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Divers Alert Network Supports Safety in Saba

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In pursuit of pristine reefs and untouched dive sites, many scuba divers are venturing out to more remote, less populated destinations. One such destination is Saba, fondly known as “The Unspoiled Queen of the Caribbean” and offering some of the world’s most diverse dive sites. However, with sparse population and limited lift – only one airline offers daily flights to Saba – comes challenges in maintaining the level of onsite emergency medical care which is critical to diver safety.  To help support both Saba’s visiting divers and the local diver population, Divers Alert Network (DAN) has partnered with the island’s dive operators to improve emergency medical services and offer much-needed safety resources.

There are currently three dive centers on Saba supporting an ever-growing influx of visiting divers.  Emergency medical services include access to a hyperbaric chamber on-island, supported by a small medical team.  The operation of the chamber, along with ongoing maintenance and upkeep, are both expensive and time-consuming, which can result in maintenance delays putting both divers and medical professionals at risk. When made aware of the island’s emergency medical needs, DAN representatives recently visiting Saba’s dive operators decided to put a plan into action.

DAN partnered with the dive operators to offer dive accident insurance to all visiting divers and, working together, the operators will donate proceeds from the coverage to supply critical funds towards the ongoing operation and maintenance of the Saba hyperbaric chamber. The dive medical staff will also take advantage of the DAN Recompression Chamber Assistance Program to continue to hone their dive emergency skills.

As emergency oxygen administration is a critical first response in the treatment of many dive injuries, oftentimes even before recompression therapy can be determined as an appropriate treatment, DAN staff conducted emergency oxygen training for the local dive staff and the Saba Conservation Foundation divers, as well. The course was so popular that all dive professional on the island attended.

Commenting on DAN’s support of the hyperbaric chamber, Saba chamber coordinator, Cheri Waterfield, said, “For a small island, Saba is very fortunate to have an operational chamber available to divers. Keeping the chamber maintained and functioning is not without its challenges. . . . We consider ourselves fortunate to have the expertise from DAN World to help support our training and operational efforts.”

The level of support provided to the Saba dive community is representative of the work DAN performs worldwide to improve diver safety. Making every dive safe and injury free is the organization’s ultimate vision, which is why hyperbaric physicians, dive businesses and dive professionals around the globe rely on DAN to provide the most up-to-date information on dive-related emergency medical treatment and response. As divers continue to explore increasingly remote dive destinations, DAN will continue to expand its efforts to strengthen onsite dive operations and emergency medical teams’ diver safety methods.

Learn more about DAN and how you can support this global team dedicated to diver safety at DAN.org.

Source: www.divenewswire.com

News

The Rescue – available on Disney+ tomorrow (Watch Trailer)

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If you missed the recent cinema debut of The Rescue film, you can watch it on streaming channel Disney+ from tomorrow December 3rd.

From Academy Award®-winning filmmakers E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin (Free Solo), The Rescue is the edge-of-your-seat account of the rescue of 12 Thai school boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave system in 2018.

The Rescue chronicles the dramatic rescue of the boys and their coach, trapped deep inside a flooded cave. Academy Award®-winning directors and producers E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin reveal the perilous world of cave diving, the bravery of the rescuers, and the dedication of an entire community that made great sacrifices to save these young boys. An outing to explore a nearby system of caves after soccer practice transformed into a two-week saga of survival and a story that would capture the world’s attention. With exclusive access and never-before-seen footage from the rescue, the film tells the story of the imagination, determination and unprecedented teamwork displayed during this heroic edge-of-your-seat mission with life-or-death stakes.

Check back for our review of The Rescue soon!

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Marine Life & Conservation

Shark Guardian investigation finds endangered sharks for sale in Taiwan

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A field investigation into Taiwan’s shark fin industry was conducted by Shark Guardian between December 2020 and March 2021. The investigation obtained documentary evidence of fins from endangered shark species being openly offered for sale by over half of all shark fin traders surveyed in Taiwan’s southern fishing port of Kaohsiung.

Of the 13 shark fin processing and trading companies visited, more than half were found to be trading CITES- listed fins, and seven had shark fins from CITES Appendix II-listed species as part of their product range. One company saidthere was no difference in selling protected or unprotected species. Protected sharks’ products usually create a problem for international shipping only.”

The new report details how seven out of thirteen traders surveyed in Taiwan were found to be selling shark fins from silky sharks, oceanic whitetip sharks, mako sharks, thresher sharks and great white sharks in broad daylight – in contravention of Taiwanese and international law.

Over a three-month period, Shark Guardian investigators witnessed multiple shipments of shark fins from endangered species being unloaded at Donggang fish market which is in Taiwan’s southern city of Kaohsiung.

Alex Hofford, Marine Wildlife Campaigner with Shark Guardian, said “To save sharks and the marine environment, Taiwanese authorities should implement an immediate crackdown on its cruel and unsustainable shark fin trade, and should tighten up local laws to ban the domestic sale of shark fin as well as better enforce its international obligations under CITES. It is also high time that the Taiwanese government should rein in its out-of-control distant water tuna fishing fleet, who are a major supplier shark fin to Chinese markets. Whilst Taiwan is a beacon of democratic and progressive values in Asia, it is allowing its unsustainable and often crime-ridden fisheries sector to rape and pillage our ocean with impunity. This must stop. Taiwan needs to show leadership in environmental protection and must quickly clean up its act as regards its sleazy shark fisheries and trade sectors.”

During our investigation, Shark Guardian also found evidence of Taiwan-based online retailers selling fins of endangered species of shark in contravention of local and international law.

According to WWF, a third of all sharks and rays are threatened with extinction, yet fishing and trading in unsustainable shark fin remains a highly profitable, but environmentally destructive, enterprise for Taiwanese companies operating out of Kaohsiung.

Brendon Sing, Co-Director of Shark Guardian said “Clearly more must be done to protect sharks globally. There are over 500 known shark species with only a handful of them listed under CITES. Even then, CITES listed sharks are still traded illegally where monitoring and enforcement lack any power and expose loopholes in the system. As long as this continues, there is no real protection for any shark species regardless of CITES listing or not. Taiwan must be responsible and take positive action in response to this report.”

Shark Guardian believes that excessively large profit margins are the main reason why Taiwan has never acted to rein in its shark fisheries and trade.

Shark Guardian hopes that Taiwan can apply its progressive values towards preserving the marine environment by imposing a comprehensive ban on the physical and online selling all species of shark fin in Taiwan. Such a ban would go above and beyond what is required under international law, and Taiwan’s domestic laws can be changed with public support.

For more information about Shark Guardian visit their website by clicking here.

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Egypt | Safaga, Brothers & Elphinstone | 27 January – 04 February 2022 | Emperor Elite

Jump on board this famous Red Sea liveaboard and enjoy diving the famous wrecks of the Red Sea with this fantastic special offer.  Emperor Elite offers a contemporary living space combined with the best itineraries available in the Red Sea.

Price NOW from just £975 per person based on sharing a twin cabin including:

  • Flights from London Gatwick to Hurghada with 23kgs baggage
  • 7 nights in shared cabin
  • 3 meals a day, soft drinks, red wine with dinner
  • 6 days’ diving, guide, 12ltr tank & weights, Marine Park fees and port departure fees
  • Free Nitrox

Booking deadline: Subject to availability.

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email info@diversetravel.co.uk.

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