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.

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.

Submarine Stories

Every once in a while it seems when studying the news and current events patterns begin to emerge.  It might be planned promotion or it might be cosmic coincidence, but sometimes themes begin to develop in the news cycle. Lately, one particular theme, which may or may not have to do with anything, is appearing. In the news it seems stories about submarines have been coming up for one reason or another. We don’t question it when the universe sends me a message. We just listen and see what happens. So let’s have a look at some of the more recent stories regarding submarines.

 

The Strange Tale of Nazi Germany’s Super Submarines (That Never Fired a Shot)
At the end of World War II, facing the grim prospect of massively depleting resources, Germany was becoming quite desperate. And, out of desperation, aided by some of the most brilliant minds in science and engineering, the Germans invented technology that we still use to this day. One of those technological advancements was the introduction of the modern submarine. This article tells the tale of U-2511, one of Germany’s new Type XXI-class. She was a marvel of modern technology. She also represented one of the Third Reich’s biggest failures.

The Nearly Forgotten Story of a Super-Secret U.S. Navy Spy Submarine (And What It Did to Russia)

Kyle Mizokami

Kyle Mizokami

The American submarine, USS Halibut, was another ship well ahead of its time. Quite simply, the halibut was one-of-a-kind. One of America’s first long-range spy subs, the Halibut was specifically designed to launch ballistic missiles. Later, it was rebuilt to house and operate two large remotely operated vessels which could search the ocean floor at great depths. During the Cold War, this aided the United States military greatly when it was used in the salvage operation of a lost Soviet nuclear sub.

Russia Tests Nuclear-Capable Drone Sub
The headline and some of the information in this story might be a little misleading, but it is still worth a read anyway because of the significance of the technology involved. It has been revealed recently that Russia has developed an unmanned  submarine capable of deploying megaton class warheads, the largest thermonuclear devices known to mankind. If this isn’t scary enough, the story says that the vessel, known to American officials as the Kanyon, is a drone. But that is not the case. It is a remotely operated vehicle. If that puts your mind to rest at all.

Expedition explores sunken mini sub at Pearl Harbor

 

The Undersea Aquahoverer

aquahoverer1
This last story is not so much an informational piece but a call for donations, ha ha. Seriously, who would not want to see this thing under their Christmas tree? Well, maybe it wouldn’t fit under the tree, but you get my drift. The Undersea Aquahoverer looks like a race car and is the ultimate dream of every little boy who never grew up. Probably a lot of girls too. And at only a cool 1.5 million dollars, it is actually a steal.

What is That! Mystery Sea Creatures

The ocean is a pretty mysterious place for us land dwellers. It is said we know more about the surface of the moon than we do some of the more remote places of the sea. Sounds outrageous, doesn’t it? However, consider that we are constantly discovering new species of sea animals and plants. Consider also that we are discovering things that we have never seen before, and possibly may never see again. Whenever a strange creature arises from the depths it makes news, and for good reason. Let’s take a look at a few recent examples…

New Giant, Air-Breathing Fish Discovered
A fish that breathes air? You bet. Science has known about Arapaimas, also known as paiche or pirarucu, large Amazonian fish that use a primitive lung to take in dry air for its oxygen needs. Now new species are being discovered in the Amazon River. The fish are particularly difficult to study due to their habitat in remote areas of South America, and at one time were thought to all belong to the same species. Now scientists know there are many distinct species of Arapaimas, and that knowledge is important in the process of protecting the endangered fish.

Mystery of deep-sea ‘purple sock’ solved

BBC.com

BBC.com

If you are ever diving in the ocean and come across what looks eerily like a purple sock—don’t pick it up. You won’t be doing anyone a favor, no matter who you think may have lost their hosiery. Xenoturbella is its name, and baffling scientists for 60 years is its game. Now, though, researchers think they have cracked the code on this odd-looking critter. For the longest time, taxonomists thought the animal was a sort of mollusk. But tests determined that the mollusk DNA actually was from something the animal ate. And then a breakthrough came when other Xenoturbella species were found, allowing scientists to determine that the Xenoturbella actually belongs to one of the earliest branches of life.

Mysterious jelly creatures invade Huntington Beach shores
In November of 2016, California beachgoers got a big surprise. People who frequent the coast are used to strange things washing up on the shore, but these new visitors really got people talking. Scattered all about the beach, wriggling in the sand, were countless little flesh-colored creatures about the size of an adult’s thumb. Some people believed the little beings to be sea cucumbers while others thought they were baby jellyfish. Marine biologists say they’ve seen the creatures only once before, and they do not pose a threat to humans.

Gigantic, Mystery Sea-Creature Lands On a Mexican Beach

CEN

CEN

When I first heard the story about a mysterious sea creature with flabby skin washing up on an Acapulco beach, I immediately thought it was an American tourist who had drank too many margaritas. But upon seeing the picture, I can tell this is no laughing matter. Exactly what is this 13 foot beast? A dead whale? An alien? Cthulhu? The world may never know.

Sources: news.nationalgeographic.com | bbc.com | abc7.com | maxim.com

Underwater Theme Parks of the (Near) Future

Pursuitist

Pursuitist

Diving is an amazing sport. It enhances just about every aspect of your life. It boosts your confidence, gives your life more excitement, and other people (especially non-divers) begin to look at you like a Navy Seal or something. Yes, we get all kinds of cool benefits from diving, yet many divers find themselves in serious need of places to dive. Though there are many places around the world that feature wonderful diving, we can always use more. More places to explore. More places to discover. More places to experience. To that end, we are thrilled to highlight some stories about plans for some pretty cool underwater theme parks.

Underwater Theme Park for Dubai

The Pearl of Dubai has been in the planning and development stages since 2014, and when it’s done you might want to make sure your passport is updated. Think about it: you get to soar underwater through a giant representation of the lost ancient city of Atlantis. The five-acre park, soon to be the largest underwater tourism locale in the world, will be open to swimmers and divers of all ages and levels. The parent company, Reef Worlds, is concerend about sustainability, so the Peal of Dubai will also entail the creation of new animal habitat. Sounds like a win-win!

Developers consider turning sunken Titanic sister ship into divers’ theme park
From Fox news.com: “The HMS Britannic, a WWI era ship dubbed “Titanic 2,” has been resting at the bottom of the Aegean for almost 100 years. But now the owner of a local diving club is considering redeveloping the wreckage into an underwater theme park that could generate tourist-driven capital into Greece’s cash-strapped economy. Yiannis Tsavelakos has been guiding dives throughout the Meditteranean for years. After recently attending a forum about the Britannic, the diver says he came up with the idea of creating a subterranean diving paradise, connecting the Britannic with other sunken wrecks in the Kea Channel.” No word yet on a projected opening date. Stay tuned!

Japan theme park plans floating hotel with underwater views

Now, we’ve already posted stories on underwater and/or floating hotels before. The jury is still out on many of them. Are they scams? Will they ever see the light of day? In Japan, plans are underway for one such resort, and it looks like it will actually be built. According to Nikkei.com, “Huis Ten Bosch, a Dutch-themed amusement park in Nagasaki Prefecture, plans to create a floating hotel that can be towed around by a boat. Each hotel guest room will be contained inside a sphere measuring 6.5 meters in diameter. The theme park operator plans to set up the hotel in Omura Bay and move it between the park and an uninhabited island in the bay. The subsidiary of Japanese travel agency H.I.S. purchased the island last year and also has bought a boat. Hotel construction is to go into full swing in 2017.”

Mexico sinks navy vessel as part of plans for scuba Marine Park on Baja California coast
Sinking a ship is a great way to create a refuge for sealife and an interesting dive site at the same time. Artificial reefs, is what they are called, and Mexico is creating one in some of the most beautiful waters in the world-Baja. Says attractionsmanagement.com “In addition to the sunken vessel, the Rosarito Marine Park will also feature an underwater sculpture garden in shallow waters, as well as three more sunken ships further out. The deeper waters will also be home to several pyramids and an area paying tribute to the Titanic.”

A Brush With Death – Shark Cage Diving Close Calls

Jack Percey | July 14, 2015 | Extreme Scuba

Jack Percey | July 14, 2015 | Extreme Scuba

“Hey, check this out!” the boss said to me. He’d been cruising the web, looking at interesting dive videos when he came across a doozy. You might have seen it: grainy footage of a recent shark cage dive in Mexico. The video starts out sane enough. A sizeable great white is circling the cage and then strikes a piece of chum hard. Then, before anyone can react, the shark somehow flips into the cage. For the next few agonizing seconds the gigantic fish roils around and creates a frothy mix of white water. As you watch, you can’t help but think about who is in that cage, and what is happening to him or her. Then, after the shark finally frees itself, a lone diver is seen scrambling out of the cage.

Stunningly, he is unharmed.

Chan Ming, 51, an advertising executive in Shanghai, was on a five-day trip for cage diving out of Ensenada. What he didn’t bargain for is what we call around here the “extra Adrenaline package.”

Watch the video:

“Not for me,” you might say. And no one would blame you. That said, there’s a robust market in shark cage diving, and when done properly it can be safe. Lots of dive operators rely on cage diving to make a living and we don’t begrudge them for doing so. This is not a hit piece against shark diving, but the reality is that stuff happens. Cage dives go wrong. Here are a few more examples:

Great White Shark Cage Diving Gone Wrong!
Underwater filmmaker Andre Hartmann captured on tape what it might have looked like to Chan Ming for those few tense moments. Watching the video, it is difficult not to place yourself in that cage with those divers. Listen closely and you can hear them screaming through their regulators.

Shark Cage Dive, Close Call with a Great White!
This video might not be as dramatic as the previous two, but it still shows you how large and unpredictable a great white can be. If you are pressed for time, go to the 49 second mark and you will see what the video producer meant by a “close call.” The shark sticks its nose into the cage for a second, and though it never breaches the bars, it’s a little tense.

Great White Shark Cage diving close call
This one is really cool. Brief, but cool. Ever seen a great white torpedo? That’s exactly what this fish looks like as it slides through the water like a sleek missile. Pretty amazing that the shark (or the divers for that matter) didn’t get hurt in the filming of this video. My guess is those divers had a little surprise waiting for them in their wetsuits. Sorry for the gross visual, but those things happen during a dive, and especially during a shark cage dive!

Shark Bite Victims Turned Shark Defenders

Mike Coots

Mike Coots

It’s a tale of extreme irony. It flies in the face of everything you might believe. It doesn’t make sense. Why would a person who was almost killed by something turn around and become a champion of the very thing that almost took their life? Is it insanity, or is it something else, something spiritual that only the victim can understand? Maybe the idea of becoming a victim is the loss of power, and  becoming an advocate brings back that power. Whatever the case, or whatever the cause, many shark attack survivors are not only getting back into the water, they are doing it with courage and grace. They are some of the species’ biggest defenders. Here are just a few of their stories.

Paralympian ‘Shark Boy’ defends his attacker

Eight years ago, Achmat Hassiem lost his right foot in the deep waters of South Africa’s coast to a shark he affectionately calls Scarlett. If you think the Paralympic swimmer holds a grudge against Scarlett, or any other shark for that matter, think again. In February he was named a Global Shark Guardian by the United Nations Save Our Sharks Coalition, and plans pursue his conservation role full-time when he retires from competition after the Rio Games. That’s right. He not only doesn’t hate sharks, he believes he is supremely qualified to help keep them from extinction. Since the day of his encounter with Scarlett, he says his life has changed for the better in so many ways. He says Scarlett has allowed him so many opportunities and he just wants to repay the favor by protecting her.

 

Shark attack turns victim into a hunter and then an advocate

You might say that Al Brenneka is one of the original shark survivors. After all, he was bitten just a year after the blockbuster JAWS released havoc among the populace. At the time, Brenneka was 19 and had just surfed one of the best waves of his life to shore at Daytona Beach when something tugged on his right arm. The attack was brutal, and Brenneka lost so much blood he was DOA at the hospital. Miraculously he survived, and for a time afterward became a shark hunter. But one day, upon catching a hammerhead far from shore, he realized the shark wasn’t harming anyone, and that they were just being sharks. From that day onward, Brenneka decided he would devote his time to protecting the very animal that almost killed him.

 

He Survived an Attack, Now He Wants to Save Sharks

Mike Coots says a lot of his friends and people he knows think he’s an idiot. Who in their right mind would turn around and try to protect a shark when a shark nearly killed him? In 1997, Coots was a promising body boarder in Kauai. He never thought he’d have a problem with sharks while surfing. He was wrong. After losing his right leg to a tiger shark, he says most people think he should be anti-shark. But he’s far from it. He preaches about the scourge of shark finning, overfishing, and ocean acidification. When asked about how he can be an advocate for sharks when one almost killed him, he says it’s a no-brainer.

Shark survivor wants to save the creature that nearly killed her

Shark attack survivor Maria Korcsmaros has now become an advocate to stop the worldwide trade of shark fins. Korcsmaros is shown wearing the Halloween shark costume at her home in Corona on Wednesday, November 23, 2016. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Shark attack survivor Maria Korcsmaros has now become an advocate to stop the worldwide trade of shark fins. Korcsmaros is shown wearing the Halloween shark costume at her home in Corona on Wednesday, November 23, 2016. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)