The Verdict Is In: Skiles -v- Lamartek

Wesley Skiles, Lamar Hires, Lamartek, Dive Rite, O2ptima rebreather, National Geographic, cave photographer, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company

Photo Credit: Brian Carney, TDI

 

On 21st July 2010 renowned underwater photographer Wesley (Wes) Skiles died during a photo shoot off Boynton Beach, Florida. He had been shooting footage of Goliath Grouper for National Geographic. At the time Wes was diving an O2ptima rebreather.

Two weeks ago Terri Skiles, Wes’ widow, asked a Palm Beach County jury to award her at least US$25 million in damages from Dive Rite.

The jury has just returned their Verdict Form (Friday 20th May 2016).

We, the jury, return the following verdict:

Was there negligence on the part of LAMARTEK, INC., which was the legal cause of injury or death to WESLEY SKILES? NO

Did LAMARTEK, INC., place a rebreather on the market with a defect which was a legal cause of injury or death to WESLEY SKILES? NO

Did LAMARTEK, INC., fail to warn WESLEY SKILES of a dangerous defect that was a legal cause of injury or death to WESLEY SKILES? NO

Dive Rite has won this lawsuit. They were successfully defended by David Concannon.

Jutland: WW1’s Greatest Sea Battle

Jutland, Dr. Innes McCartney, First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones, Nick Jellicoe, Imperial German Navy's High Seas Fleet, British Royal Navy's Grand Fleet, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company,

 

“Never before had either navy lost so [many] men on a single day”
– First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones

The Battle of Jutland – 31st May to 1st June 1916 – was a naval battle fought by the Imperial German Navy’s High Seas Fleet and the British Royal Navy’s Grand Fleet. It was a large and controversial naval engagement.

As the 100 year anniversary approaches an expedition led by Gert Normann Andersen and his Danish crew, marine archaeologist Dr. Innes McCartney, and author and grandson of the British commander, Nick Jellicoe, has set out to build an accurate map of the battle site to fundamentally alter our understanding of the one of greatest battles in modern history.

This new forensic analysis examines the archaeology of the battle and will be broadcast:

UK: Channel 4, 21st May 20.00 – Jutland: WW1’s Greatest Sea Battle
France: RMC Découverte, 27th May 20:50 – Jutland: Search for Truth
Norway: NRK2, 30th May 21:30 – Jutland: Search for Truth
Sweden: SVT, 31st May – Jutland: Search for Truth

#OTD Mary Rose Wreck Site Found Today

Fifty years ago today two divers – John Towse and the late Alexander McKee – pinpointed the whereabouts of King Henry VIII’s famous flagship.

Anthony Roll, Mary Rose, Alexander McKee, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, Southsea BSAC, Solent, Prince Charles, Margaret Rule

The Mary Rose as depicted in the Anthony Roll

“On May 14, 1966 Alex and myself visited the penultimate resting place of the Mary Rose.” John Towse

McKee and Towse were members of Southsea BSAC (British Sub Aqua Club).

Alexander McKee’s widow stated “while we were living in Hamburg, he used to express his interest and admiration for the raising and preservation of Vasa – a Swedish warship – in 1961. I remember he said, ‘I want to make my mark in life.’ He has achieved that.”

John Towse wrote about the useful break that helped to find the ship. John and Alex discovered the location of the Mary Rose whilst looking at charts in Cricklewood. “There laid before Alex and myself was a magnificent hand-drawn chart [by the Deane brothers in 1836] of the approaches to Portsmouth Harbour. In a very short time and prompted by one of the Hydrographic Office staff, the actual charted site of the Mary Rose was clearly shown.”

In 1965 McKee initiated ‘Project Solent Ships’ in conjunction with Southsea BSAC. The aim was to investigate wrecks lost in the Solent. His real quest was to find the Tudor Warship and he was the driving force behind the hunt and discovery of this Tudor Battleship.

Mary Rose, Henry VIII, Tudor Warship, Battleship, Alexander McKee, John Towse, Southsea BSAC, OTD, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, Margaret Rule, X-Ray Mag

The wreck of the Mary Rose undergoing conservation in Portsmouth Photo Credit: Mary Rose Trust

Without Alexander McKee’s dedication and pioneering work, it is likely this ship would still be buried beneath the soft Solent mud. John Lippiett, the Rear Admiral who leads the Mary Rose Trust said “The project wouldn’t be what it is today without the foresight and inspiration of Alex and the divers.” (McKee’s stubbornness was later rewarded when he received the OBE for finding the Mary Rose).

Many years of seabed searching followed. Cynics dubbed the wreck ‘McKee’s Ghost Ship’. Between 1968 and 1971 volunteer divers explored the Solent. They used sonar scans and plunged long steel rods into the soft mud until they struck timber. Then the team employed dredgers, water jets and airlifts to excavate a strange shape underneath the seabed. Alex Hildred, curator of the Mary Rose, confirmed that this was the first time that remote sensing technology sub-bottom profiling and side scan sonar had been used in England.

“We were very fortunate that on the first dive of the year [5 May 1971] we slightly missed our target—the area that we had been searching. We were about 150 metres to the south. Percy Ackland, who I always called our underwater gun dog, came up and whispered to me, ‘The timbers are down there Margaret [Rule].’” Ackland had found three of the port frames of the Mary Rose. By some miracle half of the hull had been well preserved by Solent mud. It was as though someone had chainsawed through the wreck from bow to stern and the entire starboard side of the Mary Rose survived.

SOURCES

Mary Rose Website
Obituary of Margaret Rule, X-Ray Mag
The Portsmouth News
Culture 24

On 29th August 2014 BBC Radio 4 broadcast ‘The Reunion‘ with Sue MacGregor. Sue reunited some of the members of the team of marine archaeologists, divers and engineers who raised Henry VIII’s sunken battleship Mary Rose from the sea bed in 1982. This link goes to a RAM (Real Audio File) recording of that programme.

 

Woz Elected Chairman of BSAC

Alex Warzynski, Woz, BSAC, British Sub Aqua Club Chairman, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, scuba news, diving PR

Alex Warzynski aka ‘Woz’ – BSAC’s latest Chairman

Overnight the British Sub Aqua Club has released the results of their recent election. (This election was independently operated by the Electoral Reform Services.)

BSAC welcomes a new Chairman, Treasurer and three council members.

The new Chairman is Alex Warzynski. He polled 1,040 votes and replaces Eugene Farrell who was elected in 2014.

Alex Warzynski – known to the Brit diving fraternity as ‘Woz’ – has an understanding of how dive clubs work, having been a member BSAC for 26 years.

Woz started diving in 1989 with Newcastle University. He joined Nottingham University SAC in 1999 when he was asked by their President to help out because they were short of instructors.

Today Woz is a BSAC Advanced Diver, BSAC Advanced Instructor, an ITS Instructor Trainer, and a Trimix rebreather diver.

In the past nine years he has previous held key positions in this club including ‘Diving Officer’ (2007 – 2009, and 2012); Assistant Diving Officer (2009 – 2010) and Boat Officer (2005 – 2007).

Woz told us earlier today that he is “passionate and driven to change BSAC into the organisation that you would have to be bonkers not to be a member of”.

“BSAC is going through a period of substantial change with extensive plans in place to support members and reverse the decline in numbers. And crucial to this is a Chairman who can drive these changes forward, and they need to have skills in strategy development, implementation, business, innovation, negotiation and the trust of those who deliver this. My day job is managing director of a successful and growing engineering business with a similar turnover and size to BSAC, so have a proven track record with all of those skills and can transfer them to help grow BSAC into the organisation it should be.” Alex Warzynski

Woz has already served on Council for six years, two of which as Vice Chair, therefore he should be ready to meet the challenges as the new Chairman of BSAC.

Alex Warzynski, Woz, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, BSAC, British Sub Aqua Club

Woz has been diving since 1989

“Members need to be at the centre of everything – we need to focus on making members’ lives as easy as possible so we can concentrate on what we all want – to get in the water and go exploring with our mates.

What BSAC uniquely does really well is go diving and I want to strengthen that position by offering clear value for money with effective member support. I have already been working with the regional teams to deliver better club and member support to help clubs recruit, train and go diving.

I have a great relationship with the staff at HQ, NDC, Council and regional coaches and have the full support of National Diving Officer Sophie Heptonstall. It’s really important that we all work together to give members the support they need within a clear overall strategic direction so that members keep diving, and stay members of a great BSAC.” Alex Warzynski

The new Honorary Treasurer is Louise Whitehouse. The new new members of BSAC council are Michelle Kim, Claire Howard and Rachel Sharp.

The successful candidates will take up their BSAC Council positions after the BSAC AGM, to be held on Saturday 14th May 2016 at 9.30am at The Manfred Suite, Holiday Inn, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, CH65 2AL.

The result of the Special Resolutions vote will be announced at this year’s BSAC AGM.

BSAC would like to thank every candidate who stood for election, and congratulate those who were elected.

Chairman:

  • Alex (Woz) Warzynski – 1,040 Elected
  • Stephen Martin – 396
  • Mark Allen – 379
  • Damian Wozniak – 125

Total votes cast:1940

Honorary Treasurer:

  • Louise Whitehouse – 1,015 Elected
  • Janos Suto – 831

Total votes cast:1846

Council (three positions available):

  • Michelle Kim – 766    Elected
  • Rachel Sharp – 716   Elected
  • Claire Howard – 711  Elected
  • Dave Bell – 701
  • Trevor Brown – 671
  • Dai Atkins – 667
  • Rob Higgie –450

Total votes cast: 1,825

Shape Suunto’s Scuba Products

Do you fancy helping shape Suunto’s future products?

Suunto Eon Steel dive computer, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, Ryan Crawford,

Suunto Diving UK is looking for people to take part in series of classroom validation studies.

Are you:

  • Tech savvy and want to own the latest technology
  • Leading an active and adventurous lifestyle that sees you participating in many activities
  • Participating in a cross section of watersports including scuba diving

If you fit the bill and can spare about 2 hours on any of the dates below, then please email Suunto and they will send you further information on how to book on to the session.

  • Thursday June 16th – Aquasport International, Solihull 17:30 or 20:00
  • Friday June 17th – Wraysbury Dive Centre 17:30 or 20:00
  • Saturday June 18th – Andark Diving, Southampton 10:00 or 12:30

Please share this with any of your friends you think might be interested and also fit the criteria.

 

AP Diving Vacancy: Product Design Engineer

AP Diving, Product Design Engineer, Martin Parker, Nicky Finn, Inspiration Rebreather, Evo, diving vacancy, scuba diving job, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company

Cornish manufacturer AP Diving is looking to a Product Design Engineer to play an integral part in the research, design, development and testing of new high-class diving products and equipment.

Reporting to the Research and Development Manager, the successful candidate will initially find their feet by gaining a complete technical and engineering understanding of the current product range as well as the industry sector including quality and European standard requirements.

For more information, check out the full application on GradCornwall.

Closing date: 8th May 2016

The High Cost of Buying Cheap Diving Gear On-line

amazon-keyboardsA question asked on a scuba diving forum.

Beginner Advice Please

“I am a complete beginner and need to buy the kit.

Any advice on good on-line scuba diving retailers will be much appreciated.

My mate is fairly experienced, so he will be able to help me”.

 

 

Hi there

I am absolutely delighted to hear that you are thinking of buying some diving equipment. It is a researched and documented fact that if you own your own kit, you will go diving more regularly than if you haven’t got anything.

Boat fins, scuba diving fins, diving Isle of Man, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company

Two pieces of core scuba diving equipment: a pair of boat fins and a dive mask

I would certainly advocate that as a new diver you get the core kit of mask, boat fins, snorkel, boots, a shortie / basic thermal protection and a timing device.

This is your basic snorkelling equipment which will last you from now until kingdom come, provided you look after it carefully. It also means that when you start / continue learning, you have the basics which will also be fine for pool work and blue water diving.

Once you have your core kit I would suggest that you don’t go on a mad spending spree – yet.

The thing about learning to dive (or any other sport for that matter) is that you don’t know, what you don’t know. This is not a criticism, just a fact of life.

It is terribly easy to peruse the magazines, let your fingers do the walking on the web or post a question on the Forums. And if you are British diver you will probably end up making the decision to buy a certain brand of BCD and regulators. But is it truly the right equipment for the style of diving you are currently doing, and what you aspire to do in the future?

Anglesey ScubaFest, scuba diving in Wales, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, Jason Brown, The Underwater Marketing Company,

Attend an equipment manufacturer demo day or ScubaFest to try out new diving equpiment

To get the most out of your equipment you really need to have some in-water time and experience before you buy it. Borrow, hire, steal, beg equipment from fellow divers or your local club or dive centre and try it out. Or attend an equipment manufacturer demo day or the ScubaFests. But please pace yourself.

Try and dive ‘familiar’ diving equipment when you try out one new piece of kit to reduce the stress levels. By getting some in-water time, you will gain a mental and physical reference which enables you to start forming ideas of what equipment you want, and the route you wish to follow.

I am really glad to hear that you have an experienced mate who has taken you under his wing.

The one thing that I would say is that staff in dive centres have exposure to a large range of equipment from a number of manufacturers. They go on product days and launches, they get given the odd sample to play with, and it’s all so that they can understand the product better.

Anglesey Divers, Marting Sampson, Caroline Sampson, learn to dive in Wales, Porth Dafarch Beach, Holyhead, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, Anglesey ScubaFest

Dive Centre Owner and Chief Instructor Martin Sampson (in the orange and black suit) with his students on Porth Dafarch, Anglesey, Wales. Martin and Caroline run Anglesey Divers

Dive centre staff are out there using the kit in anger, and diving it on a very regular basis. They should ask you what kind of diving are you doing now, and what do you intend to do in the future, and will advise you accordingly as to what kind of kit will suit you. This means that you will be given good solid equipment advice by someone who is more experienced than your average amateur diver.

DSMB, delayed surface marker buoy, dive reel, scuba diving equipment, diving safety, being seen on the surface, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, diving PR, scuba social media

A well stocked dive shop offering a plethora of safety accessories

The beauty about shopping in a LDS (Local Dive Shop), is that you get to feel, touch, try on and look at the equipment for real.

If you ask for help the staff will walk you around the shop and show you the difference between a pool fin, a boat fin, a nature’s wing fin, a spring strap, a traditional fin strap and a quick release strap.

Absolutely nothing can replace the opportunity of feeling, touching, smelling, lifting, finding out just how heavy something is, and trying on new up-to-date equipment. It’s almost a rite of passage for a diver to walk into a dive shop with a pocketful of cash and buy your drysuit / regulator / bcd and thoroughly delight in the frisson, thrill and excitement of that hands-on experience.

Buying on the web is just not the same thing. Pushing a button or two and waiting for a brown box to be delivered is quite pedestrian in comparison.

It should be noted it is not polite to visit a dive centre and benefit from their time, knowledge and counselling to then go and buy the product off the net for the sake of a few pounds. I have seen this happen all too often, and it is little wonder that dive centre staff sometimes end up quite jaded by this behaviour.

Fourth Element, thermacline, proteus, dry base, OceanPositive, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, Jim Standing, Paul Strike, EUROTEK Award Winners

I am not saying ‘never buy from the internet’

If you buy via the web you might get a more competitive price. This is because all you are paying for is for someone to take a piece of kit off a shelf, put it into a box and post it to you. There is rarely counselling and advice, and no cup of tea.

There is no substitute to having an experienced professional standing next to you, seeing how the kit fits and knowing how it will perform in the water.

When you buy in a LDS you gain education, information and benefit from the shop’s experience.

It is worth noting that your LDS doesn’t necessarily need to be your nearest dive centre. My nearest dive centre is a is 12 minutes / 5 miles away. The one I use is 51 minutes / 28 miles away because of their great servicing, advice and gas blending. And your LDS will be ‘the one’ where you get good service, advice, mentoring and they actively go diving.

Buying on the web appears to be a great, short term gain, but you will definitely lose long term.

Now more than ever you need to support your LDS. (LDS equipment sales are one revenue source that helps to pay for rates, electricity, insurance, salaries, etc). Around the turn / start of the year I was hearing every week about yet another dive retail centre closing their doors and I know of another two dive centres that have gone down in the last 8 weeks. The blood letting continues.

Apeks, A clamp, DIN Adaptor, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, Dean Martin, Aqua Lung, scuba diving equipment

We can’t buy air or gas fills online

The price you will be charged in-store is a fair one because it’s the suggested retail price. Remember diving is effectively a luxury sport where you want life support equipment that will always perform efficiently in a harsh environment. You need it to work properly and that costs real money to research, develop, test and manufacture.

By demanding cheaper equipment you will get just that. There have been comments on the Forums about cheap weight belts falling to bits, cheap clips and knives rusting up, cheap reels jamming and tangling, and I am aware of a couple of lovely masks that are sadly now just plain nasty.

These two low profile masks fitted 95% of all faces, looked great and were a sensible price. Unfortunately because the public kept on demanding cheaper masks, production was switched to another factory, and now these products are inferior and sales have dropped right off. The silicone used is horribly hard and the frames crack. By demanding cheaper kit the product has been destroyed. Everyone loses.

It is worth pointing out that I am also not saying ‘never buy from the internet’. That is just plain daft. We are very time poor these days, and when you know precisely what you need, and that it will fit you perfectly, buying on-line is a useful, timely solution. But as a new diver, or a diver upgrading key pieces of equipment, you really benefit from buying your equipment in store because of the personal hands on service you will receive. And you leave with something that properly fits you.

Cylinders, air tanks, mixed gas diving, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, Divetech, nitrox, stage cylinders, The Underwater Marketing Compay, buying cheap dive gear online, scuba diving PR, rebreather diving

Do we really want to return to 100 mile round trips to get diving cylinders filled?

Whatever your position on internet sales, if they become all that we have got left, along with some very large regional centres, then not only you, but everyone will lose out.

So if you end up spending a tad more now on kit at your local dive centre, it should mean that in the future we all won’t be doing 100 mile round trips to get cylinder fills and regulators serviced which is better for our pockets and kinder to the environment. And the great thing is that we will be well looked after by like-minded kit monster professionals who still get huge thrill out of playing with shiny toys.

Good luck with your diving, I hope this helps.

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