This is some sad news. Hopefully it is only temporary, because Bikini is one of those dives that is on almost every divers “must dive” lists.
The flagship tourist destination in the Marshall Islands — a World War II fleet of ships sunk by nuclear tests at Bikini Atoll — will shut down in two weeks after sustaining unprecedented losses.
The unreliability of the one local airline and skyrocketing fuel prices torpedoed a once-thriving scuba diving business that lured thousands of visitors from Europe, America and Australia to this former nuclear test site in the Pacific, Bikini Atoll Divers manager Jack Niedenthal said Tuesday…
“After 13 great-though-challenging years as one of the premier wreck diving and fishing tourism sites in the Pacific, Bikini Atoll will be closed to tourists as of June 11,” Niedenthal said. “We have made this decision due to the unreliability of our local airline, Air Marshall Islands, and also because of the rapid rise in the world price of fuel, which has made all of our operating expenses just skyrocket beyond our means.”
DAN’s Mission is to provide safety information based on research to sport divers. Technical divers, a specialized set of sport divers, are often seen as a new breed of explorers, pushing the proverbial envelope in diving: They penetrate shipwrecks, deep and shallow; they venture deep into underwater caves to explore and photograph what most people will never see firsthand; they go to tremendous depths to view aquatic life and mineral formations for scientific study. And they do it using specialized equipment and suiting that can affect their respiration, carbon dioxide retention, blood nitrogen levels and body heat.
Technical diving is growing in popularity, and though it is high-profile, it has its associated risks. It is crucial for technical divers to distinguish between real and imagined risks and to identify appropriate and safe alternatives in diving procedures.
DAN and the technical diving community will address these tasks in the 2008 Technical Diving Conference. Discussions will include the operational and medical aspects of technical diving; the forum will also address ways to improve effectiveness and safety, with these objectives:
• to establish communication between technical divers, dive physicians, and dive scientists;
• to provide objective information concerning what is known and — unknown — regarding technical diving; and
• to establish the need for data collection and quantitative analysis to answer unresolved questions.
Special Rates With Early Registration
You can get special rates for early registration. For more details on this and the rest of the conference, see http://www.diversalertnetwork.org/news/article.asp?newsid=873
Direct questions on topics to DAN Research; inquiries on accommodations go to Dan Continuing Medical Education. Call DAN at 1-800-446-2671 or +1-919-684-2948 or go to http://www.DiversAlertNetwork.org.