WDHOF Announces New Inductees

The Women Divers Hall of Fame is proud to announce the six new Members who will constitute the Class of 2014.

These extraordinary women will be officially inducted into the WDHOF on 29th March 2014, at the Beneath The Sea Awards Banquet in New Jersey.

Tamara Tami Thomsen, Maritime Archaeologist, Shipwreck Conservationist, Diving Instructor, Dr Dawn Kernagis, Project Pink Tank, rebreather divers, RF3, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, WDHOF, Women Divers Hall of Fame
Tamara ' Tami' Thomsen
2014 Inductee into the WDHOF
Photo Credit: Christina Waller

Bonnie Toth, President of the Women Divers Hall of Fame stated, "This year we had a very large field of very talented, accomplished nominees, which made the decision process a very difficult one. Those who were not chosen have every reason to be proud of their accomplishments. The selection process has affirmed our belief that women throughout the world are doing great things to make a difference in the diving community and the marine environment. And I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who nominated and wrote letters of support.

I am thrilled to announce that we will be inducting the following ladies next Spring."

Barbara Allen
Pioneer, Instructor, Ocean Advocate

Kristine Barsky
Marine Biologist, Environmentalist, Author, Videographer

Emma L. Hickerson
Unit Diving Supervisor, Conservationist, Submersible Pilot

Jayne Jenkins
Photographer, Educational Non-Profit Leader, Conservationist, Safety Diver

Deidre Sullivan
Marine Geologist, Educator, Submersible Diver

Tamara Thomsen
Maritime Archaeologist, Shipwreck Conservationist, Instructor

Jarrod Jablonski talks 'Mars' by Rosemary E Lunn

Jarrod Jablonski, GUE Founder and CEO of Halcyon, made a whistle stop tour of the UK in September 2013. He gave two talks on 'Mars Makalos' - or 'Mars the Magnificent'. This aptly named 16th century warship took quite a bit of finding. She was discovered in May 2011 after a twenty-year search by a team of divers from Ocean Discovery that included GUE's Richard Lundgren.

To put the wreck into context, it would be fair to say that Mars is Sweden’s ‘Mary Rose’, and the comment that ‘this is the wreck find of the century’ is probably quite correct. Mars is considered so important that the current King of Sweden visited the team to see for himself how the exploration work is going.

Grahame Knott, John Kendall, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, Jarrod Jablonski, DiveLife, The Shipwreck Project, GUE, Santi, Suex Scooters, EUROTEK, TEKDiveUSA, advanced and technical diving conference,The Underwater Marketing Company, Halcyon
From left to right; Grahame Knott (technical skipper and The Shipwreck Project), John Kendall (UK Santi distributor, GUE Tech and Cave Instructor), Rosemary E Lunn (The Underwater Marketing Company, EUROTEK and TEKDiveUSA co-organiser) and Jarrod Jablonski (GUE Founder and Halycon CEO) at DiveLife.
Image Credit: Jason Brown / Bardo Photographic

The story of Mars and her subsequent discovery could be taken out of any ‘Boys Own’ annual, so it was no surprise that over 100 divers attended Jarrod’s talk, hosted by Manchester based DiveLife. Southern divers were not neglected either - Jarrod also spoke at Aquanauts in Plymouth.

Jarrod is a charismatic fluid speaker, and gave a highly entertaining presentation, actively involving his audience. He vividly brought images of a bunch of exceedingly large, very well preserved timbers and cannons to life, explaining about the ‘maritime battlefield’. Mars sank during a ferocious battle between Sweden and Denmark, and there is plentiful evidence of this. Divers were able to see how the ship burnt and they also found cannon balls embedded in the timbers. I was entranced, and Mars is now firmly included on my bucket list of diving.

I found watching the story of the exploration dives and the logistics involved enlightening. Having been involved with running the logistics on two HMHS Britannic expeditions, I can appreciate just what goes into running a major dive. The GUE ethos of running a unified dive team, standard gases and set way of rigging diving equipment, makes perfect sense when it comes to project diving. It saves so much faff time, and divers who have never met before will have a greater understanding of how their diving partners will behave underwater.

Diving on Mars has been very closely controlled and monitored and it is a perfect example of what amateur divers can achieve. Richard Lundgren’s team has been working hand in glove with scientists and academics to properly document and preserve Mars and her artifacts. Certain protocols have been put in place to protect the wreck and its environment. Lundgren’s team are trying to minimise the amount of oxygen in the water, therefore this has primarily been a rebreather expedition. And there has also been limited lifting of artifacts. A broken cannon and a small cannon that had previously only been seen in documents have been recovered and preserved. All the other cannons are remaining in situ for the time being. It looks as though work will continue in this significant wreck for many years to come.

Incidentally if you missed Jarrod speaking about Mars, you have the opportunity to see Richard Lundgren talk at the Nautical Archeology Society Conference on Saturday 2nd November in Portsmouth. More details on this can be found on the NAS website.

Article published: Sport Diver UK, November 2013 issue

"So who's coming to buy our thresher shark steaks tomorrow?"

It all started in such a mild way. Last week an image, thirteen words, a hashtag and a Twitter address were posted on Twitter by the Greendale Farm Shop.

Greendale Farm Shop, Twitter image of a dead Thresher Shark being cut up

The tweet read;

"So who's coming to buy our thresher shark steaks tomorrow? A 15ft beast! #eatmorefish @TheFishmongers"

Understandably the tweet that the Greendale Farm Shop put up provoked a good deal of reaction by the scuba diving community. We regularly explore the sea, actively promote the conservation of its wildlife, and tend to be better informed about the subject than most of the population.

Greendale Farm Shop, Thresher Shark steaks for sale, Bite-Back, SharkAlliance
An image of the Thresher Shark put out on social media by the Greendale Farm Shop

The Greendale Farm Shop is located in Exeter, England. The following text is copied directly from their website;

"Over the years, Greendale Farm has acquired its own fishing boats who land
their catch at Exmouth, 
just six miles from the farm shop. We are extremely
proud that our boats can catch a fish, land it in  Exmouth and deliver it to a
customer at the farm shop all on the same day so that you cannot beat 
freshness of our local fish. Additionally, our knowledgeable fishmongers
are willing to 
prepare, fillet and de-bone your fish whilst you wait."

It is good to see a company taking responsibility for sourcing and tracking their food products, whilst ensuring low food miles. However their behaviour regarding the Thresher Shark sale has been, at best, naive and uneducated.

Greendale Farm Shop, Greendale-Farmer, @TheFishMongers, @GreendaleFrmShp, Thresher Shark, dead shark, @Bite_Back, @hughsfishfight, @sharkangels, @sharkalliance, Project-Aware, CITES, endangered sharks

Greendale Farm Shop state in plain English on their website they they have their own fishing boats and knowledgeable fishmongers. However it is currently unclear whether this Thresher Shark was a deliberate haul, an accidental by-catch, caught by Greendale's fishing fleet, or whether it was purchased in from another vessel.

Greendale Farm Shop, Thresher Shark, Marine Management Organisation, Guidance on the protection of shark, skate and ray species protected by fisheries and wildlife legislation, April 2013

What is clear is that all three Thresher Shark species are listed as VULNERABLE by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.

The following three images have been taken from the Marine Management Organisation 'Guidance on the protection of shark, skate and ray species protected by fisheries and wildlife legislation, April 2013'.

Following a tirade of complaints by scuba divers, the Greendale Farm Shop have subsequently removed their social media accounts.

In the meantime Gourmet Britain (your guide to the best of British gourmet food) was contacted regarding the above sale of Thresher Shark meat. Their response is as follows;

"Many thanks for your Email about The Greendale Farm Shop.

We are sorry you were upset about the light hearted attitude to their selling of Thresher Sharks.

I think you will find that their sale is an occasion, as sometimes they become tangle in nets and would simply die if returned to the sea - so it's better they are of use to someone.

Perhaps you could boycott their shop, explaining why - but in our case, the shop as so much 'going' for it, we cannot see Thresher Sharks on our endangered list (and we are not political animals) - so we will not be displaying your comments.

Simon Scrutton"

Rebreather Cell Warning Advice by Mike Fowler, Silent Diving

At some point in your CCR diving career you are likely to encounter a cell warning. Besides pressing the right button to make it go quiet, do you really know what to look for or do about it?

Cell warnings are given by AP rebreathers when one cell deviates from the average of the closest two by more than 0.2 bar. It is the machine's way of telling you that all is not well and you need to check it out. It might be just that one cell is reacting slower than its partners or may be something very serious indeed.

The important point is that YOU need to check it. Just assuming the machine will take care of you and suppressing the warning is extremely dangerous. Understanding how the machine works is a valuable tool in your armory. It might seem obvious but it is always worth remembering that when diluent is added to the loop you expect the PO2 to fall, and when oxygen is added you expect the PO2 to rise.

Ambient Pressure Diving, Martin Parker, Silent Diving, Mike Fowler, rebreather cell warnings, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, Rebreather Forum 3, RF3, diving safety, Evolution, Vision electronics


With the Vision electronics you can do all sorts of diagnostics that can help you to decide on the correct course of action in the water but also after the dive the download allows you (and the factory or Silent Diving) to diagnose what happened.

A diluent flush is seen as a great method of checking cells and at the same time ensures you have a life supporting gas mixture in the loop, but from observing divers and downloads it is clear that very few do a diluent flush effectively enough to check cells. You must watch the display as you are doing to flush. The problem often arises from the fact that as soon as the PO2 goes below the setpoint the machine adds oxygen, what’s happening is you are trying to lower the PO2 at the same time as the machine is trying to raise it. The simple answer is; change to the low setpoint (by pressing and holding the middle button, regardless of whether you use Manual, Auto or Gradual setpoint change methods) and then do the diluent flush for 5 - 10 secs.

Providing you are using an appropriate diluent for the dive, one that is not too oxygen rich and you do the diluent flush properly, the displayed PO2 should drop very rapidly to the expected value for that diluent at that depth. The expected PO2 is easy enough to calculate if you measure depth in meters, but not quite so straight forward if you measure depth in feet. You just need to go into Menu mode, by pressing the outside two buttons and scrolling through until you get to the PO2 screen where it shows you the expected PO2 at this depth should you flush with diluent or oxygen.

You are looking for the reaction speed of the cells, do they fall at roughly the same speed and do they reach the expected value? If for instance, only cell 1 hits the expected value, then when you change back to the high setpoint that cell is most likely to be the accurate cell at the high setpoint. As oxygen is added watch the cell displays to see if they rise at roughly the same speed and do they get to setpoint?

APD Handset, Ambient Pressure Diving, Silent Diving, Matthew Outram, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company
Image by Matthew Outram


Cell warnings can occur for a number of reasons, it might be that one cell simply reacts slightly slower to a gas change, but more importantly it could be letting you know that the machine’s voting logic is no longer a valid way to keep you alive.

When this happens don’t blindly continue thinking the same as the machine, believing the closest two are accurate.

A diluent flush may be all that you need to do to get rid of the cell warning but a persistent cell warning is telling you that the voting logic is not going to work, and it’s your job to find out which cells are giving the correct values. Just because the machine thinks the nearest two are correct doesn’t mean they actually are, and then once you find out which cell or cells is / are correct, then you can fly it manually.

Once you start seeing two low cells and one 0.2+ bar higher, it would be prudent to lower the setpoint. This would potentially lower the setpoint below the two current limited cells’ outputs, allowing them to work properly again and if successful, lower the high output cell bringing it within the safe PO2 envelope.

You might be thinking this is too much hassle but remember a diluent flush is easy and quick to do and it puts breathable life supporting gas into your rebreather for most of your dives at most depths. Obviously if you are shallow with a hypoxic Trimix, then you would have to do the cell check with an oxygen flush, but with that proviso, it is good practice.

DAN announces their 2013 DEMA Show Talk Schedule

The Research Team at Divers Alert Network America provide a series of free diving lectures at the DEMA Show. If you are attending the Orlando based event next month, this is an invaluable opportunity to get up to speed with the latest thinking in diving medicine. Over the course of four days, fourteen different lectures will be delivered by a team of doctors, researchers and medical experts.

Dr Neal W Pollock, a Research Director at DAN stated, "Our lecture series is a wonderful way for us to reach out to divers from all over the globe. We have found that DEMA Show attendees appreciate hearing in-depth lectures that make you think, on the latest in physiology, diving medicine or safety research. Our audiences are very positive and we often get excellent questions that produce ideas for new presentations and initiatives.

2011 DEMA Show, Orlando, Dr Richard D Vann, Dr Petar J Denoble, Dr Neal W Pollock, DAN Geeks, DAN Research Team, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, Scuba diving, DAN speaking schedule, diving medicine
Dr Richard D Vann, Assistant Professor Emeritus of Anesthesiology at Duke Dive Medicine and a consultant at DAN, checks out the DAN lecture series at the 2011 DEMA Show

Unfortunately not everyone is able to attend our bi-monthly community diving lectures in Durham, North Carolina, therefore these talks work very well as an informal two-way communication channel. There is such a thirst for knowledge out there, and we often get divers asking questions face-to-face (that they do not wish to discuss in the open sessions), either after a talk or later at the DAN booth (#1427).

This year's talk topics include;
- “Marine life toxicology: What the dive leader should know”
- “Myths & ‘Facts’ in Diving Physiology”
- "PFO & Recreational Diving”
- "What should be in your Emergency Action Plan”
- "Art and Science of Rebreather Diving: Deeper Access & Deeper Trouble”
- "What to Expect from Hyperbaric Treatment and How it Heals DCS”

So far everyone has gone away having learnt something from a DAN talk. I certainly get a kick out of educating divers to be safer or better informed, and what better way than to offer this lecture series. There is no charge to attend and no need to register for talks - simply attend Room S230E at the DEMA Show at the correct time. We look forward to meeting you."

For more information on the DAN Lecture series at the 2013 DEMA Show check out the DAN website or follow @DAN_America on Twitter for highlights and schedule reminders: #DAN13DEMA

Get your tickets for the Scottish Diving Conference

The Scottish Diving Conference will be held on Saturday 9th November 2013, kicking off at 09.00.

It is shaping up to be quite an exciting event; 12 cracking speakers, 60 years of diving heritage, a Ceilidh, a Raffle and the chance to plan some awesome diving with like minded divers.

The theme of the conference is 'exploration' and Martyn Farr, Chris Jewell, John Kendall, Gareth Lock, Police Scotland, RAF Search & Rescue, Royal Navy Divers, The Underwater Centre, Andy Torbet and Shane Wasik will all be talking.

Tickets are £25 on the door, or £20 in advance if you book via the web-site. On-line tickets sales close on 6th November.

Scottish Dive Conference, John Kendall GUE Cave 1, Suex UK distributor, Santi UK Distributor, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, Shane Wasik, Andy Torbet, Fourth Element, thermal underwear, Neal W Pollock, scuba PR, diving events organised

NASA seeks research 'Pillownauts'

Dr Neal W Pollock, NASA oxygen prebreathe trial, Duke Dive Medicine, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, RF3, Rebreather Forum 3, diving physiology research, scuba divingNASA is currently looking to pay a number of volunteers $18,000 to lie in bed for 70 days. Participants will be allowed to work remotely for their real job, as long as they do not get out of bed for the entire duration of the experiment. The study will simulate the effects of microgravity on the human body by having the beds tilt head-down at a six-degree angle, forcing body fluids to shift to the upper part of the body and create cardiovascular conditions similar to what is seen during real spaceflight. Scientists will also be monitoring the atrophy of muscle and bone density in the subjects. Click here to find out more.
Image: Dr Neal W Pollock leans on the external hatch of Foxtrot Chamber, prior to an ascent to altitude, at the start of a NASA exercise / oxygen pre breathe trial @ Duke Dive Medicine (Centre for Hyperbaric Medicine & Environmental Physiology), Durham, North Carolina.