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
“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
Fifty years ago today two divers – John Towse and the late Alexander McKee – pinpointed the whereabouts of King Henry VIII’s famous flagship.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
- Alex (Woz) Warzynski – 1,040 Elected
- Stephen Martin – 396
- Mark Allen – 379
- Damian Wozniak – 125
Total votes cast:1940
- 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
Do you fancy helping shape Suunto’s future products?
Suunto Diving UK is looking for people to take part in series of classroom validation studies.
- 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.
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