Archive for 08/02/2011

Susan Cocking – 

A Massachusetts man died while diving for lobster in the Upper Keys on the opening morning of the two-day mini-season Wednesday.

The start of the annual hunt for lobster was a bit quieter than in previous years because of bumpy weather. Two boats overturned off Miami and law enforcement officers throughout the region wrote the usual volume of tickets for poaching and safety violations.

As for the harvest, for every group that caught its legal limit, another managed a mere handful.

“So far, I would say lobster fever has come and gone,” Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Jorge Pino said Wednesday afternoon. “We had one tragedy unfortunately. All in all, I would say people are coming back satisfied and content with their catch.”

The fatality was Mark Fountain, 54, a tourist who became separated from his 34-year-old son and the son’s girlfriend while diving on Snapper Ledge off Tavernier. The victim’s son and his girlfriend got back on their boat and found Fountain floating unconscious. They pulled him aboard, called for help and got a U.S. Coast Guard escort to Tavernier Creek Marina where paramedics pronounced Fountain dead at 9:40 a.m. An autopsy is planned.

A short time later, a boat reported it was sinking off Government Cut and another capsized on the ocean side of Bear Cut. Two divers were transported from Bear Cut to Fisher Island.

A large contingent of law enforcement officers from federal, state and local agencies stayed busy inspecting boats for safety and resource violations and writing tickets. Offenses included jumping the gun on Wednesday’s 12:01 a.m. start; taking too many or undersized lobsters; failure to display a diver-down flag, and problems with safety gear such as insufficient life jackets and expired fire extinguishers.

Overall, the number of divers—and tickets—was a bit lower than last year, according to Pino, probably because of windy, cloudy weather.

Full story…

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Malaya – 

Hollywood’s underwater moviemaking technology streams with Philippines’ best locale in the upcoming action film “Deep Gold,” which stars international actresses Bebe Pham and Jaymee Ong. Joining them is Philippines’ Joel Torre in a very notable role.

Written and directed by Michael Gleissner, who’s also known for his award-winning work in “Irreversi,” “Deep Gold” is filmed entirely in the scenic islands of Cebu and Palawan where a champion free-diver Amy (Pham) and her sister Jess (Ong) are entrapped in a web of lies on the disappearance of a government plane carrying a fortune in gold.

Amy then gets involved in a web of lies and deceit as she seeks the truth on the disappearance of his boyfriend along with the fortune.

“Deep Gold” features eye-popping 3D action sequences, including spectacular underwater footage using the shooting tank located at Bigfoot facilities in Cebu.

Gleissner together with Rick Robinson, the film’s director of photography and an Emmy Award winner leads us deep into the bottom of filming the movie under Philippine waters.

Working on a quality 3D film, Gleissner shares: “The Phillippines provided spectacular locations and was the ideal place to set the movie in, given the story.”

“Filming on a tropical location that does not have a Hollywood-style film industry has some challenges. For example, we totally underestimated how much time it takes to shoot on boats, as the setup of equipment and lights are a lot more complicated,” adds Gleissner.

Robinson, on the other hand shares that this is his first time shooting underwater. “I am primarily concerned with lighting and underwater lighting, it reflects light differently than shooting on land, especially when it comes to water clarity. The complex process that is underwater filming required more than acute understanding of lighting.”

Full story…

Mike –

In tribute to The Discovery Channel’s Shark Week, which is currently in full swing, we bring to you the sinking of the USS Indianapolis CA-35, resulting in what is considered by many the worst shark attack of all time.

In the early morning hours of July 30, 1945, the USS Indianapolis, just 4 days after it delivered the first combat-ready atomic bomb to the US air base at Tinian Island in the Pacific, was fatally struck by torpedoes from Japanese subs. Within minutes, some 900 of the 1,196 men on board were in the shark infested waters, equipped only with life jackets. Few life rafts were deployed.

The shark attacks began with the rising sun that morning and continued until the remaining men were rescued just over 4 days later. Of the initial 900 or so men that went into the water, only 317 survived, making it the worst maritime disaster in U.S. Navy history.

We all remember the scene in Steven Spielberg’s 1975 thriller ‘Jaws’ where Quint, the shark fisherman, is describing the horrible scenes that took place during the 4 days in the water. With that in mind, here is a first hand account from survivor Woody Eugene James.

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PanArmenian – 

On July 21, Ayas Nautical Research Club and Armenian Extreme Ltd, thanks to an expedition organised by a diver Rafael Mkrtchyan, set a world record in the Northern Hemisphere by submerging to the bottom of a lake Kari on Aragats mountain, located 3207 meters above sea level.

At news conference in Yerevan, the diver shared his impressions of submersion.

“We stayed underwater for 1 hr. 20 min which was enough to study 70% of the lake bottom. During submersion the temperature was +5 C on the surface and +3 C in the lake bottom, it was very cold. 20 years ago the lake froze over, so the lake wasn’t rich in fauna; still, we discovered several species of fish,” Mkrtchyan said.

USA Today – 

A helicopter, fishing boats and divers scoured waters off western Indonesia on Tuesday in search of an American surfer who disappeared after coming off a powerful 10-foot wave.

Daniel Bobis, 32, a math teacher and coach at Long Beach High School in New York, apparently hit another surfer’s board on Sunday morning after emerging from the barrel of the wave.

His wife, Rachel, said his board washed ashore soon after. She initially thought he would pop up down the coast and make his way back to their holiday bungalow.

But by Monday afternoon, she’d all but given up hope of finding him alive.

“Everyone is telling me a lot of people go missing here … that within 48 hours his body will float up and wash in,” said the 29-year-old. “That’s the only thing we can be hopeful of.”

On Tuesday, a helicopter joined a fleet of fishing boats and a local search-and-rescue team that have been searching the waters and the coast, said Andri, a rescuer on the scene.

Full story…

Gulf Times – 

The hotel resort’s design resembles a big aquatic animal stretching out from the land into the sea horizontally for 1km with two “arm” landmasses.

A leading Italian design group has unveiled plans for a first-of-its-kind mixed-use resort in Qatar, called Amphibious, which contains hotels that are partially submerged in the Arabian Gulf.

According to the plan released by Rome-based Giancarlo Zema Design Group (GZDG), the semi-submerged hotel resort resembles a big aquatic animal stretching out from the land into the sea horizontally for 1km with two “arm” landmasses. The initial cost of the resort was put at $500mn.

The project is composed of both land and sea sections. According to information available on GZDG’s website, residential and office buildings and a marina with a modern harbour will be located on the land area. All the structures will be situated in a semi-circle around the tower with a “panoramic” restaurant.

The sea section contains four “innovative” semi-submerged hotels with underwater halls that give “fascinating” views. “The four hotels remind us of the soft lines of the super yachts anchored on land,” according to the website. “Large diagonal glass windows make the hotels unique, each with 75 luxury suites arranged around the perimeter of the building so each has a big terrace that overlooks the complex. The activities of the hotel take place in the underwater area that is surrounded by aquariums.”

Hotels are situated around a central public welcome area with an interactive museum on water life and water exhibition galleries and a glass tunnel that leads to the underwater observatory in the centre of the marine park.

Connected to the welcome area by the long arms are fitness centres, gardens and a special outdoor theatre with a moving stage that opens out on the sea.

To the smaller floating platforms will be anchored 80 floating suites, called Jelly-fish, with underwater views within the artificial reef. At the end of each platform are lighthouses. It is possible to move everywhere thanks to electrical vehicles “that respect the eco-system philosophy”.

Water transport is provided by 20m aluminium yachts, called Trilobis, that are equipped with hydrogen engines and an underwater observatory globe. The main structure is in steel complete with all the necessary lighting systems and the floor is in teak.

Full story…