Great American Journey: Diving 50 States; Golfe-Juan on the French Riviera; Honduras' Roatán; Papua New Guinea's Manta Rays of Milne Bay; HMS Hermes Wreck; Accused of Involuntary Homicide: Malta vs Martin Case; Helicopter Underwater Escape Training; Scuba Confidential: Constructive Paranoia; Twilight Zone: Using Rebreathers for Coral Research; Applying Non-Technical Skills; UWPhoto: Science of Lighting; Harriet Mead portfolio; Plus news and discoveries, equipment and training news, books and media, underwater photo and video equipment, shark tales, whale tales and much more...
Main features in this issue include:
After losing his girlfriend and a friend in a dive accident, Stephen Martin was first commended for his handling of the situation but later found himself accused of involuntary manslaugher by the Maltese authorities who issued an international warrant for his arrest. The case was eventually dropped after the dive community kicked up a storm, politicians intervened and BSAC came to his aid.
In June 2014, Jeremy Coster, Alan Cranston, Nigel Haines, Larissa Hooley and Stephen Martin flew from England to Malta for a week's shore diving. It was an unremarkable holiday until Tuesday, June 17, when a tragic accident ended two lives and changed others forever.
Two perfectly serviceable Boeing 747s crashed into each other on the runway killing 583 people in 1977. In another incident, the pilots shut down the wrong engine, and 47 people were killed when the aircraft crashed... But what has that got to do with diving?
In 1977, two Boeing 747s were on the runway at Los Rodeos Airport, Tenerife. The plane from KLM was lined up, ready to take off, while the plane from Pan-Am was taxiing down the runway towards the first, to exit, turn around and await the former’s departure.
— A Safety Strategy
A young ornithologist was on an expedition in the highlands of Papua New Guinea, leading a team of New Guineans. They climbed through the forest until they reached a level where they were to spend a few days studying birds.
If you are in Europe and like the idea of a short flight to Southern France and diving on the same day you arrive in the Mediterranean, then perhaps you may want to try the seaside resort town of Golfe-Juan—just a short ride west from Nice. Average journey time to Nice for flights from all over Europe is only two hours. My wife, Lesley, and I chose to fly EasyJet from Edinburgh.
One small side street away from the old port in Golfe-Juan is Diamond Diving.
Returning from the pristine reefs of Tobago, I flew over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. Aghast, I set out on a journey that would help me illuminate waters of the United States to help people better understand their national treasure. I became the first woman to dive all 50 states at the end of last year.
When I set out on my journey, I was already an experienced local diver that appreciated the diversity of my Texas diving. As an underwater photographer, I thought people would learn to value and protect their waters if I created compelling imagery.
British artist Harriet Mead sculpts marine life out of found objects, capturing not only their curious forms but also a nearly lifelike vitality pulled out of recycled metal parts we might recognize as common household objects we use in daily life or find in the tool shed out in the backyard. X-RAY MAG interviewed the artist to learn more about her work, insightful perspectives and creative process.
"The responsibility to look after the oceans sits with us all as individuals and as nations."
— Harriet Mead
X-RAY MAG: Tell us about yourself, your background and how you became an artist.
Falck Safety Services has been providing high quality safety and emergency preparedness courses and consultancy services to the offshore, military and aviation industries worldwide for more than 30 years. It is a division of Falck—a Nordic-based organization, which provides emergency assistance in case of accident and disease. Falck Safety Services offers a variety of offshore courses all accredited by OPITO .
Helicopters operating over water may experience emergencies, which require an immediate ditching. Ditching is a deliberately executed landing on water with the intent of abandoning the aircraft successfully.
One of the things I value the most about planning specialized wreck diving trips around the world is not only getting an opportunity to dive these sites, but also getting totally immersed in the history and circumstances that put these steel hulks at the bottom of the ocean.
Hermes was no different. On 5 April 1942, HMS Hermes and the destroyer HMAS Vampire were sent to Trincomalee in Ceylon (now called Sri Lanka) to prepare for Operation Ironclad, the British invasion of Madagascar during World War II.
It is 7:30 in the morning and I’m on my personal veranda on a small hill looking out over green trees and beyond them to blue water and a bright orange sun emerging from it. My feet are up on the rail and there’s a cup of coffee in my hand. I snap a photo for Instagram—#itdoesntgetanybetterthanthis. And the day’s diving hasn’t even started yet.
I am at Turquoise Bay Dive Resort and it embraces the meaning of tranquillo like no other. Sitting almost right at the center of the northern edge of Roatán, it’s a pleasure to escape the touristy hustle and bustle of the West End.
From a distance, there is little to distinguish the small island of Gonu Bara Bara from the myriad of others in this part of southern Milne Bay Province; and few would guess that just off its northern beach is the best place in the whole of Papua New Guinea to see the magnificent reef manta ray—Manta alfredi.
Reef mantas had been known to patrol that beach for many years, but all attempts to try and interact with them were random at best—maybe you would see one or more, maybe you wouldn’t. Then, back in 2002, almost by accident, Craig de Wit discovered why the mantas were there.
Light is the most important thing for all photographers. It is easy to get excited about a critter and start firing away without much consideration for lighting. However, it is the little extra things that you juggle beyond pointing your camera and clicking the shutter that makes your style unique.
When it comes to the discovery of photography, every individual’s story is unique. It pulls every person in with a slightly different appeal. In the case of land photographers, the many styles will attract all walks of life.
The pressure builds, causing ears to pop as they equalise. The temperature drops and the light starts to fade. However, bubbles are not an issue for the researchers from the University of Oxford, as they descend in the waters off the Honduran island of Utila. Researching efficiently in the twilight zone requires rebreathers, and the summer of 2015 saw the first-ever expedition led by doctoral students using this technology.
More formally known by scientists as the mesophotic zone, the twilight zone is the part of the world’s tropical oceans at the limits of where corals can photosynthesise.