May 2013

Alabama Reef Foundation sinks "LuLu"
On May 26, the "LuLu," a newly re-christened 271-foot retired cargo ship, was sunk in about 110 feet of water, 17 nautical miles south of Perdido Pass in Orange Beach. The event was the culmination of a nearly year-long effort by coastal tourism officials through the nonprofit Alabama Gulf Coast Reef and Restoration Foundation to build a new year-round scuba diving attraction with whole-ship reefs in Alabama, adding to one of the largest artificial reef programs in the U.S. [See photos of the Lulu's sinking] -- Posted Friday, May 31, 2013 by chb

Study: Clinical aspects of hyperbaric treatment
A total of 5,278 DCI cases among commercial fishery divers (about half on scuba, half on surface hoses) were treated from February 2000 through December 2010 in a hyperbaric facility in northern China, yielding the DCI case series study with the largest number of cases treated in a single hyperbaric unit. Interesting reading. [See Decompression Illness: Clinical Aspects of 5278 Consecutive Cases Treated in a Single Hyperbaric Unit] -- Posted Saturday, May 18, 2013 by chb

Olympus to cut back drastically in compact cameras
Olympus -- which we always had a fondness for because of their engagement in underwater cameras -- reported it had returned to profitability in fiscal 2012, but its imaging business posted a loss for the third straight year. And with its market for digital cameras rapidly shrinking, Olympus dramatically lowered its 2013 sales target for compact digital cameras to just 2.7 million, down from 5.1 million in 2012. Our take: It's mostly a matter of everyone now having a smartphone with a built-in camera. We always liked Olympus and have done numerous detailed underwater camera reviews for them, but for the past two years they have refused every one of our requests for review units, so unfortunately we could not help them spread the word. -- Posted Wednesday, May 15, 2013 by chb