Scubadoc’s Ten Foot Stop

October 7, 2009


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Undercurrent — Consumer Reporting for
the Scuba Diving Community since 1975

Dive News

October 6, 2009

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Serious Problems with 20,000 Halcyon Over Pressure Valves: Virtually everything Halcyon manufactures with an over pressure valve – BCDs, surface marker buoys, safety sausages, lift bags, etc., has been recalled because of leaking valves which can deflate the devices and eliminate their buoyancy. This recall involves the Halcyon Explorer, Eclipse, CCR35, Evolve and Pioneer BCDs and Halcyon Surface Marker Buoys, Lift Bags, Diver Alert Markers (DAMs) Surf Shuttle and Diver Lift Raft Inflatable Devices. “Halcyon” is printed on the equipment. The recalled items were sold between January 2006 and December 2008. If you’ve got a piece of gear with this valve, return it to an authorized Halcyon dealer for a free replacement of the overpressure valve spring. Contact Halcyon at (800) 425-2966 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday; Web site is; email address is If you had an incident using any of this gear, report it at

The Fragile Edge, Diving and Other Adventures in the South Pacific: Documentary film maker and diver Julia Whitty paints a mesmerizing scientifically rich portrait of the coral reefs of the South Pacific. Her thoughtful and spiritual vision provides unique reporting of encounters with humpbacks, hammerheads eagle rays and the usual reef inhabitants, described in a lyrical, beautiful verse rarely found in book aimed at literate divers. I think the review in O, the Oprah magazine says it best: “The product of a scientist’s mind, a sociologist’s eye, a Zen Buddhist’s soul, and a poet’s heart, it is at once a call to action, a natural history, a love song and a prayer … about our oceans, it’s reefs and critters”. Paperback, 292 pages. Click here ( to get it at’s best prices. Undercurrent’s profit from this sale and anything else you buy during this transaction will go to preserve coral reefs. Current price $10.17.

Well Done, Palau: In our June e-newsletter, we told you about Palau’s Senate bills to allow and expand shark fishing and finning. Now the country has done an about-face. On September 25, President Johnson Toribiong announced a nationwide ban against commercial shark fishing during a speech at the United Nations. While a few countries like the Maldives have initiated some shark protection, Palau takes it to a whole new level as its ban will apply to waters covering an area the size of Texas. With just 20,000 people, the tiny country will have trouble enforcing the ban but in his speech, Toribiong urged other countries to follow Palau’s lead. Bravo.

Special Discounted Introductory Offer: Sign up now for a one-year trial membership to Undercurrent for $29.95, $10 off the standard offer. PLUS that includes a free (hard)copy of our Travelin’ Divers’ Chapbook 2010, with reviews of more than 1,000 dive resorts and liveaboards worldwide (due to postage costs, the Chapbook is only available to US and Canadian residents). Sign up for this special offer to email subscribers now here (

The Cove: This remarkable documentary describes the annual round up in a small Japanese town of more than 2000 dolphins, not only to capture a few to send to circus school, but to butcher the rest for meat. It follows the clandestine effort of film maker Louie Psihoyas and his crew to sneak in under the cover of darkness to film the event. It’s raised international consciousness worldwide, but it needs to be translated into Japanese to motivate the citizens of that country to stop the slaughter. See the trailer at and make your donation.

California Scuba Diver Makes Fatal Error: When you’re on the surface, don’t take off your BCD if you are still wearing your weight belt. Sadly, Daniel Forchione, 46, overlooked that basic rule and died September 29 while scuba diving off the coast of Point Loma. According to Rich Sillanpa, president of Dive Connections in Mission Bay, Forchione had completed a second dive and was heading back to the boat when he became separated from his two companions. Forchione took off his tank at the surface, but still had his weight belt on and it appears he may have panicked and sank, Sillanpa said. Something all we divers must keep in mind.

Divers Descend on The Philippines: We’ve often praised the country for its inexpensive dive tourism and good range of healthy dive sites. The number of visiting divers grew by 63 percent in the first quarter of 2009. Cebu, Bohol and Palawan were the most visited. The number of American divers increased by 37 percent, thanks to recession-friendly prices. We have plenty of reader reports about dive resorts all over the Philippines at Undercurrent. Clicking on “Dive Travel” followed by “Instant Reader Reports,” then scroll down to “Philippines.”

Anatomy of a Dive Lawsuit – Part I: Dive veteran and frequent Undercurrent contributor Bret Gilliam has reported on a recent trial where he was an expert witness and litigation consultant. The families of two divers gone missing and presumed dead while diving with the Okeanos Aggressor at Cocos Island filed a multi-million-dollar lawsuit against the Aggressor Fleet. The case involves issues directly affecting anyone diving with a dive operator anywhere in the world. Read Bret’s summary of the incident for free in the September issue – go to Undercurrent and click on “Anatomy of a Dive Lawsuit. To read Part II about the ensuing trial and the verdict, you’ll have to subscribe!

Coming Up in Undercurrent: Become an online member ( so you can read these great stories – - Part II of Bret Gilliam’s article about the lawsuit against the Aggressor Fleet filed by families of two dead divers at Cocos Island . . . arguing for and against giving your health history to the dive operator . . . are ear plugs a good idea for divers . . . a handy way to beat airlines’ excess luggage fees and restrictive carry-on rules for your next dive trip . . .can you really use a cell phone underwater . . . and much more. Click here to sign up (

Ben Davison, editor/publisher

Fitness to Dive, Chapter IV, Diving With Disabilities

Filed under: Publication — admin @ 10:35 am

A Real Diving ChallengeThis page is written and maintained by
Ernest S Campbell, MD, FACS

Have you ever been on a night dive and had your lights go out? Or, imagine yourself doing a shore dive and you find that someone has tied your feet together; just imagine the difficulty of dragging yourself in and out of the water.

These are just two of the challenges that face disabled people who want to experience the serenity and beauty of scuba diving: the blind person is forever in pitch darkness, the paraplegic faces this wall every day.

In spite of these seemingly insurmountable obstacles, there are many disabled who are participating in scuba diving programs especially designed to assist them to experience our sport safely.

Below are listed various services and contacts for disabled persons who wish to learn more about diving:


  • Dive Training for the Disabled: What is it Worth? Diver Magazine, August 1997
  • “Soaring Below”, by Vicki Stiefel.
  • ‘Alert Diver’, March/April 1996; a publication of
    DAN (Divers Alert Network)

  • “Diving With Care”,
  • Training and Medical Aspects of Diving With Disabilities,
    Kimberly P. Walker, NREMT-P, DAN Training
    Alert Diver, March-April 1996, p. 40.

  • Scuba Diving With Disabilities Robinson, Jill. & A. Dale Fox:
  • (Champagne, Illinois:  Leisure Press, a Division of Human
    Kinetics Publishers, Inc.  Box 5076 Champagne, Il 61820.  1987)
    “A valuable supplement to any diving manual or class. For the disabled diver or the instructor who wants to teach disabled divers, the book is must reading.”

Associations and Clubs and Training

Amazing Seals

St. Paul/ Minneapolis Minnesota

Masha Bowen coordinator

We have recently started this exiting new program and working with local rehabilitation centers providing scuba experience for disabled divers. We have PADI and HSA certified instructors.

Arizona Disabled Scuba Divers Foundation

Dawn Callahan


Disabled Diver training in the San Diego area.

John Ellerbrock
PADI Master Instructor
Pinnacle Divers
619.997.DIVE (3483)

Eels on Wheels Adaptive Scuba Club
Aron Waisman,
12338 Limerick Ave,
Austin, Texas, 78758
(512) 873-9121

Article “Challenges of Diving With Disabilities”, by Tammie Shelton

National Instructors Association for Divers with Disabilities (NIADD), Dorothy Shrout, P.O. Box 112223, Campbell; CA 95011-2223; (408) 379-6536, (408) 244- 8652 fax
NIADD, San Jose, CA.  Contact Frank Degnan at Any Water Sports, (408)244-4433.  Frank and Dorothy Shrout organize this.

Handicapped Scuba Association, Jim Gatacre, 1104 El Prado, San Clemente, CA 92672-4637, (714) 498-6128,   HSA@HSASCUBA.COM

Houston Disabled Scuba Divers Association, 403 East Nasa Road 1, Suite 325, Webster TX 77598-5314, (713) 477-5556,

Southern Wheelchair Adventurers Association of Galveston-Houston, 403 East Nasa Road 1, Suite 325, Webster TX 77598-5314, (713) 477-5556, (Lytle Seibert);,

Canadian Scuba Diving Clubs for Divers with Disabilities

  • Club Challenge, 3108 Woodland Park Drive, Burlington, Ontario L7N 1L2 Canada; (905) 634-8234 (Joan Muir; Burlington), (905) 844-4160 (Annis Dixon; Oakville), (519) 658-5838 (Margaret Sanderson; Kitchener), (416) 485-7355 (Jerry Ford; Toronto)
  • Pacific Northwest Scuba Challenge Association, 14286 72nd Avenue, Surrey, British ColumbIa V3W 2R1 Canada; (604) 525-7149 (Ron Stead)
  • Persephone Scuba Diving Club, Concordia University, 7141 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, Quebec H4B 1R6 Canada; Louis Jankowski, Ph.D., (514) 848-3320 (office), (514) 630-1429 (home)

Diving With Disabilities
Bruce Van Hoorn
14960 Penitencia Creek Road
San Jose, CA 95132

Bart Schassoort
3530 Warrensville Center Road
Suite 200
Shaker Heights, OH 44122

Open Waters, Paul A. Rollins, Project Coordinator, or Steven Tremblay, Project Director, c/o Alpha One, 127 Main St., South Portland, ME 04106-2622; (800) 640- 7200 (voice or TTY) or (207) 767-2189 (voice or TTY), (207) 799-0355 fax, ,

The Australian Underwater Federation has published a booklet on teaching disabled divers.  It can be obtained from theAUF Office,
PO BOX 1006,
Civic Square, ACT, 2608, Australia.

IAHD, is a non-profit organization for disabled divers. and

Norges handikapfellesskap in Norway,
Dive Training for the disabled.

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