old kindergarten teacher from Galveston, TX. Another diver on that trip tells the story of her death, and questions whether liveaboards are taking divers with too little experience on too-challenging dives. Read it free – go to Undercurrent and click on “Death in the Galapagos.

How a Diver Stumped Airport Security: What You Can Learn From Our Online Blogs:

Undercurrent contributor John Bantin wrote about his recent experience with U.S. airport security, and how he was one of the lucky few to be selected for a hand search of his checked baggage. Havoc ensued – - here’s a sample: “My BC was withdrawn and inexplicably held up to the light. They examined my extending emergency flag. Inside my fins, they found my very ominous-looking dive masks. They examined my hexagonal wrenches, my spanners and my diving knife until they finally found something really suspicious.” What was it? Find out, along with the other TSA pitfalls Bantin experienced, by reading his blog post “Fortress America: Heightened Security for Flights to the USA.” His posts, and those of our other diving expert contributors, can be found by going to Undercurrent and clicking on “Blogs.”

What You’re Missing in This Month’s Undercurrent:

Buddy Dive Resort, Bonaire: Freedom for solo diving photographers . . . diving for amphorae on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast . . . how to get good underwater photos with digital compacts . . . a fatal first dive in the Galapagos . . . Undercurrent puts a stop to Caribbean dive guides killing flamingo tongues . . . how to spice up local diving . . . problems with peeing in drysuits . . . and much more.

Coming Up in Undercurrent:

A unique hideaway in Honduras . . . a not-so-fantastic trip to Raja Ampat . . . aboard the AquaCat in the Bahamas. . . why it’s worth considering a house rental over a hotel room on your next dive trip . . . our annual “Why Divers Die” reports . . . a price-fixing lawsuit against two Catalina dive operators … why divers pay more for life insurance . . . and much, much more.

Ben Davison, editor/publisher
Contact Ben

Our May Issue
• Buddy Dive Resort, Bonaire
• Death to Flamingo Tongues?
• Fethiye and Kas, Turkey
• TUSA Regulator Recall
• How A Diver Stumped Airport Security
• Underwater Photos with Digital Compacts
• Judge Calls Mistrial For a “Too Taxing” Stranded-Diver Case
• Do You Think Local Diving is Boring?
• Local Dive Highlights: Graveyards, Shark Teeth, Bowling Alleys
• Problems with Peeing in Drysuits
• Flotsam & Jetsam

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March 17, 2010

Diving Safety Officer needed for OSU

Filed under: News, Uncategorized — admin @ 12:18 pm

We have initiated a search to replace our retiring Diving Safety Officer.  Would you post this opportunity to your website, bulletin board and forward to any list serves that may be interested or have knowledge of others who may be interested in this position?  Any assistance you can provide in helping us get the word out about this important position would be greatly appreciated.
OSU Office of the Vice President for Research is seeking an experienced Professional
Faculty position as Diving Safety Officer (DSO). This is a part-time, 12 month fixed
term position (20 hours a week) salary is commensurate with education and experience.
The DSO is responsible for, but not limited to, the oversight and conduct of OSU
academic and research diving operations and will provide diving instruction to faculty,
staff, and graduate students. To apply and for a complete position announcement see:, posting 0005374. Closes 04/09/10. OSU is AA/EOE.
Thank you,
Bruce Marbin

Position in combat casualty research open

Filed under: News, Uncategorized — admin @ 12:01 pm

I am trying to fill a position for the USN in Portsmouth.  Combat casualty care research.  Hyperion just got a contract with the USN to help with research activities for BUMED.  We don’t have much presence in Portsmouth, Virginia.  Trying to make some contacts and work with staffing agencies and the like.

This could be a pretty good opportunity for someone recently retired from the Navy.  If you know anybody please forward this email.

Do you know of any good ways to reach out to this community?

Call anytime.

Link to our website:


John Kalns, Ph.D.

Vice-President and Chief Scientific Officer

Hyperion Biotechnology, Inc.

Cell 210.857.4478

Science. Solution.

February 9, 2010

Undercurrent Online Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 9:38 am

U N D E R C U R R E N T   O N L I N E    U P D A T E
F O R    N O N – S U B S C R I B E R S

Undercurrent — Consumer Reporting for
the Scuba Diving Community since 1975

Dive News

February 9, 2010

You have received this message because you have signed up on our website to receive this email or you are a former subscriber or Online Member of Undercurrent . If you had a username associated with this email address, it is Removal instructions are below.

Subscribers/Online Members can get all the articles
from the current issue of Undercurrent here

Mares is Recalling All Nemo Air Computers: If you’ve got one, contact your dealer now. Mares issued a recall last summer for the slow-leaking O-rings on the Nemo Air computer’s Quick Connector hose, but it turns out the replacement O-ring issued wasn’t the solution. On February 1, Mares announced another recall for the entire hose. “We designed a new quick disconnect system to replace it,” Mares’ national sales manager Steve Lamphear told Undercurrent. All Nemo Air dive computers need this replacement so contact a Mares dealer to get the hose replacement, free of charge. If you want Mares to do the replacement, call Customer Service at 800-874-3326 and give them your computer’s serial number for shipping info.

Undercurrent Blogs: If you haven’t been following our blogs, you’ll get plenty of information, laughs and education from guest bloggers like Bret Gilliam, the deepest air diver ever; Doc Vikingo, peripatetic columnist; Burt Jones and Maurine Shimlock, who just completed an excellent book on Raja Ampat; John Bantin, the equipment editor for Diver magazine; and many, many more. Go to Undercurrent and click on blogs.

And A Regulator Recall From TUSA: It’s taking back RS-670 regulators sold between May and September 2009 because loosening of the BLC plug on the first stage may cause a high-pressure leak. Affected units have first stage serial numbers between 22 and 29, 31 and 103, 637 and 676, 708 and 716, and 737 and 776. Take your regulator back to the dealer, or contact TUSA at or call 800-482-2282 to mail it back for repair, covered under warranty.

Great Free Online Dive Medicine Book: Carl Edmonds, co-founder of Australia’s Diving Medical Centre, alerted us that his formerly out-of-print book Diving Medicine for Scuba Divers has just been updated for 2010 and, better yet, is available to download for free online: ( This classic book, which Edmonds co-authored, deals with dive-specific health issues, their causes, first-aid and prevention. You can download any of the 43 chapters, from Panic and Fatigue to Drugs and Diving, one at a time, or the entire book. Edmonds encourages you to download his book onto a CD/DVD to take with you on your next dive trip, or just pass on to fellow divers.

Coral Reefs Need Your Foreign Currency: Admit it. You’ll never use those foreign bills in the bottom of your drawer, so send them to us to convert into greenbacks and apply them to a project to save our oceans and reefs. It’s tax-deductible and I’ll send you a receipt for your contribution greater than $50 (Undercurrent is a 501c3 organization and contributions are tax-deductible). So far, we have outfitted a sailboat so rangers can stop night poachers on Belize reefs, and helped build a school in Fiji, for which the chiefs established marine-protected areas totaling 3,010 acres and a 4,752-acre forest preserve. Send the bills to me: Ben Davison, P.O. Box 3020, Sausalito, CA, 94965. And feel free to include a tax-deductible personal check made out to Undercurrent as well. If divers don’t save the reefs, who will?

A New Online Guide for Underwater Photographers: Here’s a new site underwater photographers of all levels can check out for tips. Underwater Photography Guide ( offers an online tutorial book from Santa Monica-based diver and photographer Scott Gietler – check out the Chapter Index to get straight to info on wide-angle optics, image sharpness, post-processing and more. Every week, Gietler posts new articles on photography theory and technique, and equipment reviews. Or sign up for a monthly e-mail newsletter. All information is free to read.

Kudos To Louie Psihoyos And The Cove: Psihoyos, the National Geographic photographer turned filmmaker, has been winning a slew of awards for his feature-length documentary, a stealth effort by divers to document the dolphin slaughter at Taiji, Japan. The Cove won Best Documentary at the Critics Choice Awards, and the Directors Guild of America named Psihoyos the best documentary director of 2009. Now The Cove is an Oscar nominee for Best Documentary. See if it wins on March 7; and The Cove is now available on DVD. P.S.: I helped Louie raise $20,000 to subtitle The Cove in Japanese for distribution in Japan.

What You’re Missing in the February Issue: Subscribers and Members can download the entire issue or individual articles. , and read about:

Read an Issue: I want you to see a full copy of Undercurrent’s monthly newsletter; you can do so on our home page at Undercurrent. Right now, if you sign up to have it delivered to your email address each month, I’ll send you a free, 480-page, 2010 Travelin Diver’s Chapbook, chock full of reviews of hundreds of resorts and liveaboards worldwide – go to (previous Online Members can get the same offer and keep their old username/password by going to )

My Report From The Copenhagen Conference: I attended the entire U.N. Climate Change conference, held in Copenhagen in December, taking in dozens of presentations and talking to experts about the environmental impact on the oceans. Will any significant changes come from it? Read my report for free in the February issue – go to Undercurrent and click on “A Diver’s Report from Copenhagen.”

Diving the World: A Guide to the World’s Most Popular Dive Sites: Authors Beth and Shaun Tierney describe 220 dive sites in 19 nations, along with site maps, country reviews, seasonal dive information, destination ratings, preferred dive operators and liveaboards, good travel information and hundreds of color photos. If you’re interested in the Caribbean, you won’t find much besides the Yucatan, Honduras, Belize and Grenada. But the key countries in the Pacific and Indian Ocean are all covered. If you’re an adventurous traveler, there’s a lot of good reading here. Go to Undercurrent, click on “Books” and buy it through us; you get it from and our profits go to conserve coral reefs.

Do Alcohol and Stingrays Mix?: According to Grand Cayman officials, they can with no detrimental effect. In December, they granted liquor, music and dancing licenses for a floating bar to be built on the waters near Grand Cayman’s Stingray City. Read points of view from both the protestors and the businessman building the bar in our article “Grand Cayman Officials Say Alcohol and Stingrays Do Mix,” available for free at Undercurrent.

Coming in Future Issues:

  • The isolated isles of Honduras: Cayos Cochinos,
  • The WWII wrecks of Saipan,
  • Buddys on Bonaire,
  • Secret diving in Turkey,
  • A new Sea of Cortez liveaboard,
  • New dangers of rebreather diving
  • Digital camera tips for good underwater photos
  • Why divers are hanging up their fins
  • Join the hunt for lionfish in the Caribbean
  • The extremes one diver took to get customer service from Scubapro
  • and much, much more..

Ben Davison, editor/publisher
Contact Ben

Website News

Diving Discounts: We have a number of special deals from dive operators worldwide on our website’s Special Offer page that could be just what you’re looking for. These include:

  • 10-20% discounts on M/Y Manthiri (Maldives),
  • $850/wk diving in Utila, Honduras,
  • A write-your-own diving safari in Bal especially for UW photographersi, and
  • Buying a large villa with pool in Bali in front of one of the world’s best dive spots.

See them all here and check back there periodically as new offers are being added constantly.

Get Notified of New Divers’ Blogs: See what you’ve been missing from leading industry pundits: John Bantin, Bret Gilliam, Ben Davison, Bob Halstead, Burt Jones & Maurine Shimlock, and Doc Vikingo — there’s lots of provocative posts since our last update. If you want to keep up with these, we can now notify you by email whenever there’s a new post (1-2/week) — just sign up here

Dave Eagleray, webmaster

Note: 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. Dive trips listed in our emails must be offered by a well-regarded operation that has been reviewed positively by our readers. The operator must include a special offer for Undercurrent subscribers and supporters. Undercurrent is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization and in some cases the operator has made a donation.

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