Undercurrent Online Update
For Non-Subscribers May 3, 2010
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 email@example.com
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 www.noaa.gov.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 PublisherBenD@undercurrent.org 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: www.fkrm.com/underwater-ironing.
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