Archive for the ‘Maritime’ Category

SCUBAPRO Sunday – Mask Cleaning, Defogging, and Storage

Sunday, August 18th, 2019

Dive mask preparation

When a SCUBA mask is made, it leaves a lot of film and residue on it. If not cleaned off properly, you will never get your mask to stop fogging. You can search the Internet for lots of different ways to clean your mask. I am going to walk thru one of the easiest and safest methods to do it. With some of the other methods, if not done correctly, you can break your mask glass or damage your frame.

Toothpaste or Soft Scrub (without bleach)

Your first step will be to take some toothpaste (not gel) and with your finger dab some on both sides of the inside of the lenses and the inside of the mask.  Rub the toothpaste thoroughly and then let it sit to dry. Try to wait an hour or two before you rinse it out; however, if you don’t have the time, just go ahead and rinse it right away; there’s a good chance it will still work. You should do this every couple of months to make sure your mask is clean. Make sure you clean the interior inside of the mask, skirt and all.  There are also commercial cleaners you can use that clean and defog. A mask is like the inside of your car window. It gets a film on it because all the plastic and rubber are off-gassing.

Put your dive mask under running water to rinse out the toothpaste.  You can use your fingernail or a toothbrush to get around the skirt that touches the lens. In some cases, some of the toothpaste can seep under there. Make sure you get it all out. 

Different ways to defog your mask before every dive

Commercial Defogger

This is the type of defogging you can buy at any dive shop.  There are a ton of different types, but they are basically all the same.  If you would like to go this route, making sure it is safe for the reef and environmentally friendly. This is a good practice as your face will be in there. If you are diving O2 make sure it will not interact with the O2 and cause a burn or reaction. Usually, divers will put this inside their mask, swish it around with their finger and then rinse and go.


Baby Shampoo and dishwashing soap

This is a very economical choice in the world of defogging your mask.  Many dive boats will carry an empty plastic water bottle container with a hole in the top and fill it about a quarter full of baby shampoo and the rest water.  Even just a little bit of soapy water will be enough to defog your mask.  Always remember to rinse your mask thoroughly; otherwise, the residue soap will sting your eyes underwater, even the baby shampoo will cause some tears if you use too much. 

You can also spit into your mask. If you use spit, the mask should be completely dry.  If you take off your mask in the water and then spit into it, it is very likely to become foggy during the dive.  Remember – dry mask, spit, rub, rinse with water, and put on your mask.

Preventing a foggy mask even if you have defogged it

If your face is sweaty and hot, it is a good idea to splash some cold water on it to give it a quick rinse before you put your mask on. 

Before putting your choice of defogging on your mask, ensure that the lens is dry. You can apply to defog to your mask anytime before jumping in the water; however, you should rinse the defog out only moments before jumping in.  If you have rinsed it out, but then are delayed jumping in, and you are not ready to put your mask on your face, leave a layer of water in your mask until you are prepared. Once you have defogged and rinsed your mask, put your mask on your face, and don’t take it off.  Moving your mask to your forehead, neck, or into the water basically eliminate any defogging you had just put onto your mask. Keep in mind if you are jumping into a dive or have to wait before you get to where you will leave on your dive. For long transits to insertion points, try and keep your inner mask dry, you can store it in a zip-lock bag as it is easily collapsed and store. Lastly, you can always leave a little water in your mask during the dive and swish it around to help keep the fog at bay.


You should clean your mask every couple of months depending on its use. It should be kept in a clean, dry place. Most masks come in boxes that are designed for you to store it in. Make sure it is dry before you store it away. Clean your mask after every use; make sure to clean around the outside edge of the mask, especially the part close to your mouth. Because it is close to your mouth, it can smell like food, and that can attack bugs. If this happens, they will eat your mask, and it will look like it is dry rotted. Most masks are made of high-quality rubber and can resist dry rot. A good dive mask can last for years if taking care of properly.  

Lastly, I am going to say this, and if you have never done this before, ask someone who has… The best way I have found to get a new mask ready to dive is and again DO NOT TRY THIS IF YOU HAVE NEVER DONE IT BEFORE. Do not do this on a tempered mask. I know all masks are tempered. I am putting this out as a warning that mask companies tell you, ”Do not burn the mask” If you do it wrong, it will destroy your mask. So, what I do is, I burn my mask, (I know I said don’t do it) then clean it with soft scrub (without bleach) with a green scrubby pad, not too hard, so you don’t scratch the glass. Clean the total inside of the mask, let it dry, burn it again then soft scrub again. Then I use Jaw spit anti-fog. I use the gel, not the spray, (I have never tried the spray).

I know everyone has a way to do this and just want to share what has been working for me. If you read this and say. “I can burn my mask” never stop moving the flame and only let the very top of the flame touch the glass, lastly never ever touch the rubber sides. AGAIN, DON’T DO THIS IF YOU DON’T KNOW HOW. I know the bold writing will hold up in court if you burn your mask and it breaks, and you can decide to sue me.


SCUBAPRO Sunday – Twin Jet Fins

Sunday, August 11th, 2019

If you have been diving for a while now, you have undoubtedly come across the SCUBAPRO Twin Jet Open Heel Split Fins. They bear a unique patented split fin propeller technology, which provides maximum propulsion with minimal effort underwater.  With those main features, they can enhance your dives while avoiding cramped leg muscles and strained ankles. 


The revolutionary patented design of the SCUBAPRO Twin Jet Open Heel Split Fins was inspired by the dynamic propulsion of the humpback whale. The blades unique shape and angle provide symmetrical power to help you create a smoother, more stable kicks without wearing you out or causing drag. At the same time, it allows you to move more quickly and effortlessly while swimming at great depths, despite the long blade length—all without sacrificing control. 

As a diving fin, the SCUBAPRO Twin Jet is made with both an open-heeled and a full-foot version. The Open Heel comes with a broader foot pockets and offers a more customizable fit for those wearing dive boots for use in colder, deeper waters or boots for over the beach operations/ VBSS. Having strapped fins gives you the chance to adjust the fit as your boots start to compress at greater depths when diving.



The fin straps come with quick-connect swivel buckles, which makes donning and doffing easier. You can also change the rubber heel strap out, to take advantage of the optional spring heel straps. The SCUBAPRO Twin Jet open-heeled fins are one of the most comfortable fins on the market.

They come in different Colors and Buoyancy Options. SCUBAPRO has kept different types of divers in mind when they designed the Twin Jet Fins line. You’ll find that the fins come in multiple color options—black, blue, gray, and yellow—but it’s also important to note that the different colors signify differences buoyancy also.

The black fins are the best, for military divers, as they are negatively buoyant and provide a more traditional fining experience with its rigid blades. But if you’re looking for more flexible blades and don’t mind having slightly positively buoyant fins.


Product Features:

• Monprene® Construction 

• Patented Split-Fin Propeller Technology

• Extra-Wide Foot Pocket

• Extended Soleplate

• Drag-Reducing Vents

• Quick-Connect Swivel Buckles

• Compatible with Spring Heel Straps

Key Benefits:

• Powerful Propulsion with Minimal Effort

• Smooth and Stable Kicks

• Preserves Energy

• Reduces Drag

• Fits Boots

• Easy Donning and Doffing

• Highly durable and Will Last a Lifetime

One of the only drawbacks for the Twin Jet fins is if you have to push something thru the water besides just you. But add something like pulling a buddy or ruck. Then you might want to go with a stiffer fin like Jet fin’s or SeaWing Nova Gorilla. The Spilt fin’s are one of the most popular used by the military and countless divers around the world.




SCUBAPRO Sunday – The USS Indianapolis

Sunday, August 4th, 2019

Like most people, I first heard of the Indy from the movie “Jaws” but didn’t really know what happened or if it was just made up for the movies. But it did happen, and it is one of the worst disasters in naval history. Like most of the times that something like this happens, it is from more than one bad thing that seems to build up. They where alone without escort, no one knew they were leaving or where they were going or when to expect them.

On the 15th of July 1945, the USS Indianapolis had departed Gaum on a top-secret mission to deliver the first atomic bomb (little boy) to a Naval base on the Pacific island of Tinian. It would be used on the 6th of August, 1945, to level Hiroshima. It departed Tinian on the 28th of July and headed towards, Leyte Gulf in the Philippines to meet the Task Force being formed, for the invasion of mainland Japan.

On the 29th of July, the Indianapolis was making about 17 knots, and then just after midnight, a Japanese torpedo hit her starboard bow, blowing almost 65 feet of the ship’s bow out of the water and igniting a tank of 3,500 gallons of aviation fuel. Then another torpedo struck closer to midship, hitting the fuel tanks and the powder magazines. This set off a chain reaction of explosions that effectively ripped the Indianapolis in two. Still traveling at 17 knots, the Indianapolis began taking on massive amounts of water; the ship sank in just 12 minutes. Of the 1,196 men aboard, 900 made it into the water alive.

No one knows what drew the sharks in, but it is thought that the sound of the explosion, the man in the water and yes, the blood in the water. The first night, the sharks focused on the floating dead. But the survivors’ struggles in the water only attracted more and more sharks. As the sun rose on the 30th of July, the survivors bobbed in the water, and a lot of the rafts were no were to be found. The living searched for the dead and appropriated their lifejackets for the survivors that didn’t have one. The survivors began forming into groups, some small, some over 300.  Soon the sharks turned their attentions toward the living, especially the injured and the bleeding, sailors tried to quarantine themselves away from anyone with an open wound, and when someone died, they would push the body away, hoping to sacrifice the corpse in return. Many survivors were paralyzed with fear, unable even to eat or drink from the meager rations they had salvaged from their ship. One group of survivors made the mistake of opening a can of Spam—but before they could taste it, the scent of the meat drew a swarm of sharks around them. They got rid of their meat rations rather than risk a second swarming.

The sharks fed for days, and with no sign of rescue for the men. Navy intelligence had intercepted a message from the Japanese submarine that it had torpedoed the Indianapolis. Describing how it had sunk an American battleship along the Indianapolis’ route, but the message was disregarded as a trick to lure American rescue boats into an ambush. The Indianapolis survivors learned that they had the best odds in a group, and ideally in the center of the group. The men on the outsides or, worse, alone, were the most susceptible to the sharks.

As the days passed, many survivors succumbed to heat and thirst or suffered hallucinations that compelled them to drink the seawater around them—causing them to die from salt poisoning. Those who so slaked their thirst would slip into madness, foaming at the mouth as their tongues and lips swelled.

Around 11:00 a.m. on their fourth day, a Navy plane flying overhead spotted the Indianapolis survivors and radioed for help. Within hours, another seaplane, manned by Lieutenant Adrian Marks, returned to the scene and dropped rafts and survival supplies. When LT Marks saw men being attacked by sharks, he disobeyed orders and landed in the infested waters, and then began helping the wounded and stragglers, who were at the greatest risk. Most of the survivors said that one of the scariest times was waiting to get out of the water. A little after midnight, the USS Doyle arrived on the scene and helped to pull the last survivors from the water. Of the original 1,196-man crew, around 900 made it to the water alive, of that only 317 remained. Estimates of the number who died from shark attacks range from a few dozen to almost 150.

In November of 1945, Captain McVay was court-martialed for “hazarded his ship by failing to zigzag and failure to order to abandon ship fast enough” at the time torpedoes struck. The commander Hashimoto ( CO of the sub that sank the Indy) testified at the trial that he would have been able to sink the Indianapolis whether it had been zigzagging or not, testimony which appeared to fall ao deaf ears and had no impact at all on the court-martial board which found McVay guilty anyway. Like always, the military did not take any of this into account.

• The captain was never told that Jap Subs had been seen in the area.

• The Indy was cruiser with no sonar, and it usually had a destroy with it for anti-sub. But they were told they didn’t need one and to go alone.

• The Indy sent out three SOS, and all three were received. One group thought it was fake, one of the admirals on duty was drunk, and the third that was received, the” O” was asleep and had ordered everyone not wake him up.

In 1968 he committed suicide suffering from health issues for years. In 2001 he would be cleared of all charges. But it was too little too late. Like always, the military blamed someone. Of the over 300 ships that were sunk, during WW2 he was the only CO to be court-martialed for it.


SCUBAPRO Sunday – Compasses

Sunday, July 28th, 2019

Using a Compass on your wrist or on a Navigation/attack board is something that is taught when you first start diving in the military. But how much time have you really spent honing your navigational skills? Using an underwater compass can keep your dive on track, optimizing your bottom time as well as getting you to and from the target safely. I am going to walk thru a handheld compass as it has more parts than most compasses that are on Nav Boards.   

Knowing about your compass what it can and can’t do. Everyone knows that a compass points north. The part that handles that task is called the card. This is the spinning face of the compass that has N, E, S, and W printed on it. The edges of the cards are angled at 45 degrees. Around the perimeter of the compass is a movable ring called a bezel. The bezel has a line (sometimes a double line) running through the center called the lubber line. This line is your directional marker. One of the most important things to remember is to keep the compass as level as posable. Depending on where you are in the world, your compass hand will “dip.” That is caused by the different magnetic fields in the Earth pulling on the arm of the compass. This is different than setting your declination. Declination is where the arrow points. The inclination is the pull on the arm of the compass. All compasses are made for different parts of the world. If you buy a compass in the U.S., it was made for use in the U.S. Some companies produce what are called global compass. Those are made to be used worldwide. They have the least amount of dip of any other compasses. Truly the dip is really only a factor if you are covering long distances.  Most of that info was for a handheld compass. But as far as keeping a compass level, that is true no matter whether if you are on Sea, Air or Land. ( see what I did there) SEAL.


If you are using a compass on your wrist you will use the side window to aim the compass where you want to go or see at what bearing something is at. Once you orient the lubber line, with the side window of the compass, you will see a number on the card through that window. This is where the angled design of the card comes into play. As long as you are seeing this same number through the window, you are heading in the desired direction. If you see a different number, make small adjustments until your number comes back into the window.


You can also use landmarks, like piers, sandbars, rocks, whatever will not move to check your position. You can set these as waypoints or reset points. Look at your heading and then use that to reference a visible landmark that is on a straight line visually. When you arrive at this waypoint, you can look ahead to find the next one. These visual cues will work in conjunction with using an underwater compass and allow you to get where you want to be. It is just like doing it on the land so keep in mind that metal objects can interfere with your compass’s magnet, causing what is known as “deviation,” so if your compass starts to move around a lot, try and stay on heading and your compass will settle down once you pass it. Moving away from the object, either laterally or vertically should correct the problem. Recheck your headings, and you can get back on track.


A lot of younger diver like using a digital compass on Navigation boards. The same priceable apply for using a digital compass. Digital compasses should be calibrated for the area you are diving. Each calibration is basically taking a sample of the magnetic that surrounding the compass. A particular calibration is only valid for that location of the compass. Ferrous materials can cause heading inaccuracy. So, make sure when you do calibrate your compass you are away from metal. Ferrous material can also affect your compass on a dive. Since heading is based on the direction of the Earth’s horizontal field, a digital compass must be able to measure this field with lesser influence from other nearby magnetic sources or movement. A digital compass is like a traditional one. Both compasses use the Earth’s magnetic field to determine which way is North. The difference is that a standard compass can dip because of movement and may encounter interference from strong magnetic sources, so inaccuracy can be a problem. A digital compass is much more accurate because it will only use magnetic North. So, using an excellent waterproof compass can help make you a better combat swimmer.  


Schiebel Camcopter S-100 to Perform Coast Guard Services for European Maritime Safety Agency in the Republic of Croatia

Friday, July 26th, 2019

Vienna, 23 July 2019 – The Maritime Safety Directorate of the Ministry of Sea, Transport and Infrastructure of the Republic of Croatia issued the first mobilization request to the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) for CAMCOPTER® S-100 maritime surveillance services.

Starting in the summer of 2019, the service provision for Croatia will assist in maritime Coast Guard functions such as search and rescue, monitoring and surveillance, ship and port security, vessel traffic, environmental protection and response, ship casualty assistance, as well as accident and disaster response. For these purposes, the CAMCOPTER® S-100 Unmanned Air System (UAS) will be based on the island of Brac? and will carry out regular patrolling flights, on-demand incident monitoring missions and specific inspection operations. The S-100 will execute these tasks equipped with an L3 Wescam Electro-Optical / Infra-Red (EO/IR) camera gimbal, an Overwatch Imaging PT-8 Oceanwatch payload and an Automatic Identification System (AIS) receiver.

EMSA awarded the multi-year maritime surveillance contract for a Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) to Schiebel in November 2018. In execution of this contract, Schiebel will provide simultaneous maritime surveillance services to several European Union (EU) member states and EU bodies.

“The CAMCOPTER® S-100 is the perfect Vertical Takeoff and Landing UAS to perform these Coast Guard functions,” notes Hans Georg Schiebel, Chairman of the Schiebel Group. “Backed by an impressive service record in the maritime domain, the S-100 has established itself as the best choice whenever sophisticated maritime surveillance is required.”

SCUBAPRO Sunday – SEALS in Spaaaace

Sunday, July 21st, 2019

As this week marks the 50th anniversary of the first man on the moon. I thought it would be a good idea to talk about how the UDT/SEALS teams have contributed to this effort.  The Navy, as a whole, had a large part in the space race. From using Navy aviators as astronauts. The first American in space, Alan Shepard, was a Navy officer. The USS Lake Champlain was the ship that plucked him out of the water and brought him home. Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, was a naval aviator during the Korean War. When NASA Langley invented things to test how far they could push the new astronauts, they would test them out on team guys.  From pilots to Frogmen to researchers and engineers, the Navy was heavily involved in the space program. 

There have also been SEALS that have gone on to the space program. Capt. William Shepherd, Capt. Christopher Cassidy and LT Jonny Kim. LT Kim entered the Navy as an enlisted guy right out of high school, went to BUD/S then SEALS team 3 later became an “O” then NASA. I want to mention one other person that was at his last command before he was going to astronaut training. CDR Pete Oswald was the C.O. of Unit 4 in Puerto Rico. He died in a training accident in EL Salvador in 2002. There is no dough in my mind that he would have been a great astronaut.

Here are a couple of articles about the SEALS in the space program.



I know some of you are saying, SEALS don’t have a capital “S” at the end?  Well,  SEALS in an acronym and there should be. Sea, Air, Land, Space = SEALS

563d RQG Airmen Rescue Injured Mexican Fishermen

Saturday, July 20th, 2019


Airmen from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base’s 563d Rescue Group traveled more than 1700 miles, to save two critically injured Mexican fishermen onboard the Mazatun fishing vessel, July 10, 2019.

 The fishermen were injured when their vessel’s crane collapsed more than 1300 miles southwest of San Diego in international waters at approximately 8 p.m., July 9. Fishing nets obstructed Mazatun’s propellers during the incident making the boat unable to transit under its own power. The two severely injured fishermen were transferred to Mazatun’s sister ship, Tamara, who began making the three day journey to the nearest land, a Mexican naval outpost on Socorro Island located more than approximately 840 miles away.

 Due to the severity of the injuries and the ship’s isolated location, an urgent request was made for the specialized skills of U.S. Air Force Rescue. In response, the 563d RQG deployed multiple HC-130J Combat King II aircraft from the 79th Rescue Squadron to Tamara as it sailed to Socorro Island, July 10. Pararescuemen from the 48th Rescue Squadron parachuted from the HC-130J into the ocean. They intercepted and boarded the Tamara, and provided trauma care for the injured fishermen. They quickly stabilized the patients and offered continued care for the rest of the voyage to Socorro Island.

 “The relationship that was built with the captain of the ship allowed a seamless integration of our PJs medical capabilities to be able to provide the best treatment for the two injured fishermen,” said Capt John Conner, 48th RQS flight commander of flight 3. “It also allowed us the opportunity to work how we were going to transfer the patient on the ship to Socorro Island. That relationship was key.”

 Tamara reached Socorro harbor Friday evening, July 12. The pararescuemen transferred the fishermen to the Mexican naval medical clinic on the island where they would stay overnight. The next day an air ambulance transported them to Mazatlan, Mexico for further treatment.

 “The unsaid skill Air Force Rescue offers is the ability to solve difficult problems in a timely fashion. This mission highlights rescue professionals’ ability to network within the 563d RQG, 355th Wing and a greater Tucson medical community to solve an incredibly difficult problem, and continue solving problems throughout the mission’s execution which can be seen by the infil methods, follow-on aerial resupply, and transfer of care/exfil conditions,” said Captain Michael Erickson, 48th RQS director of operations. “Air Force Rescue’s successful execution of the mission demonstrates one of the ways Davis-Monthan’s culture of readiness and problem solving skills can support the greater joint force and our mission partners.”

 “This is the longest domestic rescue the 563d RQG has accomplished,” said Lt. Col. Scott Williams, 79th RQS commander. “The unique nature and location of the accident required specialized care, and I’m proud of the job our entire team did to ensure these men returned home to their families.”

By A1C Kristine Legate, 355th Wing Public Affairs

USSOCOM Selects Ops-Core for Coxswain Helmet

Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

USSOCOM has announced a contract award of $95 million to Gentex, owner of Ops-Core for the SPEAR Family of Tactical Headborne Systems Coxswain Helmet System.

The SPEAR Family of Tactical Headborne Systems Coxswain Helmet System consists of a non-ballistic helmet system with modular accessories which will consist of a visor, ballistic mandible, non-ballistic (i.e. impact) mandible, and two piece ballistic appliqué. Additionally, the helmets incorporate a variety of VAS Shrouds, Helmet Covers, Accessory Rails, Pads, Exterior Velcro sets, and Peltor Adapters.

The helmets will be procured in five sizes in Tan, Neutral Grey, AOR 1, AOR 2 and MultiCam.