MV RENA – it’s payback time! Deep diving – why? Carry Oxygen onboard 150th Issue

By Dave Moran

Recently in the media there has been an on-going battle re what to do with the remains of the MV Rena which was wrecked on Astrolabe Reef 5th Oct 2011.

This magazine in past issues has promoted, both the economic and marine environmental values that this maritime disaster can return to all New Zealanders. If the remaining parts of the ship’s hull are left, the will sea continue its magic of transforming it into being an integral part of Astrolabe Reef’s colourful marine landscape. Nature has been successfully doing this ever since man built an object that was intended to float on the sea’s surface over a thousand years ago.

Divers who have dived the wreck are just in awe of the marine life that now call the wreck their home. Many of these divers have dived the reef before the Rena struck the reef.

The abundance of life now, far surpasses the fish life pre the Rena smacking into the reef!

Please turn to page 72 to read Dr Roger Grace’s comments.

On page 38 we look at the possible psychology that drives a diver and their support team to attempt a world record deep dive. It’s fascinating reading.

Most divers that I know ask the simple question, “Why!”

Why risk your life and the lives of your support team to do a dive in the open ocean that has been tested in controlled environments by commercial and government testing facilities.

With rebreathers becoming more common amongst recreational divers some fear that this could lead to the possibility of some diver’s ego distorting their judgement, especially men. Just pushing it an extra couple of metres deeper than the next diver.

Just terms as, “I’ve joined the hundie club” or “I’ve joined the 150m club” are sure to end sadly for those divers who flex their chest muscles to further impress the onlooking divers viewing the hero’s maximum depth on their computer.

Dean Syme is a courageous young man.

I had a call from Brian Franks who runs a dive and fishing charter boat out of Christchurch.Brian told me of a diver that he was able to assist after a diving accident and that this diver, Dean and his wife Sara were keen to tell Dean’s story to encourage boat skippers to carry oxygen on board their boats. During the time spent doing the interview I became acutely aware how Dean’s accident has affected their life on their farm and the huge effort he has put in to recover to some semblance of his former self before the accident.

I commend them for their commitment to tell their story for the benefit of all divers. Many an injured diver would not have openly told the world of their experiences. These two have. I say two because I believe Sara is also a courageous young lady, standing by her man.

Turn to page 59 and take on board their message re having oxygen on-board.

Wow, this is our 150 issue! I find it hard to believe that an idea back in 1990 to produce a New Zealand diving magazine is still rocking along after our first issue was published: Dec/Jan 1991.

It’s been a fantastic ride. I and the team wish to THANK you ALL for your support over those 25 years of the magazine entertaining and informing divers and non-divers about the wonder and joys that the sport of diving delivers in abundance!

Summer is just around the corner. The scallop season is open! Life couldn’t get much better!