June 21, 2010
June 11, 2010
Following are some abstracts from the March-April 2010 issue of the Journal of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society. These are copied from the public source, Medline.
Zeindler PR, Freiberger JJ.
Undersea Hyperb Med. 2010 Mar-Apr;37(2):133-9.PMID: 20462146 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]Related citations
Hassan Z, Mullins RF, Friedman BC, Shaver JR, Brandigi C, Alam B, Mian MA.
Undersea Hyperb Med. 2010 Mar-Apr;37(2):115-23.PMID: 20462144 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]Related citations
Nogueira-Filho GR, Rosa BT, David-Neto JR.
Undersea Hyperb Med. 2010 Mar-Apr;37(2):107-14.PMID: 20462143 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]Related citations
Undersea Hyperb Med. 2010 Mar-Apr;37(2):101-5.PMID: 20462142 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]Related citations
Takac I, Kvolik S, Divkovic D, Kalajdzic-Candrlic J, Puseljic S, Izakovic S.
Undersea Hyperb Med. 2010 Mar-Apr;37(2):95-9.PMID: 20462141 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]Related citations
Guillard E, Nancy B, Floch H, Henckes A, Cochard G, Arvieux J, Arvieux CC.
Undersea Hyperb Med. 2010 Mar-Apr;37(2):89-93.PMID: 20462140 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]Related citations
Hart GB, Strauss MB.
Undersea Hyperb Med. 2010 Mar-Apr;37(2):73-87.PMID: 20462139 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]Related citations
Gossett WA, Rockswold GL, Rockswold SB, Adkinson CD, Bergman TA, Quickel RR.
Undersea Hyperb Med. 2010 Jan-Feb;37(1):35-48.PMID: 20369651 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]Related citations
Chang DC, Lee JT, Lo CP, Fan YM, Huang KL, Kang BH, Hsieh HL, Chen SY.
Undersea Hyperb Med. 2010 Jan-Feb;37(1):23-33.PMID: 20369650 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]Related citations
Pingitore A, Gemignani A, Menicucci D, Passera M, Frassi F, Marabotti C, Piarulli A, Benassi A, L’Abbate A, Bedini R.
Undersea Hyperb Med. 2010 Jan-Feb;37(1):13-21.PMID: 20369649 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]Related citations
Tamaki H, Kohshi K, Sajima S, Takeyama J, Nakamura T, Ando H, Ishitake T.
Undersea Hyperb Med. 2010 Jan-Feb;37(1):7-11.PMID: 20369648 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]Related citations
June 10, 2010
Image of cutis marmorata from the New England Journal of Medicine.
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A 38-year-old man was transferred to the Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine Unit with decompression sickness 9 hours after a deep scuba dive to 54 m (177 ft). During the ascent, he had omitted decompression stops. On physical examination, there was evidence of paraparesis, hypoesthesia, and urinary retention associated with spinal cord involvement, as well as a characteristic rash (cutis marmorata) on the thighs and torso. Cutis marmorata is a dermal manifestation of decompression sickness. Initially, there is erythema accompanied by pruritus, and then the rash spreads irregularly and deepens in color. It develops a mottled appearance, with areas of pallor surrounded by cyanotic patches. During recompression, the rash resolves. Although cutis marmorata is not directly associated with complications, it commonly accompanies or precedes more severe illness involving the central nervous system or cardiovascular system and should be identified early in a troubled diver. The patient was treated with recompression in a hyperbaric-oxygen chamber. He was discharged 20 days later with resolution of the rash and full recovery of motor function. On follow-up 6 months after discharge, he remained free of symptoms.
June 3, 2010
For Non-Subscribers June 2, 2010
Consumer Reporting for the Scuba Diving Community since 1975
Before you book an August-October trip anywhere in the Caribbean, you’d better consider that NOAA thinks the 2010 hurricane season could be a real whopper. It is predicting anywhere from 14 to 23 named storms, and three to seven hurricanes that hit Category 3 or higher. Other major forecasters are predicting 15 to 18 named storms. To put things in perspective, the Atlantic had an average of 9.6 named storms per year from 1950 to 2000. The average for 2000 to 2009 soared to 15. While most of the Caribbean is affected, favorite diving destinations such as the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Cozumel, the Caymans and Belize are especially in harm’s way.
Consider the one reader David Funderburk (Greeley, CO) had in Baja California last month. “I paid for a three-tank dive. On my first dive, the divemaster, a young lady who had been diving for four years, took us to the sandy bottom at 67 feet and motioned us to stay there. After 18 minutes, she returned and had us surface. Apparently she had become lost and had to surface herself to get oriented. The second dive was uneventful but the third dive she aborted after 20 minutes, and no reason was given. That trip ranks as one of my worst experiences.” Has your dive day been ruined by a “certified divemaster” who brings shame to the title? What do you think — are certifying agencies granting Divemaster and Instructor certificates to people with so few dives they’re totally unqualified to lead other divers? We’re considering a story on how well divemasters are trained, both in and out of the water. So give us your bad experiences, as well as good ones showing us which divemasters others should exemplify. E-mail me at PublisherBenD@undercurrent.org
You’ll find more free content for divers than anywhere else at Undercurrent — we’ve made much more available to the public. Thousands of resort reviews, free access to all Undercurrent issues and reports prior to 2008, and blogs from the smartest and funniest people in the industry. And loads of improvements to make finding the information you need quickly and easily — more details below. You can also get a complete free sample issue of a real issue.
In this month’s travel feature, Doc Vikingo writes about his superb dive at Boo Rock, featured on the cover of Burt Jones and Maurine Shimlock’s latest book. It’s the definitive guide book on what the authors call “the greatest repository of tropical marine life on earth.” This 146-page book is filled with descriptions of mind-blowing dive sites, along with good descriptions of the area, the people, what you need to know to dive there, and fantastic photos of Raja Ampat’s unusual critters. Order it now at Undercurrent by going to “Books” and clicking on the cover photo. Our profits go to help reefs like Raja Ampat stay amazing.
If you’re looking for a summer deal with great accommodations and surely some of the Caribbean’s best diving, Paradise Villas on Little Cayman, a big favorite of Undercurrent subscribers, is a great choice. Owner Marc Pothier emailed us to say he’s rolling prices back to 2005 to get divers in the water. Paradise Villas has 12 oceanfront villas with kitchenettes if you want to prepare your own meals or hold a barbecue. Or dine at the casual waterfront restaurant Hungry Iguana, right on the property (everything from burgers to salads to steak and lobster). The house dive operation, the well-regarded Conch Club Divers, sports a 42-foot Newton for comfortable transport to Bloody Bay Wall. The whole deal is right here at www.paradisevillas.com. When you book, mention that you read about this offer from Undercurrent (use code “Undercurrent/Paradise Villas 2010″ or something similar) and you will get a $25 restaurant credit per person.
The barge-like Caribbean liveaboards stopped operations last month. Will divers who made reservations get their money back? Which other liveaboard fleets are stepping in to offer them replacement trips? Read our report “Nekton Cruises Shuts Down” for free at Undercurrent.
Joshua Hinsdale of Examiner.com has put together some good links to monitor the oil spill, including an oil spill movement forecast map and an explanation of BP’s latest well-plugging effort, the top kill procedure. If you want to see the depressing site of what the Gulf looks like now beneath the waves, check out this video of Philippe Cousteau and Good Morning America’s Sam Champion diving in hazmat drysuits for a close-up, underwater view of the “toxic soup.”
With political unrest in Bangkok, travelers are warned to avoid Thailand, even though the country’s dive sites are in the south, away from “state of emergency” regions. Still, the U.S. State Department recommends on its website : “U.S. citizens should defer all travel to Bangkok and all nonessential travel to the rest of Thailand.” Jenny Collister at dive travel agency Reef and Rainforest recommends divers now to fly to Phuket via Singapore or Hong Kong. “All liveaboards are based in Phuket, where it’s business as usual.” But the violence is having repercussions on dive destinations outside Thailand. No one can make reservations at Kasawari Lembeh Resort in Indonesia’s North Sulawesi region right now. It has its booking office in Bangkok. [They have now reopened the office -- DSE].
Joan Moody, who, with her husband Tom, developed the marvelous little Fiji dive retreat Moody’s Namena Island Resort, passed away in early May. They were instrumental in the creation of the marine reserve to protect the stunning barrier reef surrounding Namena Island from being overfished. Before going to Fiji, they operated Moody’s Pidertupo, a dive resort in the San Blas islands off the coast of Panama. It was burned to the ground by vigilantes and Tom was seriously wounded. The complete story is in There’s a Cockroach in my Regulator (order it at Undercurrent)
Then you need Step Zero II: Preparation for a SCUBA Live-Aboard Trip, which has a long checklist of actions to complete (Where do I want to go? Who do I want to go with?) and things to bring (How much do I pack? What photo equipment do I need?). This is a great guide to ensure you have an enjoyable time and don’t leave any essentials behind. (Paperback, 120 pages, $42.50 list price, $8.95 for the Kindle version). Go to www.Undercurrent.org, select Books, and you’ll get Amazon’s best price — and our profits will go to save coral reefs.
We’ll send you a case of 32 Travelin’ Divers’ Chapbooks (the new 2010 version) for your dive club — or dive store — if you make a $100 tax-deductible contribution to our effort to save reefs. Send the check to Undercurrent, 3020 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA 94965, with instructions about where you want the case sent. We’ll even throw in a free subscription to Undercurrent.
If you were a subscriber, you’d be reading about these stories in our 16 page June issue:Superb diving on Raja Ampat’s Archipelago Adventurer II . . . misunderstood and overlooked dive sites in the Caribbean and Pacific . . . price-fixing dive shop owners on Catalina Island, and how a third one went undercover to reveal their scheme . . . why divers get a bad deal on life insurance, and how they can get a good one . . . what’s more dangerous: the rebreather or the diver using it? . . . a night time raid shuts down Fiji’s Lagoon Resort and Beqa Adventure Divers . . . is Divers Alert Network staying true to its mission? . . . and much more.
Ben Davison, editor/publisher
April 21, 2010
Here is a web page on Pubmed about brain damage in a professional breathhold diver (ama). On this page there are also several links to other articles about neurological changes secondary to breathhold diving.
We had a post about this condition, called ‘Taravana”, on this web blog last year at http://www.scuba-doc.com/tenfootstop/?p=159
March 2, 2010
For Non-Subscribers March 1, 2010
Consumer Reporting for the Scuba Diving Community since 1975
Of the 145,000-plus programs available for download onto Apple’s iPhone and new iPad, we found some good ones for divers. Brock Brinkerhoff created iScubaPlan, a multiple dive/multi-level dive planner for sport divers, and iDecoPro for technical divers, both openwater and rebreather; both are $8 at Apple’s iTunes store. Dive Signs reminds divers what signals to use underwater ($2). More Mobile Software’s Dive Log lets you type in details about the dive site while you’re there, and uses the iPhone’s location service to capture the GPS coordinates ($10); it also offers Nitrox Tools ($6) and Trimix Tools ($7) to figure the best mixes. Or get a free download of Gas Blender, which calculates even more mixes like Heliair and Heliox and offers similar tools.
If you’re game, visit the Arctic Circle Dive Centre in northern Russia’s White Sea. To dive, you’ll have to create a hole in three-foot-deep ice with a handsaw to get to the water, while someone has to stay above ground in to make sure the hole doesn’t freeze up. And dress warm for the 14-degree water temperatures. But your payoff is swimming up close with endangered beluga whales. The ivory-colored whales are gentle, swim up close and look divers straight in the eye. Check out Franco Banfi’s photos of them in this Daily Mail story. Information about the Arctic Circle Dive Centre is here; diving with the beluga whales is year-round but obviously summer months are the warmest.
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.
DivePhotoGuide.com is a good website for photographers, amateur and pros, and its revamped website includes detailed underwater photo technique tutorials. Many are written by DivePhotoGuide founders Jason Heller and Matt Weiss, but masters like David Doubilet and Martin Edge also contribute, covering the gamut from super macro to wide angle. Go to www.divephotoguide.com and click on “Techniques.”
Now for only $3.60/month you can access all of Undercurrent’s issues, articles and reader reports, as well as file a reader report yourself. Plus we’ll send you our brand new 480 page 2010 Travelin’ Diver’s Chapbook (US/CA residents only) filled with hundreds of reviews of dive resorts and liveaboards worldwide. Know where and when to go on your next dive trip, and where/when NOT to.
If you previously were an Online Member and want to use your old username/password, you can get the same deal here.
Rays and octopuses are smarter than some divers we know. Scientists have recently been studying what tools they use to get food and shelter. Check out this video of veined octopus searching for coconut shell halves, suctioning them to their undersides, then reassembling them and disappearing inside to hide. In the Amazon, freshwater stingrays are shown using water as a tool, shifting their bodies to create a flow that moves food toward them.
If they have a Nintendo Wii, get them the videogame “Endless Ocean: Blue World,” introduced last week. The main plot revolves around a woman investigating the death of her ocean-exploring father, but as players investigate waters around the globe, they can access info about habits and behaviors of hundreds of sea creatures, from seahorses to whales, and pull up recent stats, like the health status of local fish. Divers can also sell salvaged items from shipwrecks and use them to buy coral and create reefs to attract marine species. But tell the kids that the training-the-dolphins aspect of the game isn’t something they should support in real life. The game retails for $30; get info at www.endlessocean.com.
Like bad customer service, for instance. Take the dive guide subscriber Ralph Bishop (Ithaca, NY) had on his Spirit of Solomons trip in December. “He was carrying a camera, trying to get his own photo first, while everyone else waits.” What situations have irked you involving the dive guides who are supposed to be there for you, the paying customer? On the other hand, tell us about the situations where they’ve given you standout service. We’ll compare and contrast dive guide service – and how it affects an entire dive trip — in an upcoming issue. E-mail me your tales at PublisherBenD@undercurrent.org.
As more divers try to stretch their dollar further, renting a home instead of a hotel room at a dive destination is sometimes a better deal. But what’s the best way to go about doing it? We want your experiences, both good and bad, about looking for vacation homes and timeshare rentals, both online and through live people, how good of a deal you got compared to dive resort prices, and the pros and cons of going this route. Send your stories, tips and advice to PublisherBenD@undercurrent.org.
Many divers take diuretics for high blood pressure or vertigo, but do those medications increase your chances of decompression sickness? Undercurrent contributor Doc Vikingo investigates; read his story for free in our March issue. Go to Undercurrent and click on “Do the Drugs You Take Increase Bends Risk?”
Before you buy or upgrade rebreather gear, read this piece, for free, by our equipment expert John Bantin. He looks at the differences between rebreather training and the type of new/used rebreathers on the market. Go to Undercurrent and click on “New Dangers of Rebreather Diving.”
- Rocio Del Mar: Well-trained crew – and seals – in the Sea of Cortez
- One big reason why divers are hanging up their fins
- Do the drugs you take increase the risk of bends?
- New dangers of rebreather diving
Where’s your customer service, Scubapro?
- Divers are feeling more jellyfish stings
Recalls of Mares dive computers and Tusa regulators
- New diver-tracking rules, but will divers abide?
- Join the hunt for lionfish in the Caribbean
- and much more
Ben Davison, editor/publisher
January 12, 2010
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
January 11, 2010
Cozumel Lionfish Tournament with Blue Magic Scuba: Since mid-summer, lionfish seem to have proliferated on Cozumel’s reefs, and Blue Magic Scuba has decided to do something to control a fish that threatens to decimate other marine life. From February 1 through June 15, Blue Magic is sponsoring a Lionfish Tournament and awarding prizes for such accomplishments as the most killed and the largest. You spot the lionfish, the divemaster catches it and the more lionfish caught, the more chances you have to win. Prizes include free diving at Blue Magic Scuba, a $500 gift certificate for gear at the local dive shop of your choice, and a four-night stay at the Fiesta Americana, which also includes diving. To get all the details, go here and click on the Lionfish tournament link in the lower left, or get the latest update here. For more information or to book, call Blue Magic toll-free at 866-712-6161 or e-mail email@example.com.
Don’t Use The Cressi Ellipse Black MC5 Regulator: Turns out you might have less air in your tank than you think. A recall issued by Cressi says, “Partial obstruction of the high-pressure port can produce an inaccurate reading on the pressure gauge, resulting in a slow descent of the BC needle in the pressure gauge. The inaccurate reading on the gauge poses a drowning hazard to divers.” About 200 regulators have been recalled, in the wake of Cressi-Sub USA receiving three reports of inaccurate pressure readings. “Cressi MC5″ and “Cressi Black” are printed on the faulty regulators. If you have one, return it to a Cressi-authorized dive shop for a free repair, or call 800-338-9243.
And Stop Using Your Dive Rite Wings BCD: The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a recall of 16,000 Dive Rite Wings because the overpressure valve springs could rust and fail, allowing the BCD to leak and posing a drowning hazard. The affected models include the Travel, Venture, Rec, Trek, Classic, Nomad and Super Wings, and were sold in red, blue or black. Faulty springs were used on wings that have an opaque white or blue-tinted bladder and welded in flanges. Wings with a black bladder are not affected. Only the Dive Rite wings that have a serial number ranging from 42,000 through 72,000 and were sold from June 2006 to October 2008 are included in this recall. If you have one of them, return it to an authorized distributor or call Dive Rite at (800) 495-1046.
Are Bonaire Reefs on the Decline?: Subscribers Blue McRight and Warren Wagner (Los Angeles, CA) say yes and that island authorities are not doing enough to protect them. As proof, they sent us this YouTube video
(http://www.youtube.com/user/forumantilles#p/u/0/yu1CfkOOgNU) created by Bonaire-based environmentalist Sean Paton. The eight-minute film investigates the safety of Bonaire’s groundwater and how the government’s lax sewage treatment standards are threatening not only the reefs but the human residents of the island.
Should You Take Your Cell Phone Diving?: Is it worth carrying your cell phone on you in case you come to the surface far from the dive boat? I have my opinions about that but also checked with Verizon, The Coast Guard and other divers about the general consensus. Read what everyone said, for free, in our January 2010 article: “Taking Your Cell Phone Diving: Dumb Idea or Good Safety Tool?” Just go to Undercurrent and click on the article link at the top of the page.
Diving Indonesia’s Raja Ampat, by Burt Jones and Maurine Shimlock: Here’s a definitive guide book on what the authors call “the greatest repository of tropical marine life on earth.” And anyone who has dived it knows they speak the truth. This 146-page book is filled with descriptions of mind-blowing dive sites, along with good descriptions of the area, the people and what you need to know to dive there. And the photos of unusual critters will knock your socks off. Whether or not you think you’ll ever get to Raja Ampat, you should own this book just to nurture your dreams. Order it now by going to Undercurrent and clicking on a photo of the cover, and our profits will go directly to tropical reef conservation.
Undercurrent’s 2010 Travelin Diver’s Chapbook: 480 pages of candid resort and liveaboard reviews just published. There are only a few left, so you must order now. Click here for details: http://www.undercurrent.org/half (former Online Members can go here and select renew).
Save a Shark, Buy a Billboard in China: Subscriber Jamie Pollack (New York, NY) works for the group Shark Savers and told us about her organization’s newest effort to keep shark fins out of soup bowls. It’s partnering with WildAid for a multimedia campaign in China and asking divers to help fund their efforts. For a tax-deductible $100, you can fund a “Say No to Shark Fin soup” bus-stop billboard featuring basketball star Yao Ming that will be placed in a high-traffic area of Beijing or Shanghai for a year. WildAid had 200 billboards in Beijing last year and says that of the people they surveyed who remembered the billboards, 82 percent said they would stop or reduce their eating of shark-fin soup. For details and donation information, go here:
Special Travel Offers: We’ve got special offers to hunt lionfish in Cozumel, organize your own dive safari in Bali, and get a reduced rate on the Manthiri in the Maldives. Click here for more information:
http://www.undercurrent.org/UCnow/SpecialOffers.php . Check back periodically since more new offers will be appearing soon.
Just Wear Your BCD on Board the Plane: In the December issue, I recommended buying a travel vest to hold your carry-on items and beat airline luggage weight restrictions. But reader Harvey Cohen (Middlefield, NJ) has a cheaper idea: Just put on your BCD over your shirt, wear it onto the plane, then stow it in the overhead bin. What does the TSA think about this? Read about it by clicking on our free link “Skip the Travel Vest” at Undercurrent.
Ben Davison, editor/publisher
January 8, 2010
Complete story now online!
You can now read all four chapters of the online short story Queen Conch online at http://www.scubadiving.com/community/2009/12/queen-conch. Share this link with your friends and let them know about this unique opportunity.
If you’re interested in reading the four, free dive adventure short stories that came before Queen Conch, visit Eric’s website at www.booksbyeric.com. If you like these stories, check out the three dive adventure novels Cayman Cowboys, Flooding Hollywood and Guardian’s Keep.
Author of Cayman Cowboys, Flooding Hollywood, Scuba Diving Safety and now Guardian’s Keep
Lessons for Life columnist for Scuba Diving Magazine.
January 6, 2010
Dr. Carl Edmonds is a Diving Medicine expert in Australia and co-author of a widely read and highly regarded textbook on the subject. He and his co-authors have updated their book and are offering it free on the Internet. The following is an email which we received about this:
“This text is the 2010 edition (3rd English edition) of Diving Medicine for Scuba Divers. Its previous editions have been mainly restricted to the Indo-Pacific region (in English, Japanese and Korean) for almost 2 decades. Because the previous edition is out of print and there still seems to be a need for this expanded publication, it is now made available free to any and all divers on the Internet. Under these conditions, the original authors, plus John Pennefather, have agreed that the text be made available without royalties and without imposing copyright.
The book deals mainly with diving problems, their causes, first-aid and prevention. It does not deal with complex medical treatments.
Diving authors and editors may extract whatever they wish, for their articles. It may be used commercially on condition that there is acknowledgement of the source, with our web address promulgated so that clients can access the complete and related data.
The Internet book is intended to be relevant to:
· Injured (and non-injured) divers, who may download any or all chapters relevant to them.
· Instructors and diving paramedics, who may need the whole text, as they cannot predict which part will be relevant to their diving trainees and patients.·
Non-diving physicians will be introduced to this subject and it may inspire them to seek more information. It tells them how to do so. Administrators who run diving medical courses can make the book available to the students for pre-course reading.
· Diving physicians, who will be able to download specific chapters to give to their diver patients, to understand and prevent recurrences of the illnesses they are treating
Web address for free copy of text www.divingmedicine.info
Also, if you think it appropriate, please add our link to your organisations web site.
Thanks, January 2010
January 4, 2010
For those of you following along at home, or just hoping to beat the winter chill, Chapter 3 of the short story Queen Conch is now online. http://www.scubadiving.com/community/2009/12/queen-conch
If you missed the first four stories in this series, check them out on my website at: http://www.booksbyeric.com/shorts.htm
Author of Cayman Cowboys, Flooding Hollywood, Scuba Diving Safety and Guardian’s Keep
Lessons for Life columnist for Scuba Diving Magazine