Dolphin Underwater & Adventure
February 2012 Newsletter
Next Club Meeting:
Wed. 8 th February
BBQ – BYO food
Club’s Mail Address:
14 Gails Drive
Ph/Fax: 09 473 8069
Mob: 0274 839 839
Venue: The Club Rooms
Northcote Rd Ext’n,
Lake Pupuke, Takapuna
Coming Trips & Events
COMMITTEE MEMBERS: 2011/2012
President Steve Boundford 476 9286 firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice-President Martin Brett 418 2332 email@example.com
Secretary/Treas Margaret Howard 473 8069 Ph/Fax firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor Denis Adams 444 0501 email@example.com
Clubroom Management Denis Adams 0275 970 922 Mob.
Web Site John Freeman 478 4958 firstname.lastname@example.org
Dive Trips Officer Dave Dobbie 479 8334 email@example.com
Adventure Trips Martin Saggers 410 2363 firstname.lastname@example.org
Committee Tom Butler 624 3505 email@example.com
Peter Howard 473 8069 Bob Shaw 473 1711
Bruce Nixon 478 7186 Fiona Warwick 482 0135
Honorary Dive Instructor Kevin Hodgson 442 4148 firstname.lastname@example.org
Life & Honorary Members
Barry Barnes – Life Peter & Margaret Howard – Life Brian Horton – Life
Reg Lawson - Life Roberto Tonei – Life Dave Quinlan – Life
Graham Thumah – Honorary Tony & Jenny Enderby - Honorary Eileen Slark – Honorary
Cover Page Photo: Snapper by Denis
Dolphin UAC Trips & Events Coming Up
8 th February - Wednesday - Dive Club Meeting - Club Rooms Northcote Road Extension – 7.30pm –
BBQ BYO food Social night
25 th February - TBC - Saturday – Goat Island Marine Reserve - Club BBQ on the beach 11am
3 rd March – TBC - Small boats weekend at Tairua - Club members in camping ground or motels. Register
interest with Dave Dobbie. ( Need at least two boats to make it a goer).
March/April/May - Stewart Island Hunting/fishing/diving - 10 days. Exact date to be confirmedInterested
people register with Dave Dobbie. This will be a real adventure. One party of 4 full, if numbers are
sufficient we can make up another but we need to know early. Can anyone source a shore based compressor?
12 th – 25 th August 2011 – Maldives 12 night Live aboard on Sea Queen – for more information contact
Marie Hodgson on email@example.com or visit her website www.divepacific.net.nz
Other suggestions Dave is looking at organising is another Poor Knights on the Mazurka in late February.
Mid February Tauranga Bay or Port Jackson – camping long weekend. Northland Dive staying at the
Cowshed in March (also a great trip for non divers) – diving the Canterbury or Rainbow Warrior. April
another Aldermen Island trip including Slipper Island. Please contact David or it won't happen.
Our Club’s Trip Rules
A. Bookings allowed on all trips.
B. A deposit or full payment to be made at time of booking.
C. Full payment MUST be paid at least two weeks before departure date.
D. Trips Officer to handle trips & bookings, & Treasurer to handle finances. Cancellations due to
weather will be refunded in full, or transferred to another trip.
E. Members cancelling for any reason will lose full monies unless they find a replacement for their
position on the trip.
F The trips Officer will determine if there are enough people to run a trip & if not will notify
cancellation two weeks prior to departure.
Non-Members & non-financial members will be charged an extra $10 on trips.
Two trips & club membership is a must.
Please send Club Fees to Margaret Howard, 14 Gails Drive, Okura, RD2, Albany
Or Internet bank to 06 0122 0074227 00 & don’t forget your name.
Family Membership $55 – Single $45 – Junior $30 – Social $30
If members need to hire or buy any new gear from Performance Dive, they have offered the Club great
discounted rates, phone Alan or Tony on 09 489 7782. Dive trips available from them & Kevin as well.
Welcome to 2012 everyone and safe diving to all.
I don’t know who’s been where and done what but last Monday Trish & I decided it was time to check out
the Goat Is Reserve. Boy! Were we surprised at the number of people there, it seemed like thousands. It was
great to see how popular it has become with loads of children snorkeling everywhere. Plenty of fish life
though I only spotted a couple of small crayfish. The fish certainly associate humans as a source of food. You
only had to stir up the sand on the bottom to have fish zooming in from every direction(sorry fellas not
allowed to feed you).It was worth the trip even if we did get a little sun burnt which I didn’t think would be
possible this summer. Plus we had a bit of practice with both our cameras. Denis & Trish.
Trish with Goat Is in background
Looking back to part of the foreshore
Denis chasing Snapper
Now not many get to photograph this species!
Blue Cod guarding a piece of seaweed
We all know what this is
A nice pink Snapper
Large Silver Snapper (They’re all the same species). Denis hunting for the next shot with Snapper following
As scuba divers get older, heart-related problems add to risk
By Scott Dunn
Esra Samli and other divers battled fear and exhaustion while trying to save a Clinton, Ont., doctor who died
scuba diving in waters off Tobermory this summer.
A novice open-water diver herself, Samli, an Owen Sound lawyer, said they did all they could to save the
man she'd just met. But she and the other divers who joined the rescue needed help.
Dr. Jan Raczycki, 49, died July 31 at the James C. King, one of 22 shipwrecks in Fathom Five National
Marine Park, where there's an estimated 20,000 dives every year.
He was pulled from the water about 3 p.m., police have said. A pre-existing heart condition likely led to his
death, his 22-year-old son, Ivan, said shortly after the accident. He spoke with the coroner shortly after his
The calamity reveals how self-reliant divers are expected to be — and that when things go wrong on a routine
boat charter, it's up to the dive buddy and any others to effect a rescue regardless of ability or experience.
The sport of scuba diving involves considerable risks, managed by self-reliance, safety training and
A diver must contend with physical stresses including, depending on depth, Tobermory's cold water,
buoyancy compensation and the body's altered physiological responses to the pressure of deep water. There's
also the threat of decompression sickness or a potentially fatal embolism if panic takes over and training isn't
Psychological pressures are equally critical to manage, medical dive experts and industry safety experts say.
The doctor's misfortune also suggests the value of hiring a dive master, or diving with a club or a dive shop
that organizes group dives with more extensive safety precautions.
The generation that popularized scuba diving in the '60s is aging and that increases health risks. It's an issue
dive organizations are starting to target in an effort to cut the number of heart-related fatalities.
Ivan Raczycki said he understood his father's heart condition was the same as killed the doctor's father too,
and the death couldn't have been prevented.
The coroner's office can't comment while there's an ongoing investigation.
Given that heart problems are a significant cause of death in diving, having available portable defibrillators,
which automatically reset the heart, might be a good idea. At least one quarter of the 80 to 90 Canadian and
American fatalities in the sport annually are attributed to heart problems.
Dr. George Harpur, the Bruce Peninsula coroner with expertise in dive-death investigations, pronounced
death on Dr. Raczycki in Tobermory after earlier efforts to resuscitate him on the dive boat and back on land
He couldn't comment on Dr. Raczycki's death, but he said fitness to dive has been an apparent problem in the
sport for 10 years, due to the advancing average age divers.
"One of the biggest differences we see now is that a number of deaths we see in the park now won't
essentially be diving deaths — faults related to diving technique — they're often deaths while diving because
the demographics of divers has changed," said Harpur, who is also medical director of the Tobermory
Hyperbaric Facility, used to treat diving-related and other injuries.
"What created the dive industry, at least in North America, were baby boomers," said Dan Orr, president of
Divers Alert Network, which runs an emergency hotline and designs dive safety courses. "And now they're
getting older and older and along with that they have the diseases of age."
In the early days of the sport — the 1960s and 1970s — almost all divers were young. Now the mean age of
the nearly 250,000 U.S. and Canadian divers who are members of DAN is in the mid-40s. They're also
wealthier now and can purchase gear that lets them do riskier things, Harpur said.
There have been great strides made in equipment and training to reduce scuba diving fatalities from the peak
level in the mid-1970s, when 150 deaths annually occurred.
But Harpur said two big threats for more divers now are cardiac dysrhythmia — where the heart gets out of
rhythm, and pulmonary edema of immersion — where great forces exerted by water pressure and cold on
divers causes fluid to accumulate in the heart and lungs, forcing both to work harder.
Harpur said a majority of Tobermory's dive deaths in the last 10 years were the result of a cardiac incident
and all but one were initiated by a disease process that would be more readily survived on land.
Fathom Five has more divers entering the water from a single point than anywhere else in the country, he
said. That puts the local marine park on the front lines of the problem.
In the five years covering 2000 and 2004 there were six diving deaths at Fathom Five. Concern about that
number led to new protocols, including a pre-dive registration self-assessment checklist. It asks divers to
consider their dive readiness and to abort their dive plans if they're not feeling up to it, regardless of how far
they've travelled or what the expense. In the last six years, there have been two deaths, including Dr.
Raczycki's, Parks Canada says. Still, the initiative may provide evidence that well-targeted safety efforts can
make a difference.
When Tobermory's hyperbaric chamber opened in the 1970s, about a dozen cases of decompression sickness,
rarely life-threatening, and one or two deaths every year were common, Harpur said.
"Now we can go as long as five or six years without a death and we might see three-four cases of DCS."
But Harpur said there are also fewer divers taking the plunge in Tobermory. The invasive zebra mussel,
which has cleared the murkier parts of the Great Lakes, has made wrecks visible elsewhere, he said.
There used to be about 10,000 diver visits per year, each making about four dives, or 40,000 or 50,000 dives
per season, estimated by tank fills, Harpur said.
"Now we're down to about 15,000 or 20,000 and now a lot of these (about 25%) are early trainees, but not
Dive tag registrations are not a reliable measure of dive activity because not everyone registers, park
spokesman Scott Currie said. But they do reveal a declining trend, from 4,278 registrations in 2000 to 3,032
So the reduction in diving deaths in Tobermory may also at least partly reflect there are fewer divers visiting
Fathom Five National Marine Park.
As Samli learned, Dr. Raczycki's diving death also revealed how quickly responsibility to save a diver in
distress falls to the divers nearby, even if they book a dive charter.
She said she booked her excursion with a respected local dive shop, Divers Den, thinking she would be safer
than going out on her own. She assumed a dive master would be aboard.
But no dive master typically accompanies charter dive boats anywhere in North America, said dive experts
and Tracy Edwards, who captained the Laura J dive boat that took Samli, Dr. Raczycki and the others out to
the King wreck.
Edwards called authorities for help but couldn't leave the boat and couldn't move it with other divers in the
No government regulation requires charters to bring along dive masters, or stock automated external
defibrillators, like those installed in many arenas and public libraries, or even to have medical oxygen aboard.
Such safety precautions are left to common sense and the emerging requirements of insurers.
Transport Canada doesn't require AEDs on dive boats or on any other commercial vessels and says it has
never considered requiring them.
But the devices are recommended by the Ontario Underwater Council, the nonprofit provincial safety and
education association for the sport, by DAN and by medical doctors who specialize in dive medicine.
They're on all Canadian Coast Guard vessels and attempts were made to use one to save Dr. Raczycki when
the Coast Guard arrived the day he died.
Diving is a self-regulating industry across North America, almost without exception. There is a culture of
self-reliance and a distaste of government regulation.
Transport Canada requires no other crew than a captain aboard most dive vessels, those carrying up to 12
passengers. Its safety equipment requirements are minimal — first-aid kit, fire extinguisher, life jackets and
little more — the same for a dive boat as any other commercial boat its size.
There also appears to be a consensus that the sport is already pretty safe.
"Diving is an outdoor activity and there is nothing you can do anywhere without there being some sort of
risk," Orr said from the nonprofit organization in North Carolina.
Nobody knows how many divers there are or how many dives are being taken to know how to calculate the
risk compared to other activities, he said.
But 90 DAN member deaths every year "isn't necessarily a crisis in the sport," he said.
The rate of diving deaths "is comparable to what's going on in other sports," agreed Dr. Petar Denoble,
research director at DAN.
In jogging there are estimated to be 13 sudden cardiac deaths per 100,000 participants, while nine per
100,000 divers die from cardiac-incidents, he said.
"However, joggers jog year-round and divers dive 20 days per year . . . You still have to admit that for the
exposure, the risk in diving is definitely greater than in jogging."
DAN's most recent efforts to reduce that risk is a survey to determine if members should be required to
undergo annual medical exams to qualify for the group's medical liability insurance. The survey results
should be ready by spring.
Dr. Raczycki was reported by his Tobermory instructor, Michael Marcotte, to be a nervous diver. The doctor
was also observed to hesitate four to five metres beneath the surface.
But in the throes of an emergency, it was too late to check his heart health or abort the dive. That left it up to
Heather Douglas, who was the doctor's fiancée, her son, Samli and her dive buddy, Daniel Lieb, a 28-yearold
Toronto tech consultant who learned to dive in Germany, to rescue him.
There was no dive master, an experienced diver responsible to oversee the dive's safety, let alone rescue
divers on hand.
Dr. Raczycki had to be retrieved from almost 30 metres down and brought back to the dive boat before lifesaving
efforts could begin.
Maybe nothing could have saved the amiable doctor, who chatted with Samli on their 15- or 20-minute boat
ride out to the dive site.
Samli remains troubled by his death and by the risk they all faced.
"All I am suggesting is we are lucky that the incident did not get bigger, resulting in more" casualties, said
Samli. She snapped a picture of Raczycki and his fiancée just before they all entered the water.
"We needed help ourselves. Not only the patient. We were the victim as well. We were panicked, we were
having anxiety attacks, we were trying to help someone else," she said.
"That's our main point. We put ourselves at pretty high risk," said Lieb.
Ready for your close up? Diver survives tiger shark attack by fending off 12ft-beast
By Alison Smith-squire
This is the terrifying moment a daring diver looked into the jaws of one of the world's most dangerous
Forced to fend-off the tiger shark with just his camera the adventurer came perilously close to the wrong kind
Conservationist Russell Easton was photographing the 12ft beast in the Bahamas when he got the close-up he
was not expecting.
Attack: Diver Russell Easton has a lucky escape
as his camera saves him from attack by a tiger
The professional underwater photographer and
diver says: 'I was looking through the view finder
of the camera when I suddenly saw this huge
mouth and teeth.
The 42-year-old professional underwater
photographer and diver says: 'I was looking
through the view finder of the camera when I
suddenly saw this huge mouth and teeth.
'It is only because of the camera I was not bitten.
Sharks bite because that is how they find out what
something is - they use their mouth as we use our hands - and it had its mouth wide open, about to bite me.
“In that moment I managed to get one shot of the inside of its mouth. Thankfully sharks are attracted to
cameras and bit that instead, giving me vital seconds to swim away.'
Snappy: Russell Easton is saved by his camera
equipment as the tiger shark goes in for the kill
It was only afterwards I realised the camera had probably
saved my life and how fortunate I was.'
Despite his lucky escape, Mr Easton, from Newcastleupon-Tyne
maintains the shark was not trying to hurt
He says: 'I don't think he was attacking me. He was just
curious and wanted to know what I was so was going to
take a nibble to find out.
Close call: The snap caught by Mr Easton as he tried to
fend the shark off with camera
The problem is a tiger shark's mouth is so large and it's
teeth so sharp that if a shark takes a nibble out of you, the
bite is so huge it is often fatal.'
Despite the close call the seasoned diver is due return
to Cat Island, Bahamas to photograph sharks and is
looking for a sponsor.
Escape: The tiger shark gives up the chase allowing
this daring diver to make his lucky escape
• Tiger sharks are capable of growing to 25 feet in length and weighing up to 1,900 pounds. They are
considered to be one of the most dangerous sharks to humans, coming second to the Great White
shark on the list of number of recorded attacks.