PROGRAM SPOTLIGHT: DAN Courses 3.0 Update

You are on the boat after a great dive when a buddy team surfaces, and one of them calls out for help. The boat crew helps get the distressed diver on board. Would you know what to do next? Whatever your level of dive training, or even if you are a nondiver dealing with an incident on land, DAN’s first aid training can help you know what to do and how to do it.

It’s All in the Name

In 1995, when we first explored wunderpus territory, which overlies much of the Coral Triangle, the then-undescribed octopus’ fame had spread far and wide. The newly sensational creatures attained much of their acclaim for dancing like dandies across sandy seafloors on eight unimaginably limber arms — an eye-popping feat of acrobatic dexterity well worth traveling halfway around the world to see.

Rescue Skill Modifications

The required skills in a rescue scenario — which involved a surface swim while providing rescue breaths and removing dive gear from the victim and rescuer — were not coming easily, especially if my dive buddy was larger than me. Techniques for rescue diving seemed suited for people with a different body type and skill set — at 5 feet, 4 inches tall, I am a petite woman. Practicing rescues was challenging at best and near-impossible at worst until a course director taught me techniques and modifications that made rescuing more accessible.

A Voice for the Ocean

Annie Crawley and her dive team of kids and teens are among the divers who frequent the Edmonds Underwater Park marine protected area just north of Seattle, Washington, in the Puget Sound area of the Salish Sea. With drysuits on and cameras in hand, the young ocean explorers document the underwater world with Crawley as their mentor and guide. Their mission: be a voice for the ocean.

SMARTER: Travel Document Delays

It’s been more than a year since many divers have traveled internationally and visited beloved or new dive destinations. Although it is unclear when and which international destinations will be fully accessible, it’s important to stay proactive about important travel documentation preparation.

Bringing Shipwrecks to Life

Photogrammetry is the process of collecting a series of still images or videos of an object, such as a shipwreck, and then loading those images into software that can triangulate the photographed points to create a 3D model. Plenty of real-world applications can use this technology, including architecture, engineering, forensics, archaeology, mapping and video games. Becky Kagan Schott enjoys seeing wrecks come to life in a way that a single photo could never accomplish.

Celebrating Seagrass

The benefits of protecting seagrass cannot be overstated. Seagrass purifies the water, helps protect against coastal erosion, helps sustain small-scale fisheries that support communities, and increases fish populations and biodiversity. It sequesters much more carbon per area than terrestrial forests and reduces ocean acidification. Healthy seagrass means a healthier ocean.

Better Enabling Human Survival

In her work, Rachel Lance, Ph.D., focuses on extreme environments, particularly the effects of explosions. “The human body is fascinating, especially when it fails,” she says. “We are not naturally equipped to survive in a deep underwater environment, so I am fascinated with the idea of finding ways to do so anyway. Perhaps it’s my naturally rebellious side.”

Gar Waterman: The Sea Slug Sculptor

Known for their striking colors, patterns and forms, nudibranchs are found in seas all over the world. Sculptor Gar Waterman’s fascination with these sea slugs extends beyond his aesthetic appreciation for their unique, organic form. Because most nudibranchs have a life span of less than a year and adapt rapidly to changes in their environment, they help scientists understand the impact of global warming on ocean health. With each nudibranch that he has cut, chiseled and polished from stone, Waterman hopes to communicate their quirky beauty and scientific role.

It Can Happen to Anyone

My buddy and I ascended to 20 feet for our safety stop. As soon as we surfaced I thought I saw the boat moving away from me but quickly realized I was disoriented. It felt like vertigo, but I managed to get on board the boat. I removed my gear and was talking to my buddy when I started involuntarily leaning forward until I lost my balance and collapsed face-down on the deck. I felt paralyzed and couldn’t get up.

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