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.

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

NASA

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

CNN.com

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.

Get Ready Now For Summer Scuba Jobs

CNN.com

When I was a kid, to make a little extra spending cash in the summer, I used to do all kinds of odd jobs. Mowing lawns was the go to occupation. I had a few clients in the neighborhood for a few seasons. Painting was another good one. Delivering newspapers (when kids used to do it) was fun, but I only did that for a day as a fill-in for the regular kid, and I am sure I messed up his route big time. And if any of those jobs weren’t available for whatever reason, I could always fall back on picking strawberries at good ole’ Luttrell Farms.

One thing I never got the chance to do for money was SCUBA, mostly because I didn’t get certified until I was almost thirty! But if I had gotten the chance to dive for a paycheck, you can bet your bippy I would have done it in a heartbeat. Want to know what kind of summer jobs might be out there for a young certified diver (with the proper training)? Read on…

 

Seafood Harvesting

It might be grueling work and long hours, but if you are young and love to dive, then this might be the perfect way to earn some good money. How good? Depending on the species, and depending on the market that year, you could make $200 or more a day. I’ve read accounts of geoduck divers earning $20,000 in just a few hours. Of course  that’s for experience divers, but you could become one if you go for it.

 

Become a Dive Instructor

Of course you would need to obtain the proper certifications, but that’s why this post is being written so early in the year. You have a few months to  get your certs in order. Or you could get on with a local dive shop and become an assistant to the instructor. You won’t need the same level of certifications (divemaster) and you will still be able to get paid to be in the water.

 

Hull Cleaning

This is a good job for people who love to dive, but be warned, it can be competitive. And difficult. Divers need to clean the bottom of a boat without damaging the paint, a tough task which requires knowledge of different boat paint coatings. Also, most marinas are fouled by murky waters, boat oil, chemicals, sea weed or pond weed making it a challenging and often hazardous occupation. The best way for a newbie to break into this industry is to get a job with an established hull cleaner.

 

Golf Ball Recovery

You might be saying, “Why didn’t I think of that!” Well, it turns out many others have thought about it. Retrieving lost golf balls from water traps is a 200 million dollar industry in the US. 200 million! And you should definitely get a piece of the action. Just be careful if you are looking for lost golf balls in Florida. Those gators can be voracious.

 

Sources: divenewswire.com | uncw.edu | leisurepro.com | jobmonkey.com

More Oysters, Please

National Geographic

My wife and I go to this chain seafood restaurant in our local area once in a while. I won’t disclose the name of the place since it will elicit a slew of criticism from the seafood purists out there (to be fair, I do frequent the local mom and pop seafood joints). It’s not great seafood, but it’s the only place within 50 miles where I can get a nice plate of fresh oysters on the half shell. Well, I guess I should say I USED to get oysters there. Lately every time I ask, they are out of the delicious mollusks. Because of that, you may think I would want less people to eat oysters so I can have my share. On the contrary I say, eat more oysters please, and here’s why…

 

Oysters Are The Original Fast Food

What else can you simply pluck from the bottom of the ocean, shuck open, and slide into your gullet? Yeah, we can eat fish raw, but it takes some processing. Oysters you can just open and eat. Indigenous peoples have been eating them for centuries. When Europeans came over for the first time, they were amazed to find Long Island covered with discarded oyster shells. And all along both coasts we can find evidence of ancient native settlements by the mounds and mounds of shells. An all you can eat buffet. I’m jealous.

 

Oysters Are Good For You

Aside from the old wives’ tale that oysters can boost your libido (which science says isn’t true but we’ll be the judge of that, thank you very much), eating them actually can give you some great health benefits. The bivalves are loaded with zinc, which boosts your immune system, helps prevent acne, eases rashes, and strengthens your bones. Try getting that from fast food.

 

Oysters Are Good For The Planet

There is a lot of controversy out there right now about the safety of farm raised fish. Some farmed salmon suffer tremendously unhealthy living conditions and are fed toxic substances. Fish from the different areas around the world are contaminated by industrial wastes. In other fish, additives are put in to preserve the fat that may be lost in processing. The accumulation of contaminants and other dangerous substances makes them many times more poisonous than any other food available in a normal supermarket. With Oysters, this kind of contamination does not occur. Unlike fish, oysters don’t need to be fed, and thus do not further deplete wild seafood stocks. Instead, oysters behave like sponges, absorbing and filtering their food from the water around them with no additional assistance needed. Oysters never generate waste or pollute the water, even in densely packed beds. Quite the reverse, they remove nitrogen and helps with water clarity.

 

If We All Eat More Oysters, There Will Be More Oysters

I know this sounds antithetical to my cause of amassing more oysters for my own general consumption, but it’s true. If more people ate fresh oysters, more people would get the bright idea to farm more oysters. And then all would be right in the world. Oh, yeah, that world peace thing would be good too.

 

Sources: elementseafood.com | foodrepublic.com | youtube | inahalfshell.com

How Did THAT Get Underwater?

Scuba divers are used to seeing strange things underwater. From weird animals to ancient structures, from unbelievably beautiful geologic formations to old, crusty shipwrecks, if we spend enough time down there, we see it all. Most of the time what we see we expect to be there. We might find something rare or unusual, but for the most part it belongs under the water. But what about those things that don’t belong in the water? What about those things that we say when we see them, “How did THAT get underwater?”

 

Fake moai, Easter Island, Chile

Randy Olson / Nat Geo Creative

For many of us adventurers, a trip to the majestic Easter Island is near the top of the bucket list. Of course we all know the famous island for its 21 foot tall monolithic statues in the shape of squared human heads known as moai. Built in approximately 1400 – 1650 A.D. by the natives of this island, these iconic statues are as haunting as they are stunning. About 1000 statues, weighing up to 86 tons each, are scattered around the island’s coastline. All of the statues are on dry ground, except one which lies in the ocean near the island. Actually, the submerged moai isn’t an ancient wonder. It’s a prop from a Kevin Costner movie!

 

Mystery Surrounds Motorbike At The Bottom Of Cabbage Tree Bay

If you have ever had the honor and pleasure of diving the HMS Thistlegorm, then you have most likely seen full sized, intact ordinance, pickup trucks, and even motorcycles. While the ship’s story is grim, the presence of these vehicles makes sense. It’s all a part of a shipwreck. But what about when you find a fully intact motorcycle underwater in the middle of nowhere? That’s exactly what lucky divers can find in Australia’s Cabbage Tree Bay.

 

600-Year-Old Sunken Statue Of Buddha Emerges From Water

Hydroelectric dams can be wondrous things in terms of the amounts of cheap electricity they can generate. We here in the great Pacific Northwest can attest to that. However, when we build dams, they create reservoirs. These reservoirs can be gigantic, and can swallow up a whole lot of history. In this case, it is a lake in China’s Jiangxi Province. Back in the 1960s the Chinese government built a dam that completely submerged an ancient city. Now, as renovation work is being done, the lake water level was dropped, and an interesting visitor appeared.

 

French Team Says Satellite Images Reveal Underwater City

viewzone.com

Talk about climate change! That’s what scientists think happened to the ancient structures that lie under the waves in the Caribbean. You might have seen documentaries about one or more of these anomalous sites and you might be wondering the same thing: how did it get underwater. About 12,000 years ago, something dramatically and quickly changed the climate of the earth, resulting in the rise of sea levels around the globe. The higher water must have wiped out many of the cities and civilizations near the seas, creating these strangely haunting underwater edifices like roads and other patterns that stimulate our imaginations.

Divers and Their Wild Underwater Pals

One of the first things we learn as new divers is to never go alone. Whenever we go diving, we have to pair up for safety. We even have a term of endearment for it: the dive buddy. Sometimes our dive buddy is a real friend, someone who watches out for us and makes sure we aren’t doing something we shouldn’t be doing. Sometimes when we dive, we pick up dive buddies along the way. There are some divers who never have to ask for a dive buddy because theirs is already under the sea. Check out these stories about divers and their wild underwater pals.

 

Shark Swims Up To Diver For a Cuddle Every Time She Sees Him

For the past seven years, every time Rick Anderson dives into the ocean off the coast of Nobbys Beach in New South Wales, Australia, he has been met by a dear old friend. The story is quite amazing. Anderson says he first met the unnamed shark as a tiny, six-inch long pup. Now, seven years later, the female Port Jackson shark is an intimidating 6 feet long. But she doesn’t intimidate Anderson at all. Instead, whenever she sees and recognizes him, the shark nuzzles in for a hug.

 

This friendly fish has visited a Japanese diver for 25 years

Inhabitat.com

That first story about the cuddly shark certainly went a long way toward teaching us a thing or two about fish feelings. This next story confirms that even though they are cold blooded, our fishy friends might actually harbor emotions we only attribute to land dwellers. I don’t want to give too much away because it really is a sweet story and you should read it for yourself. In a nutshell, diver Hiroyuki Arakawa has been meeting up with his fish friend for 25 years.

 

Valerie Taylor Befriends a Spotted Moray Eel

At first glance, a Moray Eel looks quite menacing. With its long, cylindrical body and rows of big, sharp teeth, and with the way it opens and closes its mouth when it breathes—it is downright scary. However, given all that, given the fact that they are carnivorous and dwell in deep, dark caves, Moray Eels are surprisingly lovable. Don’t just take my word for it. Watch the video of Valerie Taylor and her good friend, a Spotted Moray Eel, as they frolic and frisk like two long lost friends.

 

Ocean Ramsey and a Whale Shark

waterinspired.org

Ocean Ramsey is amazing. Besides having probably the coolest name ever for a shark biologist and freediver, she also has bigger juevos than most guys I know. She is a model, a diver, an instructor, and most of all an inspiration to many. Google her and you’ll see all kinds of videos of her swimming with great white sharks. No cage. No suit. Just Ocean in the ocean with a beast that could swallow her whole if it wanted. In this video, Ocean is swimming lazily with one of the sea’s most majestic inhabitants, a gentle and docile whale shark.

Senior Citizens of the Sea

Humans can live a long time. Since beating that old infant mortality rate back to a reasonable number, we have seen our lifespans increase almost exponentially. While we’ve done a good job of driving those age limits up, we are still a ways off from being the most long-lived species on the planet. Did you know that there are some sea creatures that can live over a hundred years? How about over 500? And there are even some sea animals that scientists believe can never die (that is if not eaten by a predator). Strange as it may seem, there are lots of senior citizens of the sea.

 

World’s oldest killer whale, who swam the oceans before the Titanic sank, dies at the age of 105

Simon Pidcock

In 1971, scientists came across Granny, a Southern Resident Killer Whale. At that time she was already the ripe old age of 60. Since then, researchers have been eagerly watching and studying her. She outlived her children, and was born one year before the Titanic steamed off on its fateful maiden voyage. In October of 2016, researchers saw her for the last time. Since then she has gone missing and is presumed dead.

 

Nellie, 61, World’s Oldest Dolphin in Captivity, Dies at Marineland’s Dolphin Adventure

This story is a melancholy reminder of the tragedy of captivity. Nellie was an ambassador for her species. She was beloved and revered. She was also a prisoner for the entire 61 years of her life. Sadly, she was born in a tank and she died in one, just a few miles from the ocean she never got to experience. The silver lining of the story is that Nellie showed us that dolphins can live long lives. No doubt they can live even longer than 61 years in the wild.

 

400-year-old Greenland shark might be oldest vertebrate on Earth

When I first read this headline, I was  dubious. 400 years? A shark can live 400 years? However, upon further review, it certainly appears as if this is the truth. Greenland sharks live in the deep waters of the Arctic and North Atlantic Oceans, and they can grow up to seven meters in length. But that’s not the most intriguing aspect of these big fellas. By carbon-14 dating Greenland shark eye lenses, scientists have determined that these big fish can live centuries. 3 to 5 centuries more specifically.

 

New record: World’s oldest animal is 507 years old

Not to be outdone by the Greenland shark is a small mollusk with a penchant for permanence. In 1499, only a few years after Columbus visited America, an unassuming ocean quahog was born in Iceland. Over 500 years later, a team of scientists found it. After a couple of rounds of testing, the researchers discovered that the mollusk was a half a millennia old. Before this, it was thought that mollusks didn’t live much past 100 years. Now we know. To think, you may have at one time eaten a 500 year old clam.

 

Immortal Jellyfish

Peter Schuchert/The Hydrozoa Directory

Now for the stuff of science fiction and fantasy. But this is no fiction. Turritopsis dohrnii. Remember that name. Some day we may all be having treatments for youthfulness and it all may be thanks to the Turritopsis dohrnii. Turns out the secret to long life isn’t just about living a long time, it’s about staying young. That’s what the Turritopsis dohrnii does. When it seems to have lived to the point to where it should die, the Turritopsis dohrnii instead reverts back to its juvenile state, thereby restarting the aging process all over again.

 

Sources:  dailymail.co.uk | flaglerlive.com | mongabay.com | sciencenordic.com | immortal-jellyfish.com

The Secret Lives of Sea Animals

It’s a wild world out there, and the wilder it is, the wilder it gets. Wild animals can be quite unpredictable. Sure, we think we know a lot about them, but it seems every day something new is learned and we have to rethink the way we see the denizens of the deep. Sometimes when we hear something about an animal, we have to stop and say, “no way.” But I’m here to tell you, yes, sea life can engage in some pretty strange behavior. So without further ado, let’s look at some of the secret lives of sea animals.

 

Dolphins ‘deliberately get high’ on puffer fish

Mother Nature Network

Did you know that human beings are not the only ones in the animal kingdom who actively and purposely seek altered states of consciousness? It sounds crazy, but there are many known cases of wildlife getting high. Wallabies on opium, elephants and the Marula tree, reindeer and magic mushrooms, and bighorn sheep eating narcotic lichen are just a few examples. And representing sea life is the venerable dolphin. That’s right, the iconic sea mammal with the innocent smile and the playful attitude is a junky! Click for more…

 

Killer Whales Play With Their Food

The next time you want to take your kids out on an innocent whale watching excursion, consider this: Killer Whales are, well, killers. They are very much carnivorous and quite often can be seen engaging in a behavior that, if attributed to humans, could be called playing with their food. For whatever reason (stunning or tenderizing or both) Orcas can be undeniably cruel to their prey. Throwing or punting a seal or a baby sea lion upwards of 80 feet into the air seems to be one of their favorite pastimes. Read more here…

 

The Secret, Colorful And Dramatic Lives Of Octopuses Uncovered

In one of our previous blog posts, we detail some of the incredible things an octopus can do. They are highly intelligent, curious, playful and amazingly adept at camouflage. We already knew that they can change color to suit their environment, but did you know that change color to suit their mood as well? In some dramatic video footage, these octopuses can be seen changing colors dramatically as they are fighting with each other. Interesting to see the color alteration in relation to the fighting technique. Watch the video here…

 

Penguins Feed On Jellyfish With Prominent Sex Organs

heryl Ramalho/WWF/PA

Saved the best for last. Ok, maybe not the best but certainly the strangest. It seems Adelie penguins in the Antarctic are targeting well-endowed sea jellies for nourishment instead of their staple diet of krill. The strange thing is this is happening even with an abundance of krill available. Researchers seem to think that it has to do with the fact that the sex organs of the sea jellies have a much higher protein and carbon levels than any other part of the creature. I think that it is much more simplistic: the penguins simply think the sea jelly’ junk tastes great. Like a delicacy. Like Rocky Mountain oysters. Read more…

And They Lived 2: Outdoor Sports Close Calls

For most of us outdoor sports fanatics, safety is the first priority. Always. Scuba divers know all about being safe, from maintaining our equipment to strictly following dive profiles to being a good dive buddy. Hunters also learn about gun safety and proper technique. Fishermen also have many considerations to keep in mind from wearing life jackets on the boat to knowing how and where to cast so they don’t hook someone else or themselves. It doesn’t matter what the sport, we always learn safety first. However, no matter how much we plan, no matter how cautious we are, things go astray. Here are some examples of outdoor sports close calls.

 

How an Italian Boy Survived 42 Minutes Underwater

Reading the headline of this story is shocking enough. 42 minutes! That has to be a mistake. However, read the article. It is real. Also, the boy in this story is not the only one to survive being submerged for such a long duration of time. He’s just one of the latest. Doctors don’t know exactly why or how, but they think humans can survive this because of many biological factors, one of which is called the mammalian dive reflex. Read more here.

 

Hunter narrowly dodges death, leaps from tree stand to escape helicopter tree trimmer

Okay, the big news out of all this is that they actually prune trees using helicopters. Pretty darn cool. But not cool if you are an unwitting hunter sitting in a tree stand. That’s was the exact predicament Darren “Andy” Royalty found himself in during a 2013 hunting trip. More here.

 

Diver survives great white breaking into his shark cage

Youtube

We couldn’t rightly write a blog post about narrow death escapes without including one of the most viral of them all. In 2016, in Mexico, an adventurous man was partaking in a shark cage dive when the unthinkable happened. A humongous Great White Shark somehow managed to slip into the cage. The few seconds that followed seemed like an eternity, as the shark thrashed about, whipping up the white water, and as the diver was nowhere to be seen. Read more.

 

Kayaker escapes fast-forming lightning storm by furiously paddling to shore

Somewhere along the line, someone surely told you that water and electricity are a deadly combo. That thought must have been running like Usain Bolt through Erik Walasek’s mind in August of 2015. The Florida kayaker was out for a relaxing day on the water when he noticed some severely black clouds heading his way. Watching the video, you can’t help but root for the guy to outrun (or out paddle) the storm.  Read more here.

 

Fisherman narrowly escapes death after being impaled by spear in horrific accident

Warning: the pictures on this webpage are graphic and may be distressing to the young or faint of heart. Baatr Dalantaev, reportedly a Russian fisherman, was obviously the victim of some horrific accident involving a large spear. No indication as to how or why, but the pictures speak volumes. Read more.

Stranger Things: Outdoor Sports Edition

Mark The Shark

Mark The Shark

A recent article about a fisherman who reeled in a brick kilo of cocaine got me to thinking. It was such an interesting story that it reminded me of the many others outdoor adventurers tell. The world is a strange place, and people who explore it find strange things. 10 to 1 you know someone, probably an bombastic uncle or a sage grandfather, who can regale you for hours with accounts of weird fishing finds and odd hunting discoveries. You might even have your own stories of strangeness to tell. The internet is no place of shortages for such tales of intrigue.

 

Hunting

In the backwoods, sometimes reality can take a sharp right turn into the twilight zone. Sometimes when you step into the forest it is like you are stepping into another time or another dimension. Search the net and you will find people telling so-called true stories of finding things like 1930s automobiles way out in remote locations where no vehicle could possibly travel. Other hunters describe coming across abandoned wells and old unexploded ordinances and functioning moonshine stills. There are lighthearted stories of hunters accidentally finding amorous couples in the woods. However, some of the more creepy stories revolve around discovering downed private aircraft with the pilot still in it or other horrific scenes of accidental death.

 

Fishing

As strange and as mysterious as forests can be, water, in its many forms from lakes and rivers to the oceans, is much more enigmatic. Some of the things that come out of the water on the end of a fisherman’s line can only be described as unbelievable. There is a reason why people joke about fisherman and the stories they tell. These stories go way back to the days of the seafaring trades when sailors told anecdotes of mermaids and Krakens and other unexplainable creatures. Searching the web, you can find stories of strangeness like the time when some anglers caught a shark that coughed up a human arm which turned out to be the victim of a homicide. There was also the one about two fishermen who reeled in the skull of a friend of theirs, or the one where a different fisherman finds a different kilo of coke, but this time he decides to partake in the stuff and goes crazy and almost sinks his own boat.

 

Kayaking

As we have meticulously documented in one of our previous posts, kayakers can sometimes lead some pretty crazy lives. Whales for some reason love to jump on top of kayakers in the middle of the ocean. And, just in general, paddlers are a wild and adventurous bunch. In one entertaining tale of adventure, a group of young kayakers, on a tributary of the Ohio River, found a 110-year-old shipwreck that was still structurally sound enough for them to explore. Neat stuff.

 

Scuba diving

Ask any diver and he or she will tell you that the underwater world is a completely different place in the world topside. Sometimes, and in many dives, things go rather routinely if not boringly. But there are those certain dives when you come across something quite strange, even scary. Many people have told stories of finding bones and other human body parts, mostly skulls or parts of skulls. That kind of discovery can be disturbing enough. But there is another discovery that can be even more disturbing, one that doesn’t even involve finding a body or part of a body. The most troubling discoveries can be when you don’t find a body, but you find signs of disaster. The worst is dive gear. Tanks, buoyancy compensators, regulators and weights. Finding something like this inside of the confines of a cave or somewhere else constricted and not finding the diver who lost it has to be one of the creepiest things ever.

 

Sources: nbc4i.com | thehighroad.org | cracked.com | viralforest.com | scubaboard.com

Saving Susceptible Sea Species

The sea is so vast and life in it is so abundant that we humans used to think it had infinite resources for the taking. After centuries of harvesting from the oceans of the world, we have finally learned that there is a limit to how much we can take, and how much we need to leave behind. We have also learned much about some of the more endangered species out there. Now we know that we just can’t keep taking from the ocean. We need to give as well. These are some stories of people who realize that, and are working to save some of the sea’s more susceptible species.

 

Mexico plans to catch, protect last few vaquita porpoises

San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco Chronicle

Fueled by the Chinese appetite for fish that swim in the same Sea of Cortez waters, the vaquita is one of the world’s most endangered animals. With an estimated three dozen left alive, Mexican officials are embarking on a highly risky venture. They plan on capturing and breeding some of the few remaining vaquitas left. The problem is that the species has never been successfully bred in captivity. Could this well-meaning project actually serve to hasten the vaquitas demise?

 

Saving a Coral Reef, One Transplant at a Time

It is fairly common knowledge by now for most outdoor savvy people that coral reefs around the world are suffering. Warmer water temperatures along with increased pollution (among other factors) have contributed to the demise of many otherwise healthy reef systems around the planet. Case in point, the most famous reef of all, the Great Barrier Reef off of New Zealand, is reported to be almost completely dead. What can we do to stop this terrible predicament? Luckily there are many conservation groups working on the problem. In this story, we learn about a technique of rebuilding coral reefs by transplantation.

 

Saving Hawksbill and Leatherback Turtles

From CostaRicaTurtles.com: “Sea Turtles are ancient creatures. Some scientists say they are over 110 million years old, while others claim their lineage goes back 140 million years. They were here before the dinosaurs roamed the planet. And yet today all species are on the IUCN (World Conservation Union) Red List meaning they are facing a high risk of global extinction. The United States Endangered Species Act (ESA) also places sea turtles species as endangered. In addition and unfortunately, scientists believe that leatherback sea turtles could be facing extinction in as little as ten years. Save the Turtles, Inc, stands humbled by these gentle creatures and works towards their survival.”

 

Saving Bluefin Tuna

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey Bay Aquarium

It’s fairly easy to see why tuna (especially Bluefin) are in such high demand. They are exciting to catch and delicious to eat! And with the price a Bluefin goes for in the Japanese market, it is a no-brainer as to why they are a prized catch. However, due to its immense appeal, Pacific bluefin tuna are in trouble. Because of years and years of overfishing, the iconic fish’s population hovers at a precarious 3% of its original size.  Conservationists say attempts at curbing overfishing have failed, so they propose a two year moratorium on commercial fishing for this species.