March 2010

Mistrial declared in case of diver left behind
A mistrial was declared in a case where a (unharmed) diver left behind by a dive boat sued the dive operation for US$4 million. The incident took place in 2004 when the diver, who surfaced early due to equalization problems, was left at an offshore rig by a dive boat that continued on to a second dive site 10 miles away. [See mistrial] -- Posted Tuesday, March 30, 2010 by chb

Environmentalists vow suit to close Three Sisters, Kings Spring
Snorkeling and observing manatees around Crystal River, Fla. is an unforgettable experience, yet environmentalists now seek to make that impossible with a lawsuit to close Kings Spring and Three Sisters to swimmers and divers. The environmentalists charge that swimmers drive manatees away from the warmer waters of the springs and into colder waters where they may die from the cold. As is, there are special manatee sanctuaries closed to people, but the curious manatees often come out to investigate snorkelers. As far as we are concerned, motorboats pose an infinitely greater danger to manatees than swimmers. [Read Environmental Group Vows Suit] -- Posted Tuesday, March 30, 2010 by chb

Full review: Liquid Image Scuba Series 320 HD video mask
With so much to see underwater, a lot of divers take along a still or video camera. That's a lot of fun, but it also means you have your hands full, and especially so if you also need lights. That's where the camera and video masks from Liquid Image come in. They are dive masks that have a still/video camera built right into the mask, and they can also accommodate dive lights. We tested the Liquid Image Scuba Series 320, which can shoot 720p high definition video, and report on our findings in detail. [See full review of the Liquid Image Scuba Series HD 320 video mask] -- Posted Tuesday, March 23, 2010 by chb

A dip on the wild side of Cozumel ran a nice report entitled "A dip on the wild side of Cozumel," referring to the roads less traveled on the Mexican island's east side. We've been there and author Pamela LeBlanc certainly got it right. And there's also a nice bit of general info on Cozumel. [See article] -- Posted Tuesday, March 23, 2010 by chb

USA Today article on Roatan
USA Today ran an article on how Roatan helps put Honduras back on the travel map, noting that the island is becoming more than just a scuba diver's secret hangout, mostly due to the increasing number of cruise ships that stop there now. [See article] -- Posted Saturday, March 13, 2010 by chb

Maldives ban shark fishing
The Maldives are following the Micronesian island nation of Palau in imposing a complete ban on shark fishing. That's good news for the rapidly dwindling shark population, and actually also for the Maldivian economy -- a study showed that a single reef shark is worth US$3,300 a year to the Maldivian tourism industry, as opposed to one-shot value of US$32 if the animal is killed. [See article] -- Posted Tuesday, March 9, 2010 by chb

Diver rescues shark with Frisbee around its neck
It's not something likely to happen, but somehow a nurse shark off the coast of Palm Beach, Fla., managed to get his head stuck in a ring Frisbee. Two divers saw the predicament the shark was in and managed to free the animal. See excellent pictures of the rescue here. -- Posted Friday, March 5, 2010 by chb

The power plant cooling controversy
Many power plants suck in huge amounts of water, then spit it out again a bit warmer and a lot deader. This has been going on for decades. Is it acceptable? The LA Times published a good article on the issue. [...more] -- Posted Tuesday, March 2, 2010 by chb

Popular Blue Spring park closed for swimming, scuba
Blue Spring State Park in Florida covers more than 2,600 acres including the largest spring on the St. Johns River. It's also a manatee refuge and a popular place for scuba diving. Concerned for the welfare of the endangered Florida manatee that have suffered from the unusually low winter temperatures, state park officials announced this week they won't open Blue Spring State Park to swimming and diving on March 1 as planned. -- Posted Monday, March 1, 2010 by chb