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US Divers map submerged train wrecks in Delaware River



Delaware River

Delaware RiverTwo train wrecks submerged in the Delaware River are being mapped during a training exercise this week with the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area’s dive team.

In May 1948 and September 1975, train cars went off the track and into the river near Kittatinny Point. One was carrying a load of Miller beer, and old beer bottles can still be seen in one of the wrecks, said Michael Croll, park dive officer.

But don’t bother diving for beer, said Croll. The bottle caps rusted off long ago and many bottles are now filled with silt.

Delaware RiverEvery three years, the National Park Service requires divers to have 40 hours of refresher training. This week, the dive team’s six members are undergoing that training. The team will be expanded to 10 over the next few years as training continues, and four members are now certified in under-ice diving.

Joining the training session are two park service employees from Isle Royale National Park in Michigan. Isle Royale, in Lake Superior, is home to more than 10 shipwrecks and other submerged vessels.

In addition to search-and-rescue and recovery operations, park service scuba divers are also involved in natural and cultural resource inventory, such as mapping submerged cultural resources and monitoring aquatic invasive species. Divers also help public safety by installing navigational aids like buoys and channel markers, and perform maintenance like dam and pier inspections.

There are 27 park dive programs and about 225 park service divers in the US said Steve Sellers, the National Dive Safety Officer for the park service. Sellers works with the National Dive Control Board and oversees all safety aspects of diving in the NPS.

Delaware RiverMost team members dive as a collateral duty and do other tasks for the NPS, said Sellers, who travels around the country training divers. The training team also includes Bert Ho, an archeologist with the NPS Submerged Resources Center.

Much of the training will take place in the classroom, where the science of scuba diving is covered, including physiology, physics, mathematics and medical treatment of diving illnesses and injuries.

Delaware RiverThe team will map the trains this week and learn how to use a portable decompression chamber to treat pressure-related injuries.

Paul Brown of Isle Royale said the river, at 57°F on Tuesday, seemed warm to him, compared to the chilly Great Lake where he usually dives. He also noted that visibility in Lake Superior is better than in the Delaware River.

Seller likened it to diving in iced tea or cola, with visibility up to 15 feet on good days. But at its deepest, about 60 feet, Delaware River divers will experience black-out conditions and must work by touch.



Photos: Sue Beyer


Mares & SSI launch new promotion



SSI expands financial support to SSI Members worldwide. 

2020 has been an unusual and challenging year for the entire world, especially the diving and travel industry!  To weather the crisis, SSI immediately jumped into action to help Training Centers and Professionals around the world.  

In response to COVID-19, SSI launched the No Water, No Problem Campaign, put Final Exams online, and held hundreds of Webinars to train Professionals on how to use distance learning to teach the dry Specialties online. The FREE SCIENCE OF DIVING promotion resulted in SSI Training Centers worldwide register over 50,000 FREE DIGITAL KITS, funding more than $3.5 MILLION IN RETAIL VALUE. Additionally, SSI introduced an aggressive DOUBLE PRO REWARDS incentive to help SSI Professionals compensate 2020 Renewal Fees and reduce those for 2021. Currently, the WE WANT YOU Crossover promotion aims to fill the industry need for instructors and strengthen the entire SSI Professional community.

Now, in conjunction with Mares, SSI is launching the GO DIVING – PROTECT YOURSELF. OWN EQUIPMENT Promotion, which includes a FREE SSI EQUIPMENT TECHNIQUES DIGITAL KIT. This new campaign strives to motivate divers worldwide to go diving and buy equipment. Look for more information on this next retail support campaign within the next few days.

“These are just a few examples of how we have supported and are continuing to support our Training Centers, Professionals, and divers worldwide. To provide even more economic security and help in business recovery, WE WILL NOT INCREASE PRICES FOR 2021. While travel was restricted and some key resort areas completely locked down, SSI mainly focused on supporting domestic markets with retail-driven incentives. Now, in this next re-opening phase, we need to shift gear and assist resort markets that have no local diving community and are 100% dependent on the traveling diver. Therefore, SSI will grant certain special conditions and delayed payment options to specific resort markets which have been locked down for longer than six months or suffered from closed borders,” stated Guido Waetzig, SSI CEO.

Guido Waetzig, SSI CEO, explains further, “To financially support these needed investments which directly benefit SSI Members and to protect the health of our valuable members and staff, we will forego all 2021 Trade Shows over the next 12 months. Despite international uncertainty, every time we experience one of these events, the entire SSI Network emerges stronger and more resilient. Be assured, SSI is your trustful partner within the Diving Industry!”

For more information about SSI visit their website by clicking here.

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Photo Gallery: Shark Diving in The Bahamas



In our Gallery feature, we let the photos tell the story… Each Gallery showcases a selection of outstanding images on a chosen theme, taken by our Underwater Photography Editor Nick and Deputy Editor Caroline of Frogfish Photography. This time they look at Shark Diving in The Bahamas.

The Bahamas offers some of the very finest shark diving experiences in the world. The islands have protected sharks in their waters creating one of the first Shark Sanctuaries in the world. Several species of shark can be seen and photographed, with each island offering a different type of shark diving, making this destination the perfect place for a multi-island, multi-shark trip of a lifetime.

Great Hammerhead Shark diving in Bimini

Bull Sharks in Bimini

Tiger Shark off Grand Bahama

Oceanic Whitetip Shark off Cat Island

Nurse Shark off Abaco

Caribbean Reef Sharks off New Providence

Lemon Sharks off Grand Bahama

For more images from The Bahamas and around the world, visit the Frogfish Photography website by clicking here.

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