Florida

Dive Gear Express

Early in the new millennium a south Florida local dive shop located in a retail strip mall in Pompano Beach, built a website that featured technical diving products from a single brand.

The website accepted its first online order (with free shipping) on the morning of March 1st, 2003, dispatched on the same day, and delivered the next day.

Through its ethical online sales practices with customer service that focused on the consumer, ultimately the business became one of the largest retailers of technical diving products.

bonefish
Bonefish (Albula vulpes)

Study finds traces of pharmaceutical drugs in bonefish and their prey

Florida’s seagrass flats used to be the place where anglers from around the world would congregate to catch the bonefish. However, this is no longer the case, as populations of the fish—nicknamed “grey ghosts”—have fallen by more than 50 percent over four decades.

In an article published in The Guardian, according to Dr Jennifer Rehage, a fish ecologist and associate professor at Florida International University (FIU), many anglers had said they could not find bonefish in the seagrass flats anymore.

Peter Sotis sentenced to 57 months in rebreather smuggling case

Sotis was the 80% owner of Add Helium, a diving equipment and training company in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The charges stem from the defendants’ scheme to cause the illegal export of rebreather diving equipment to Libya in August 2016.

If rebreathers are to be exported to any countries with national security concerns, such as Libya, it requires a license from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Peter Sotis, pictured in 2013
Peter Sotis, pictured in 2013

Peter Sotis convicted of attempting to illegally export rebreathers to Libya

If the name Peter Sotis rings a bell, it is no coincidence. He was Rob Stewart's dive buddy when the filmmaker tragically lost his life on a deep rebreather dive in 2017, after which he was ostracised by the dive community as well as sued by Stewart’s family for his role in Stewart's death. Both the incident and the lawsuit have been covered in the magazine.

Unfathomable tragedy hits Dudas family of divers

On Friday 23 April 2021, Zale Dudas (9) and Saxon Nairne (7), along with their father Rodney Nairne, visited a property in Jensen Beach. It is believed that the purpose of the visit was to demonstrate a DPV or Diver propulsion vehicle.

According to mainstream media reports, the siblings were “described by their father as experienced swimmers and proficient divers”. This is not a surprise because the family are ardent and experienced scuba and technical divers, and several members have done work in scuba diving.

Link to GoFundMe page: Help Suzie

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Dudas Family</body></html>

Update

We are both devastated. Rodney Nairne

On 28 July 2021 Rodney Nairne - Zale Dudas and Saxon Nairne's father - contacted me. He stated that both he and Suzie had agreed to donate the children's organs. 

North Atlantic right whale
North Atlantic right whale

Good news for north Atlantic right whales in southeastern US

As at the end of January 2021, 68 north Atlantic right whales have been spotted in the waters off the coast of southeastern United States, a number that wildlife officials in Florida describe as “encouraging.”

Three of these are young calves that have been spotted for the first time.

The mothers of these calves are a 12-year-old whale named Champagne, a 19-year-old named Infinity and a 14-year-old with no recorded name (but is known simply as Catalog #3720).

The staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis) is a branching, stony coral with cylindrical branches ranging from a few centimetres to over two metres in length and height.

Coral restoration projects show promise in Florida Keys

Reef-building staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis) was abundant and widespread throughout the Caribbean and Florida until the late 1970s.  The fast-growing coral formed dense thickets in forereef, backreef, and patch-reef environments to depths over 20 m. 

Who is the guilty party in the case of Rob Stewart's death?

What killed Rob Stewart?

When the environmentalist and filmmaker Rob Steward died following a dive during the filming of scenes for Sharkwater Extinction, it came as a big shock, which reverberated across his huge diverse following and fanbase across the world, including the dive community.

How could a dive go so tragically wrong and who was to blame for his untimely demise?