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Recent blog posts

Posted by on in Wrecks
Rich cold-water coral reef in the Whittard Canyon area by the Isis ROV
Rich cold-water coral reef in the Whittard Canyon area by the Isis ROV

The UK’s National Oceanography Centre has produced the first true three-dimensional picture of submarine canyon habitats, using a unique combination of marine robotics and ship-based measurements. The information captured in this new set of maps ranges in scale from the 200 km canyon down to the size of an individual cold-water coral polyp, and will be used to inform the management of the only English deep water marine conservation zone.

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Posted by on in Wrecks
Crown of thorns starfish, COTSCrown of thorns starfish, COTS

Scientists in Australia have discovered that vinegar kills Crown-of-Thorns Starfish just as effectively as the current drug, which can be expensive and difficult to source.

Outbreaks of the venomous Crown-of-Thorns Starfish (Acanthaster planci) pose one of the most significant threats to the Great Barrier Reef.

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Posted by on in Wrecks

Concern is growing that human-generated noise in the ocean disrupts marine animals that rely on sound for communication and navigation. In the modern ocean, the background noise can be ten times louder than it was just 50 years ago. But new modeling based on recently published data suggests that 200 years ago — prior to the industrial whaling era — the ocean was even louder than today due to the various sounds whales make.

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Posted by on in Wrecks
For the first time in over a century, you can actually see the original surface of the world’s first successful combat submarine. Until recently, the Hunley was completely encased in concretion, an encrusted layer of sand, sediment and shells that built up slowly over time while she was lost at sea.
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Posted by on in Wrecks
diver

By MarEx 2015-09-04 18:43:58

After a two year investigation by the U.K. Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA), a commercial diver has been jailed for two years and ordered to pay £35,000 ($53,000) after recovering historic cannons off the U.K. coast. 

Vincent Woolsgrove of Ramsgate, Kent, pleaded guilty to fraud at Southampton Crown Court after he reported to the Receiver of Wreck that he had found and recovered five historic bronze cannons from two different shipwreck sites.

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The Department of the Navy (DoN) has issued its final rules on the disposition of sunken military craft including an updated procedure required for research and other activities on these sunken vessels.  Importantly, according to a letter DEMA has received from the DoN, “…activities such as fishing, snorkeling and diving which are not intended to disturb, remove or injure any portion of a sunken military craft are still allowed without the need for a permit.” The revised regulations permitting investigations of sunken military craft under the jurisdiction of the DoN were published in the Federal Register Monday, August 31, 2015. The new regulations won’t officially go into effect until March 1, 2016.

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Posted by on in Wrecks

I have heard the analogy about holes in the cheese several times and it pretty much sums up the incident pit.

I’ve been diving rebreathers for quite a while now, teaching them for nearly a decade and I have always been interested in rebreather diver incidents. There are many internet forums with sections dedicated to incidents where the person survived and that person can give a full account of what happened and why. Then there are the other sections of the forums where you read about diver deaths and almost certainly never get any details and a lot is left to supposition.

The reluctance to give known facts on diver fatalities stems from the respect to the families and the diver. The families do not want to read about how their loved one died and also if the diver made mistakes, friends do not want them to appear incompetent. From what I have read, there is almost never a catastrophic incident that takes the diver, it is always a series of events.

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Posted by on in Wrecks

An underwater robot has enabled researchers to produce the first detailed, high-resolution 3-D maps of Antarctic sea ice. Scientists from the UK, USA and Australia say the new technology provides accurate ice thickness measurements from areas that were previously too difficult to access.

 

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In undersea exploration, you never know when you might witness a moment of unusual creature interaction

While conducting the an expedition in Puerto Rico, NOAA’s research vessel, Okeanos Explorer, performed exploratory dives with its remotely operated vehicles – Deep Discoverer and Seirios. Scientists from all over were able to watch via telepresence technology direct from their site.

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Posted by on in Wrecks

geographic cone snail

The geographic cone snail, Conus geographus, is native to tropical coral reefs in the Indian and Pacific oceans. (Image: Cone Snail/YouTube)

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northern snakehead
Photo: Snapshot/NBC video

Even creepier than the catfish that hunts pigeons on land, is the toothy northern snakehead, a carnivorous fish that grows to at least three feet in length, can breathe air and can survive for up to four days out of water. It can survive for even longer periods in mud and moist environments. Oh, and it travels over land by wriggling its body along the ground.

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Posted by on in Wrecks
By: Gerri Miller
May 27, 2014, 12:10 p.m.
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SCUBA diving and snorkelling are amongst the fastest growing tourism sectors. The increasing numbers mean many more people are aware of the beauty and importance of the marine environment, but also puts a great strain on the coral. Not only is it damaged by inexperienced divers kicking it and pollution from boats and hotels, research also shows that coral is much more likely to become diseased in highly dived areas.

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Lionfish, genus Pterois, is very popular amongst those with aquariums, and this trade may have led to them being described as amongst some of the most aggressively invasive species on the planet. Lionfish are native to the Red Sea, Pacific Ocean, and Indian Ocean, most often found around corals, reefs and rocky surfaces down to about 50 m. They have quite a distinctive appearance with their red and white stripes, together with large spiky dorsal fin rays containing venom for defense against predators. They don’t appear to have many natural predators, but large Groupers and Moray eels have been observed feeding on them.

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Posted by on in Wrecks

from Undercurrent Magazine

The GoPro Hero range of action cameras is a marvelous addition to your dive gear bag. I first wrote about GoPro and its Hero3 model in the November 2013 issue of Undercurrent, but in its latest Hero 4 incarnation with its watertight housings, these little POV cameras have an application for almost any activity, especially risky activities that might destroy a more conventional camera. No wonder GoPros proved to be the most popular Christmas present of 2014.

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The Underwater Photography Guide is now accepting entries for the 5th annual Ocean Art competition. Prizes worth over $75000 are on offer in 15 categories giving underwater photographers of all levels a chance to win.

For the less experienced photographers there are novice, compact camera and mirror-less camera categories. Then there are the wide-angle, macro, marine life portraits and marine life behaviour. More unusually, this competition also features categories of supermacro, cold or temperate water and nudibranchs.

Award winning nudibranch photoPhoto: Salvatore Lanniello
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Posted by on in Wrecks

Imagine it’s your job to dive for scallops deep in the cold, murky waters off the Maine coast. It’s a hard job and one that fewer fisherman are doing.

Now imagine you have use of just one arm. That’s the case for James Sewell, who lost his right arm in a 2009 snowmobiling accident and resumed diving less than a year later, according to this New York Times video by Maine filmmakers Christoph Gelfand and Caroline Losneck.

“I’ve never been a person that likes for people to do stuff for me,” said Sewell, who also dives for urchins and fishes for bluefin tuna. “I like to do for myself.”

According to the Times, Sewell, 43, is one of only about 30 active scallop divers working on the Maine coast.

The video shows what that job is like for Sewell, who dives off his boat, the Sophie Elizabeth, out of Cushing.

“It’s just not a 9 to 5 job. Deep diving puts a lot of nitrogen into your blood. It’s hard on your joints. It’s hard on you,” Sewell says in the video. “Once you get to a certain age you’re not going to be able to keep doing it. I think about my family and the risks you take. Every day that you go down on bottom you have that chance of something fails or something happens — that might be the last time that you see them.”

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Posted by on in Wrecks

It turns out that blindfolding a shark or plugging its nose isn't enough to deter it from going after prey. When a shark gets hungry, it will use all the senses it has available to hunt down something to eat, a new study reveals.

The goal of the study was to figure out how sharks use their different senses together, rather than isolating one sense at a time. Researchers examined three species of sharks — blacktip, bonnethead and nurse sharks — in an artificial flow channel inside the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Fla.

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Posted by on in Wrecks

I am often told how adventurous, crazy or “brave” I am, and that I take big risks. I don’t take crazy risks, but I do take calculated ones, and participate in activities that may seem overly risky, but I make sure all precautions are taken. More people are killed in car accidents than in “adventure sports” accidents. I love nature, I love diving, but I am not reckless, far from it. My husband, Randy, and I took our young adult children, Wes and Ally, on our family dream trip to Guadalupe Island to cage dive with Great White Sharks, and we could not wait to get on the boat and into the water.

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Posted by on in Wrecks

At 9 foot long, not including the tail, tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier) Harry Lindo is not exactly on the small side.  It’s not Harry’s size that is exciting scientists and shark enthusiasts, nor a photograph taken in 2009 by Ian Card showing a shark – suspected to be Harry, trying to eat a 150 lb juvenile tiger shark off the coast of Bermuda.  Between 2009 and 2012 researchers tagged 24 tiger sharks with satellite transmitters in the Challenger Bank, which lies just off Bermuda in the Atlantic Ocean.  In study lead by James Lea (The Guy Harvey Research Institute, Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center) and team of international collaborators, those shark movements have been compiled and analysed.  Harry, it turns out, is one heck of an ocean wanderer.  In just over 3 years Harry swam over 44,000 kilometres – that’s more than the circumference of the Earth (just over 40,000 kilometres).  Harry’s track is the longest recorded for a tiger shark, and probably the longest ever published for any shark species.

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U/W Bike Race

eventsiconJoin us on July 4th for this annual event benefitting the Children's Mile of Hope.

Lionfish Tournament

eventsiconWe need your help to make Carteret County's 5th Annual "If you Can't Beat 'em, Eat 'em" Spearfishing Tournament a success! This Tournament is a joint effort between Discovery Diving and Eastern Carolina Artificial Reef Association (ECARA).

Treasure Hunt

eventsiconFood, prizes, diving, and fun! Proceeds benefit the Mile Hope Children's Cancer Fund and DAN's research in diving safety.

ECARA Event

2013Join us June 3rd, 2017 in support of the East Carolina Artificial Reef Association.  Click here for more info on this great event and how you can help to bring more Wrecks to the Graveyard of the Atlantic.