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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


Scubaverse UWP Winners Gallery: Christian Horras



Each month we give the winner of the Scubaverse Underwater Photography competition the opportunity to show off a little more of their work in a gallery. The March winner was Christian Horras and you can see their winning image at the top of this page.

What do you love about diving & underwater photography?

For me it is all about showing the beauty of our world underwater to people that don’t dive and thus can’t see it for themselves. I want to share my own passion for the amazing ecosystem that is so much older than everything we know living on land. As I am from Germany, there are only a few people in my surroundings that have ever seen a coral reef or a shark with their own eyes. It is a big privilege to be able to go diving all over the world and in return it should be our task to arise awareness of this fragile and endangered ecosystem.

What equipment do you use?

I use a Nikon D810 in a Isotta Housing and various lenses, depending on the subject: a Sigma 15mm F2.8 Fisheye, a Nikon 16-35 mm F4 and two Nikon Macro lenses (60mm and 105mm), as well as a WeeFine +13 Diopter. The Fisheye is my main lens, as it allows me to get really close and still cover a big field of view. For lighting I use two Retra Pro Strobes and a Retra Snoot.

Where can our readers see more of your work?


To enter the latest Scubaverse Underwater Photography competition, with a chance to win some great prizes as well as have your own gallery published, head over to the competition page and upload up to 3 images.

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Emperor Divers reaches halfway in Covid Diver Heroes Initiative with fourth award



Emperor Divers have reached the halfway point with their #coviddiverheroes initiative and are still receiving worthy nominations every day! Here, they recognise their 4th winner, another awesome hero from the diving community with an inspirational story of selflessness through the pandemic. Nominated by David White, Phuong Cao wins a free liveaboard trip in the Maldives when she can finally take some time off, and here is her story:

I, David White, would like to nominate Phuong Cao (36) for her tireless efforts fighting this pandemic. Not satisfied with being a frontline hospitalist in New York she took a second job on the COVID team in Guam to treat patients under even tougher conditions on her weeks off! She continues to commute 7750 miles each way and apply herself to both jobs for three months already and counting. Her energy level has no limits and she’s only happy when those in her care are on the mend. I think she definitely deserves a break! I guess the Maldives would be the best choice for her as I know she has dived with you in the Red Sea already.

Phuong Cao

We have been in touch with Phuong who had this to say: “Wow what a surprise! Thank you for the recognition. Holding my breath until I get back underwater!”

The halfway point is a good chance to remind people that the initiative is still running and the Emperor Divers team would love to hear about more heroes, as there are four more to award in the next 2 months!

Do you know a diver who has been heroic this past year? Emperor know that, worldwide, people have had to step up during this pandemic which has affected so many lives. They want to reward some real heroes with free liveaboard trips in the Red Sea or Maldives.

Luke Atkinson, Emperor’s Red Sea Manager, said: “This initiative is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to all those hundreds of people who have taken a selfless interest in looking after the vulnerable in their community. Examples could include healthworkers, carers or those who have come out of retirement to volunteer locally, but really we know there are many other ways people have been heroic.“

Emperor want to hear from people who know a heroic diver who would love to have a free liveaboard trip to look forward to in the future. People need to nominate a Covid Hero Diver and tell Emperor (in 100 – 200 words) why they deserve a free trip, and whether they would prefer the Red Sea or the Maldives. A multinational panel of Emperor’s most loyal and compassionate staff will judge the entries and pick a winner every 2 weeks for the next 2 months. There are two remaining Red Sea and two more Maldives liveaboards to be earned, so get nominating and give that hero a reward for their amazing work!

Winners will be announced by 14th (Maldives) and 28th (Red Sea) of each month. Final entries for Red Sea by 20th May ‘21 and Maldives 5th June ’21.

Entries, comments and questions should be sent to

Terms & Conditions apply: Please contact for details.

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Explore the amazing triangle of Red Sea Reefs - The Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone on board the brand new liveaboard Big Blue.  With an option to add on a week at Roots Red Sea before or after. 

Strong currents and deep blue water are the catalysts that bring the pelagic species flocking to these reefs. The reefs themselves provide exquisite homes for a multitude of marine life.  The wafting soft corals are adorned with thousands of colourful fish. The gorgonian fans and hard corals provide magnificent back drops, all being patrolled by the reef’s predatory species.

£1475 per person based on double occupancy.  Soft all inclusive board basis, buffet meals with snacks, tea and coffee always available.  Add a week on at Roots Red Sea Resort before or after the liveaboard for just £725pp.  Flights and transfers are included.  See our brochure linked above for the full itinerary.

This trip will be hosted by The Scuba Place.  Come Dive with Us!

Call 020 3515 9955 or email

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