USIA Dry Suits - Waders - Dry Bags

USIA has been supplying dry suits to our military since 1987 and has earned a reputation for quality and product integrity by listening to customer input and adapting our designs and manufacturing techniques accordingly. We will do our best to do our job right so you will have the equipment you need to do yours.

USIA is serious about the research and development of the equipment we build for our public safety agencies, understanding the need to supply the best product for the job in a timely manner. When necessary, USIA will develop a custom solution to an equipment request where previously a product did not exist.

Whatever your outdoor sport, you demand gear that works as hard as you play. Let’s face it, out in the wild you are routinely exposed to extreme conditions. Given such extremes, you can’t afford an equipment failure. You demand gear that lasts. Simply put, we make the gear you need.

Conquest of the Mermaids

Photo: Andy Parsons

It’s an invasion, pure and simple. We at USIA blog like to keep tabs on trends, news and events that might affect those who love to play in the water. The Sea Star Wasting disease. The increase in Sea Jelly population. Ocean acidification and sea level rise. Those are all examples of the serious topics we report on. The Conquest of the Mermaids might be the most alarming of them all. Of course we’re joking, but it really seems odd that there are so many people (men and women) who have chosen the way of the siren. Is it that all the kids who were little when The Little Mermaid first came out are now adults seeking their dreams? Is it that weird Animal Planet special Mermaids: The Body Found? Who knows what’s to blame. Fact is, mermaids are here. Want proof? Read on…


Woman Makes Her Living As A Real Life Mermaid

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a dinosaur. I would make my arms short and chase the neighborhood cats and I growled and I roared. Then one day my dad said to me, “Son, you’re 18. Stop that Dinosaur crap and grow up!” Well, Melanie Long never had that conversation from her father. No, she didn’t want to be a Tyrannosaurus Rex. She wanted to be Disney’s Ariel. She didn’t start out as a mermaid. She started as a diving instructor, a natural fit. The job got her in touch with a children’s charity who were putting on a fundraiser and they needed someone to play the part of a mermaid. After that it was all history.


Dozens Of Hopefuls Brave Cold During Weeki Wachee Mermaid Auditions

Probably when the event was scheduled in early January, the organizers thought, “oh, it’s Florida. It’ll be warm enough for a mermaid tryout.” They didn’t plan on one of the worst cold snaps in years to hit their state. Frigid temps or no, dozens of women braved the cold for the first part of tryouts for the world-famous mermaid squad at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. It is clear from the number of enthusiastic hopefuls that dreaming to be a mermaid is really a thing with girls and women alike (and some men too).


Becoming A Professional Mermaid Helps Woman Overcome Her Self-Esteem Struggles

We might poke a little fun at this whole mermaid dreams thing. However, for some it is a serious endeavor with real world benefits. For Kari Roberts of Hawaii, taking on the persona of a mermaid has allowed her to make some serious strides in her personal development. You might even say that becoming a mermaid is a form of therapy. If it works for you, then good for you.


This Londoner Works As A Professional Mermaid

It’s great work if you can get it. Children’s pool parties. Pirate theme parties. Corporate events. Samantha Smallwood has made a small industry out of mermaiding (I think I coined a term here). Who would have thought the city of London would have enough work for a full time mermaid? But, as it seems, London is a great place to be a mermaid.

Malaysia: 50-yr-old mermaid’s dream comes true

At 51, while most people are planning for retirement, this intrepid soul is embarking on a whole new life. Shureena Ng has dreamed of mermaids ever since she was seven years old. By my count, that means she was bitten by the mermaid bug way before “The Little Mermaid” was released. Still, she was inspired by TV and movies of the time, saying she used to sit by the shore and watch the water, hoping that she would see a mermaid rise from the waves.


Here Comes Scuba Santa

It’s that time of year again. You know, when the days grow shorter and you start seeing your breath. When people’s cheeks are rosy and there’s a sparkle in children’s eyes. It’s a time when we start getting glimpses of our favorite jolly old elf in department stores and on TV commercials. Santa’s big scene. He’s on sweaters and T-shirts. Coffee mugs and greeting cards. And if you are lucky, you’ll even see him in person. But who wants to go to a boring mall and sit on Santa’s lap? How about visiting Santa as he does something a little less traditional? How about seeing a Scuba Santa? Here’s a list of some of the aquatic elf’s appearances:

Scuba-diving Santa swims with the sharks at Norwalk aquarium

On Thursdays and weekends remaining in December, Santa will visit with the sharks at 12:15 and at 2:15 p.m. “to demonstrate that sharks aren’t the blood-thirsty killers of myth,” according to Dave Sigworth, spokesman. Sigworth suggested that folks check “Today’s Events” on its website. to be certain of the schedule.


November 24 – December 31
Daily from 10am – 6pm*

Newport Aquarium invites the public to experience a Cincinnati holiday tradition under the sea Nov. 24 – Dec. 31 at Scuba Santa’s Water Wonderland. Join the fun as Scuba Santa fills his air tank with magic bubbles – and sends them throughout the Aquarium creating an enchanted Water Wonderland. The all-new Water Wonderland with Scuba Santa is a truly wondrous experience where families connect and interact with the magic of an undersea holiday celebration.

Scuba Santa Dives Into the Northland

Santa Claus came all the way from the North Pole and made a stop at the Great Lakes Aquarium in Duluth. This is the first year the Aquarium has featured something like this. It’s a community effort, because volunteers from all over the state help make this possible. In order to scuba dive, Santa must have cold water experience. The kids seemed to love it high fiving scuba Santa.

Scuba Santa makes a splash at YVR

Scuba Claus from Vancouver Aquarium made a splash on Dec. 13 as he fed the fish in the big aquarium at the Vancouver Airport’s International Terminal. The Aquarium said Scuba Claus will be back at the airport Dec. 20, where he’ll swim with the creatures and entertain visitors.

Santa Claus and his crew swim with the sharks at Henry Doorly Zoo

The zoo has invited Santa to swim with the sharks for more than 20 years, said Mitch Carl, curator of aquatics. “It’s just really fun for the kids,” he said. “It seems like it grows every year — it’s a pretty popular event.”

Santa Claus makes an early appearance in Somerset

140 people dressed as the man himself braved freezing temperatures for a mass scuba dive in Vobster near Radstock. It’s the 10th year the event has taken place with all the money raised going to charity.

Scuba Claus and his elves dive into the S.C. Aquarium this December

Starting Fri. Dec. 1 you can catch either Scuba Claus or his elves in the aquarium’s Great Tank, diving each day at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., with Scuba Claus showing up for weekend shows, and elves appearing on weekdays. In addition to these special dive shows, the aquarium hosts photos with Santa on select Sundays from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Santa sightings in San Diego

Over at the Birch Aquarium in La Jolla, Scuba Santa will be diving in the Giant Kelp Forest tank to swim with the garibaldi, moray eels, and leopard sharks, and wave to girls and boys watching through the glass during the Seas ’n’ Greetings seasonal event. “From December 1 to 31, Birch Aquarium is transformed into a holiday wonderland,” their website promises. But please note: “There will be no holiday dive shows December 24 or 31 and only elves will appear in the dive shows from December 26 to 30 — Scuba Santa needs some rest.”




The Forbidden Dives


Visit any outdoor adventure blog and you’ll find a wealth of articles and posts suggesting all kinds of places to go diving. USIA Blog is no exception. From local treasures where you can dive in warm water even in winter to far flung destinations with exotic underwater sights, if it’s a popular dive locale, it will have a web page devoted to it. However, from time to time here at USIA blog we like to strive for the unusual. Sure, we could tell you about some great dive site where tons of people have already been. Where’s the fun in that? What about some of the lesser known dives? What about the Forbidden Dives?


Diving Dorothea

Divers have been warned, and still they come. In North Wales, UK, a “deep, dark & dangerous” abandoned slate quarry known as Dorothea draws them in like moths to a flame despite an unofficial ban by local training agencies. Maybe it’s the ban that makes them come. Maybe it’s the rawness, the sheer walls and underwater cliff faces, the rusty machinery that was left behind or the flooded petrified forest. The unique atmosphere and depth of Dorothea are what puts her on this list. It’s a place where divers are tempted to push themselves beyond their limits, which makes it a forbidden dive.


USS Arizona

It’s one of America’s most sacred places in the world, and though visitors of the monument can view a small portion of it from topside, most of it still lay under the waves. The USS Arizona is one most restricted dive locations in the United States. And for good reason. It not only is a permanent tomb to the sailors who perished there on December 7, 1941, it also serves as a final resting place for many sailors who died later and chose to be buried at sea with their shipmates. Only a few select individuals get the privilege of diving the Arizona, making it a natural for our forbidden dive list.


Diving the Forbidden Island of Ni’ihau

Back in grade school I knew a girl who was a native of the Hawaiian Islands. She used to mesmerize me with stories of warm breezes and blue waters. One of her favorite tales was about the forbidden island, where only natives get to tread and the “haole” must stay away. That island is Ni‘ihau, and it is true that visitors are not allowed on the island. Not because of some ancient tribal law or anything like that. Ni‘ihau is simply a privately owned island, which makes setting foot on land forbidden. Diving in the waters surrounding the island is permitted, however.


Austria’s Green Lake

Sometimes social media is too powerful. Sometimes a dive locale can become too popular. That’s what happened in Austria with Green Lake. The place was a kind of social media star, a Pinterest Queen, if you will. Divers who visit the popular website know what I mean. Images from the place look like scenes from a dream: lush underwater gardens complete with park benches and meandering walking trails. It’s like Alice in Wonderland underwater.  With visibility up to 150 feet, it was a magical place to dive. Unfortunately that magic drew in too many people. Too much diving meant too much silt and other pollution. Local authorities feared the changes would spoil the natural beauty and banned diving indefinitely.

USIA Now Offers BOGS Dive Boots

USIA is proud to announce, through a long-standing working relationship with BOGS Footwear, we now offer a dive rated BOGS boot for our surface and diving drysuits. These high quality boots are available exclusively through USIA and are specifically designed to be professionally installed on just about any drysuit.

USIA Wader customers already know firsthand the quality and durability of the BOGS brand. Now our SCUBA, rescue, and watersports customers can also enjoy the benefits of BOGS on their drysuits. The footwear company, based in Portland Oregon, is well known for making tough waterproof boots that have a reputation of lasting through many years of punishment. Each BOGS boot is designed with high-quality materials that ensure exceptional protection from the elements. Durable, high-performance rubber seals out water, keeping feet safeguarded in challenging conditions. Neo-Tech™ insulation provides comfortable warmth in temperate to sub-zero climates. Finally, the non-slip rubber outsole offers reliable traction over wet and dry surfaces.
These BOGS Dive Boots are especially made for USIA drysuits. Engineers at both USIA and BOGS have collaborated on the design and, through lengthy research, development, testing and evaluation (RDT&E) perfected what we think is the best dive boot on the market.

USIA BOGS Dive Boots are available to all drysuit manufacturers exclusively through USIA.

Nature Tech: Sea Animals That Inspire Innovation

Tiergarten Schönbrunn

You might have heard about the story of how Velcro was invented. George de Mestral, a Swiss engineer, was fascinated at the burrs which kept sticking to his clothes and his dog’s fur when walking in the Alps. Taking a closer look at the mechanics behind the burrs, he developed the famous hook and loop design. And the rest was history. That scenario is played out again and again in the world of technology. It seems nature is the best inventor, and we humans are merely playing catch up. Some of the most intriguing naturally inspired innovations come from sea creatures. Here are just a few:


Scientists Made the Perfect Underwater Glue By Stealing an Idea From Shellfish

Everyone who has ever tried to superglue something that is exposed to the elements knows that water pretty much ruins it. Even the toughest, strongest glues do not stand up to moisture. So how the heck do mussels stay attached to rocks even with strong storm surges crashing on them relentlessly? Scientists recently discovered their secret, and in the process invented probably the toughest glue ever made by man. It’s a bold claim, but the science behind it is irrefutable.

Navy Seals As You’ve Never Seen Them Before: Warships SetTo Use Hi Tech Sensors Based On The Animal’s Whiskers

Could you imagine seeing a navy warship with whiskers attached to the hull? If military researchers have their way, we might just witness such an unlikely sight. As scientists already know, when a tasty fish swims by, a seal can detect its presence by utilizing sensory organs in its whiskers. Not only that, the seal can detect what type of fish it is, where it’s going and how fast. Scientists want this technology for the Navy, and they are reverse engineering seal whiskers to do just that.

Jellyfish Skin Inspires New Encrypted Messaging Materials

Ever seen a jellyfish that can change its coloring to match its environment? That type of biological camouflage is essential for the survival of some species. Soon it may be essential tools for spies and smartphones. Using the stretchy skin, engineers have found a way to make messages disappear permanently. Also, because of the light refraction abilities, the material would work great for reducing glare on smartphone screens. Something tells me that won’t be the end of the innovations from jellyfish skin.

Plankton-Mimicking Robots Reveal Secrets Of How MarineLife Ride Ocean Currents

Red tides are a mystery that science has been pondering for quite some time. How does it form and why? Researchers  at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego decided  they would find out. To do so, they knew they had to mimic nature. More precisely, they knew they had to develop some synthetic plankton, the organisms that make up red tides. And that’s just what they did. By inventing and deploying an army of fake plankton, the scientists have been able to learn much about ocean currents, opening up a whole new realm of ocean exploration.

Solving how fish swim so well may help design underwater robots

MantaDroid, an underwater robot inspired by manta ray fish

The Best Commutes Are on the Water

Do you drive to work? Silly question, huh? Most of us are slaves to our cars, stuck in that ever lingering traveler twilight zone hovering somewhere between life and not quite life. It’s a necessary evil, one that literally drives some of us temporarily insane. Sometimes the drive to and from work can be more stressful than the actual job itself. In that case, it may be time to seek alternative forms of transportation. We all dream of escaping the gridlock grind by pressing a button on the dashboard and soaring into the blue in our flying car. Until those are available, the next best thing may be on the water. Here are a few lucky souls who have found their commuter nirvana.


Stressed by the Daily Commute? Try ‘canuting’ – and Travel By Canoe

Well, it seems we have coined a new phrase. “Canuting.” It sounds strange but the end result is nothing short of inspiring. Peter Kimpton used to cycle to work through the hectic London traffic. Now he’s traded in those pedals for a paddle, and his commute couldn’t be any less stressful. He competes with swans, geese, herons, ducks, and coots for space on the river ways instead of with cars and busses. He passes houseboats instead of concrete jungles. Needless to say, his ride to work is the highlight of his day.


The Best Commute Ever

How would you describe one of your typical commutes? Fast-paced? Stressful? How about the way others drive? Aggressive? Even reckless? Think about that for a moment and then take a gander at how Stephen Linaweaver describes his daily commute: “Conditions: sunny and absolutely bluebird. Number of seals spotted: 8. Amount of road rage experienced: none. Number of waves surfed: about five.” You see, Stephen is a San Francisco Bay area professional who has shed car in favor of a kayak, which he steadfastly paddles across the bay each day to work.


Commuting in the Liquid Lane

San Francisco is a great place, but it has nothing on Seattle as far as inventive commuters. Imagine sitting on a boat in Puget Sound and along comes a mature-looking professional gentleman wearing a three-piece suit—riding a jetski! Now imagine that the Sound doesn’t just have one snappily dressed hydro commuter—it has two. At least. Nat Hong and Bob Barrett both ride PWCs to work, and they will never go back. As Hong says, “the long drive didn’t make sense.”


Sailors Smile All The Way To Work / Commuting by Boat Best Way Across Bay

It seems the Bay Area is a popular place for alternative commuting, and if they aren’t doing it by kayak or PWC, they are hitting the waves in their boats. Robert Noyer navigates his Boston Whaler through the busy waterways choked with ferries, tankers and container ships. He says it takes him about 15 minutes to make  the jaunt across the bay, a commute friend of his who make three times more money are jealous of.  “There’s no better feeling than getting on your boat and cruising to work,” Noyer says.

Are Two Heads Better Than One?

Photograph courtesy Christopher Johnston

Should we be concerned? It seems mysterious mutated animal life is cropping up seemingly around every corner, with two headed creatures topping the list of weirdness. Is it radiation from a certain meltdown across the Pacific? Is it pressure from over fishing? Is it something more benign like Mother Nature doing her own form of crazy lab experimentation? Whatever the cause, fishermen and outdoor sports enthusiasts are coming across these genetic wonders with ever increased frequency. It prompts us to ask, are two heads better than one? Read on and you may come to your own conclusion.


Two-Headed Sharks Keep Popping Up—No One Knows Why

You may not have heard this, but sharks with two heads are a thing. Not just special effects in a Hollywood movie, but a real thing. And here’s the real puzzling aspect—two headed sharks are being discovered more and more. So much so that National Geographic ran a story on their website explaining the phenomenon. Not the National Enquirer, but National Geographic. When a reputable publication like that devotes space to a story, you can bet it’s serious. An interesting read, and it delves into some of the suspected causes of such a strange trend.


Rare two-headed sea creature caught by Dutch fishermen

While it may be much more rare that a two-headed shark, this creature is no less intriguing. It’s sometimes a tossup what a fisherman might drag up from the bottom of the ocean, and while some animals might be stranger than others, these fishers reeled in a catch for the books. Quite possibly no one in the world has ever seen a two-headed harbor porpoise. Until now. Researchers are calling it a one in a billion catch.


Two-headed Trout Raises Eyebrows in Idaho

Here’s a real head scratcher. A major mining company in Idaho admitted freely that a recent find of a two-headed trout was directly linked to selenium pollution coming from one of their mines. Then the same company announced that the levels of selenium were safe. Tell that to the trout. Researchers say they find fish with mutations quite frequently—but never with two heads. They say it is a disturbing trend that needs to be watched carefully. Excess selenium has been linked to all kinds of terrible defects in aquatic animals, including missing eyes and protruding brains. Not good.



I included this video because, well, it was plain fun. This picture started circulating around on the internet in late 2016/early 2017. At first there was wild speculation that the little fish was caught in radioactive waters near Chernobyl. However, those claims have never been satisfactorily confirmed. Also, there is no real need to try to confirm this picture’s authenticity. Quite simply, there is no way this photo is real. It doesn’t take an especially trained photoshopper’s eye to spot the digital deception at play here. Just look at the two halves of the fish and see the similarities? They are exact matches. Perfect symmetry, which doesn’t occur in nature. Fake.

Shipwreck Food & Drink: Still Edible After All These Years

Lars Einarsson/Kalmar County Museum

Divers are renowned for finding strange things at the bottom of the sea. From ancient machinery to mysterious underwater structures to new and exciting species, we can be in the middle of it all. However, some of the most interesting discoveries have to do with so-called perishable items. While stone and metal can last for centuries, food is not supposed to stand up to the test of time. Or is it? I’m not talking about Twinkies, here. I mean real food that real people ate centuries ago. Food that is still edible today. Take a look…


170-Year-Old Shipwreck Beer Smells Gross

Ever seen those “Born On” dates on beer bottles? Can you imagine one that says “Born in the 19th Century?” That’s what divers found when they discovered a nearly 200 year old shipwreck off the coast of Finland’s Adland Islands. Maybe the bottle didn’t say exactly what date it was made, but the 150 bottle of brew contained enough of their original contents that researchers could tell that the beer once tasted much like the modern stuff. After so long under the sea, some water seeped in, creating an overall unpleasant smell, yet the brew was still technically drinkable.


170-Year-Old Champagne Recovered from the Bottom of the Sea

The divers who discovered the preserved beer in Finland also found some pretty incredible wine. Sparkling wine, as a matter of fact. 168 bottles of the ancient bubbly was found, and more incredible than that, the libation was actually well preserved. In fact, researchers were amazed to find the champagne so well preserved while resting at a depth of more than 160 feet. The wine had a leathery, flowery taste, and had remarkable low acidic levels. Since the discovery, many winemakers have begun experimenting with aging wine underwater.


Divers Discover 340-Year-Old Dairy Product in Shipwreck

Usually milk will last for a couple of weeks in the fridge. Cheese a little longer. But not much more than that. Can you imagine some cheese from 340 years ago actually still within its sell by date? That’s what researchers found in 1980 with the Swedish royal vessel Kronan. The warship had been sitting at the bottom of the Baltic Sea since 1676, and ever since researchers found it, relics have been turning up regularly. Then one day divers found a black tin can. When they opened it, the smell hit them. Cheese from the 1600s that’s still edible? Pass the crackers!


Divers discover 2,000-year-old Roman shipwreck that is so well preserved even the FOOD is intact

Modern day canners and food preservers could learn a thing or two from ancient Rome. We know this from the wreck found off the Italian coast. Resting in about 200 feet of water, the shipwreck had been mystifying local fishermen for years as they kept reeling in clay pot fragments. When divers finally found the wreck, they realized it contained over 200 amphora which were well sealed. So well sealed that researchers believe much of the food inside is still intact. Pickled fish for making oil, grain, wine and oil are all believed to be on the wreck.

Risky Fishin’: World’s Most Dangerous Spots

Thomas P. Peschak

It’s easy to wax philosophical about fishing. Most anglers get it. Fishing is life. Fishing is happiness. Fishing is communing with nature, becoming one with the water and respecting the fish as worthy adversaries. Most of all, fishing is supposed to be a relaxing pastime where you can get with your best friend(s), or go it alone, and spend a nice day not working or worrying about bills or what have you. One thing it’s not supposed to be is dangerous, even life threatening. Some people just don’t buy into that whole relaxation and communing with nature thing when it comes to picking their favorite honey hole. At these places, it’s always Risky Fishin’.

The Red Triangle, California
As you may guess by its name, the Red Triangle has a bloody reputation for grinding up kayak fishers and abalone divers and then spitting them out in pieces. The culprits: great white sharks which puncture thick plastic hulls and toss anglers about like playthings. In 2010, an angler was savagely attacked as a shark swam in vicious circles around his kayak, leaving razor-like cuts down his legs. Outdoor Life gives this place, which ranges from Bodega Bay, north of San Francisco, to Ano Nuevo Island near Santa Cruz, a daunting 5 out of 5 on the danger scale. Only for those with nerves of steel.

Columbia Bar
Crossing this intimidating stretch of water where the mighty Columbia River washes into the great Pacific Ocean is so dangerous, many ships have to employ the aid of specially trained bar pilots to guide them. With over 2,000 big shipwrecks reported in the vicinity, it’s no wonder the locals call it the graveyard of the Pacific. Still, the salmon fishing at Buoy Ten is world class—when the weather cooperates. When it doesn’t, or if an angler drifts too far, watch out!

Northeast Coast
You’ve seen “Deadliest Catch” right? The show is infamous for portraying just how life-threatening King Crab fishing can be up in Alaska’s Bearing Sea. However, can you believe that place is only the 4th most dangerous place in the world to fish? The most dangerous, where the most fatalities occur, is in the NE Coast of the US. In the Northeast, there are more people going out for longer periods on bigger ships. And when those ships go down, the devastation is much greater.

Lake Baikal, Russia
Ice fishing comes inherently with its own set of risks. Seasoned ice anglers know those risks, and know how to guard against them. However, even old pros here in the states will have a tough time surviving a day on the ice at Lake Baikal. For one thing, the lake (largest and deepest freshwater lake in the world) is so remote that there are no emergency services nearby. So if you slip into the ice, not only do you have little chance of rescue, getting to a hospital will be nearly impossible. What’s worse is the indigenous tick population, which is infamous for infecting people with encephalitis.

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Divers Guarding Our Underwater Heritage

It was a maritime mystery. On the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Java Sea, a diving expedition formed to visit the underwater remains of three Dutch warships which sank off the coast of Indonesia. For three quarters of a century these wrecks, which were the graves of 2,200 people, sat undisturbed. Amateur divers first discovered the wrecks in 2002. When the anniversary expedition arrived, two of the ships were gone, and the large portions of the third were missing as well. It’s a crime to remove these cultural heritage sites (most likely by metal salvagers). Unfortunately this kind of theft is happening more and more. Fortunately some divers are doing something about it.

Scuba is an amazing activity, but it’s a double edged sword. While it’s great we can breathe underwater and go to places underwater that humans were previously unable to access, the bad news is that we can breathe underwater and go to places that humans were previously unable to access. Places like shipwrecks. And though it might be tempting to feel the thrill taking something from a sunken ship, most of the time that’s a no-no. So scuba is both the villain and the hero in this story, because not only are divers the problem, they are also the solution. Here are a few stories of divers guarding our underwater heritage.

Sea Hero Honored for Preserving Shipwrecks in the Caribbean
Dr. Charles Beeker of Indiana University is a sort of pioneer of shipwreck conservation. In 1988 he was a member of the federal Archaeological Working Committee for the 1988 Abandoned Shipwreck Act, a U.S. law that protects historic shipwrecks from professional treasure hunting and private looting. Since then he has assisted both California and Florida in establishing new shipwreck state parks as well as NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries in creating the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Shipwreck Trail.

Divers take on dual roles of cop and teacher in growing movement to preserve Ontario’s shipwrecks
The Great Lakes are salt-free and very cold, two conditions that bode well for preserving the many shipwrecks that dot the lakebeds. However, heritage theft is a major issue, and local divers recognize a need for action. Michael Hill, president of the provincial heritage organization Save Ontario Shipwrecks, says that there are plenty of laws on the books to protect shipwrecks from looting, but the problem is enforcement. Ian Marshall, a member of the Niagara Divers’ Association is in agreement. It’s divers like Hill and Marshall who are doing what they can, getting the word out and keeping a keen eye open for potential underwater crimes.

Kent divers help police protect English Channel shipwrecks
When word of mouth isn’t enough to stop the theft of our underwater heritage, some stalwart divers take action. The waters off of the UK are absolutely riddled with shipwrecks, and the Kent area is one of the most historic. It’s also a place that’s been hit hard by theft. Consequently, a group of divers have formed a sort of neighborhood watch for the sea. Mark Harrison, who used to work for Kent Police and spearheaded a partnership to tackle heritage crime across England, says most people, including divers and people living along the coastline, want to help.

The Pretty Colors: Weird Water

To outdoor sports enthusiasts, water is important. The quality and cleanliness, the clarity and the color, and many more factors are involved in creating a favorable outdoor sports experience. We love clean, clear water that fosters lots of life so we can fish and fin in a healthy environment. But have you ever come across a stream, creek, river, or other body of water that has a strange color? I’m not talking about the chocolate milk we get in the spring or fall when rivers are flooded with mud and silt. I’m talking about colors that should never be associated with clean, fresh water. It happens, and not just for St. Patrick’s Day, either. Here are just a few cases of weird water.

Sea Sparkle Algae Dazzles Beachgoers At Tasmania’s Preservation Bay

Leanne Marshall via Storyful

Imagine walking on a pristine Tasmanian beach and seeing this amazing azure light display. If you’ve ever witnessed a bioluminescent event like this one, you definitely were fortunate. This incredible blue glow is caused by single-celled algae or plant plankton called Noctiluca scintillans, also known as sea sparkle, which glimmers when disturbed. Scientists believe there is no toxic effect from the algae, and the blue glow is used as a deterrent to predators.

GLOBAL SHOCK: The Antarctic is turning LUMINOUS GREEN


When you think of the Antarctic, lush green colors don’t usually enter your mind. You think of harsh, icy deserts with white expanses as far as the eye can wander. However, recently scientists have spotted a bright green patch of ice which covers about 650 square miles…and it’s still growing. What is the cause? The best guess is a massive bloom of phytoplankton.

River Turns Purple in Taiwan

Okay, when you consider strange colors that water could change to, blue and green aren’t all that strange. But what about other colors in the rainbow not immediately associated with H2O? What about purple? Purple water? It happened in Taiwan in 2015, to a river that supplied a village with all of its drinking water. The one kilometer stretch of purple cleared before local authorities could test the water, but officials have said the source of the pollution was a nearby factory, which discharged waste directly into the river.

Three Million Gallons of Contaminated Water Turns River Orange in Colorado

I would think orange is another of those colors you don’t want your water, unless it’s juice-infused, and I have a feeling the Animas River in Colorado wasn’t filled with Minute Maid. Actually, workers with the Environmental Protection Agency accidentally released 3 million gallons of waste water from the Gold King Mine in Silverton, Colorado. The contaminated water contained heavy metals, including lead and arsenic, turning the river water into a murky orange and yellow color.

Locals Horrified As Water Turns Scary Shade Of Red

Zoe NaumanThe Sun

Now this one is straight out of a horror movie, or a biblical plague, and though the world has witnessed rivers mysteriously turning red overnight, it doesn’t get any less disturbing. This incident occurred in Russia in 2016. While some residents were decrying the end of the world and the river turning to blood, others with more level heads thought it was either mineral ore leaching into the water or it was an accidental spill from a local smelting plant.

Divers Making a Difference: Seek and Ye Shall Find

Scuba can be one of the most rewarding activities you can find. It not only forces you to focus your mind, but also makes you get your body tuned in to the rigors of the deep. Yes, it can be a lazy sport, but it can also be an invigorating sport. It just depends on what you want to get out of it. For some, taking scuba to the next level involves something more than personal thrills. Some divers get their reward by helping others. In this post, we’ll explore a little more of these divers making a difference.

The Saints of Lake Travis

Well, maybe they aren’t saints. The folks at Lake Travis Scuba have made quite a nice little living out of searching for and finding all kinds of lost swag. The main haul? Cheap sunglasses. It has become so commonplace to find shades on the lakebed, the dive shop even began a sunglass hunter’s certification class accredited by the Professional Association of Diving instructors. And it’s not just sunglasses. People lose wallets, iPhones, GoPros, rings, necklaces, and all kinds of other things. For the divers, it’s a finders keepers sort of thing, unless someone is actively searching for their lost item. In that case, they are like saints, deriving pleasure from making people happy that their lost treasure was found by a friendly diver.


Family lost 800 photos when their camera fell into sea. Reunited with their ‘precious memories’ after scuba diver spotted it 30ft underwater

Paul McGahan probably felt like someone had punched him in the gut when he saw his family’s camera sinking into the depths off of Falmouth, Cornwall. On board were almost a thousand of his precious memories. All lost. He and his family thought the pictures were gone forever, until two months later when Diver Mark Milburn handed over the camera. Seems the camera was in 30 feet of water when Mark found it as a part of a beach clean-up day. It was a remarkable chain of events, but Paul should consider backing up his data in the future.


Scuba diver finds wedding ring lost at sea for 37 years off Benidorm and tracks down the couple who lost it

Imagine having your wedding band lost for almost 40 years. You probably had forgotten about it after all that time. So when Juani and Agustin Aliaga were contacted by diver Jessica Niso about a lost ring, they must have thought it was a joke. No joke. The simple gold band was discovered off the coast of Benidorm, and after Niso cleaned it up, she noticed the inscription: Juani – 17-2-79. With so little to go off of, it’s a testament to social media and the will to never give up that Niso tracked down the ring’s owners, who are still alive and still married.


Rescue and recovery divers brings closure to loved ones

When someone drowns, it is devastating not only for the victim, but also for his or her loved ones who were left behind. Sometimes the situation is made even worse when the victim is not recovered by rescue personnel. In that case, families turn to organizations like the Garden State Underwater Recovery Unit. Some people don’t believe in the concept of closure when it comes to the grieving process. But don’t tell that to the good folks at GSUR, who say it’s tremendously satisfying to help heartbroken families in their darkest time of need.