Divers Alert Network Supports Safety in Saba
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.
New 60m Reel and Dive Torch Combo from Northern Diver
Northern Diver have launched a new 60m Reel & Dive Torch Combo.
The innovative Northern Diver line reel has a unique design and it has been manufactured from a combination of anodized aluminium and synthetic polymers, to make it strong, lightweight and corrosion resistant. The free-flowing spool has a thumb operated spool-lock, to ensure controlled line deployment and a ‘sprung’ reel handle. Allowing the handle to extend whilst in use, if wearing gloves but springs back to half its length, for easy storage. Supplied complete with 60m (197’) of high-vis orange reel line.
The reel also incorporates an attachment point on the top and rubber fixing band allowing you to easily mount Northern Divers Varilux Micro Dive Torch. Ideal for hands-free directional light, ideal for lining out in reduced visibility (within a wreck). Other torches of a similar size to the Micro may be mountable but you should check dimensions first.
Check out https://www.ndiver.com/60m-reel-dive-torch-combo for more.
Marine Life & Conservation
Reefs Go Live returns for new season
CCMI brings the ocean directly to classrooms around the world through live-stream lessons from underwater
In 2018, the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) launched Reefs Go Live, their innovative, flagship education programme that live-streams directly from underwater on the coral reefs in Little Cayman to students in classrooms around the world in real time. For the 2022 season, the four episodes of Reefs Go Live reached more than 107,000 viewers in 22 countries. CCMI’s Reefs Go Live team hopes to expand their reach with four new episodes and supplemental teaching resources to help integrate the material into classroom lessons.
Science Communications & Development Manager for CCMI, Beth Chafin, is excited to be part of another year of Reefs Go Live:
“Knowing we have an audience that spans the world, our team is energised as we plan and implement our Reefs Go Live season for 2023! We feel that creating a connection to the ocean and sharing the beautiful coral reefs of Little Cayman with others, both locally and abroad, is one of the most important ways to increase support for critical, timely issues such as marine protection and sustainability. At CCMI, we are fortunate to have these stunning reefs at our doorstep; not everyone is so lucky to be this connected to coral reefs, but healthy coral reefs are vitally important to everyone on earth. Bringing the ocean into classrooms and homes through Reefs Go Live allows us to share the work we do at the Little Cayman Research Centre, facilitate real-time interactions between viewers around the world and our experts in the field, and inspire the diverse audience to take positive action for the future of coral reefs.”
The first episode of 2023 will take place on Friday, 31st March at 10 am Cayman time (UTC -5h). The episode, ‘Finding Hope on our Reefs’, will feature what CCMI’s long-term monitoring of Little Cayman’s reefs shows us. The data from the annual surveys reveals important trends in reef health over time that reflect global threats and the benefits of strong local protection. Reefs Go Live hosts will explain why this annual monitoring is important and what the results tell us about the future of our coral reefs that we all depend upon. Viewers of each episode will be able to ask questions of the diver and participate in polls through the online platform to make Reefs Go Live an interactive experience.
Additional episodes for this year will run at 10 am (UTC -5h) on the following dates:
Thursday, 11th May: Adaptation on Coral Reefs
Wednesday, 24th May: Reef Resiliency & Restoration
Thursday, 8th June: World Ocean Day – 25 Years of Coral Reef Research
Registration for Reefs Go Live is free and is only required once to receive access to all episodes: https://donate.reefresearch.org/rgl2023.
Reefs Go Live provides an opportunity for students from all over the world to engage with the stunning ocean environment in its most natural format. As coral reefs around the world face unprecedented pressure, generating increased engagement with these precious ecosystems creates an opportunity to promote marine sustainability in a positive and fun way.
Reefs Go Live utilises streaming technology with underwater video and audio equipment to enable real time broadcasting from Little Cayman’s stunning coral reefs. Little Cayman, a Mission Blue Hope Spot, hosts one of the healthiest reef ecosystems in the Caribbean, which overall remains healthy and shows resiliency to climate change impacts. The broadcasts and education materials draw connections from CCMI’s current research conducted in Little Cayman to the national science curriculum and key ocean literacy principles, making CCMI’s work relevant and accessible to students and viewers of all ages, and emphasizing the relationship that we all have to coral reefs, no matter where we are.
Reefs Go Live is a free education programme that is made possible by the generosity of The Edmund F. and Virginia B. Ball Foundation. To register for the broadcasts and teaching resources, please visit: https://reefresearch.org/what-we-do/education/reefs-go-live/
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