Archive for the ‘Maritime’ Category

MAS High Speed Boat Training

Sunday, January 19th, 2020

MAS and FROGSTRONG are hosting a Response Vessel Maneuvering/High Speed piloting course on SAFEBOAT 25 DEFENDER

WHO: Open to the public

WHEN: 23 March – 27 March 2020


PRICE: Upon request Point of contact:

All necessary equipment will be provided.

Contact us if you need assistance regarding accommodations.

Course details will be provided upon request.

Murray C. will be the lead instructor for that course, serving over 25 years as a U. S. Navy SEAL and five years as a coxswain in the United States Coast Guard. Skilled Navigator, wide experience in piloting offshore and near shore vessels, 100 ton Captain License.

SCUBAPRO Sunday – Australian Z and M Special Units WWII

Sunday, January 19th, 2020

I wanted to something for our brother in Australia, they are the only country that has supported the U.S. in every war we have been in since WWI. When I was growing up, “Attack Force Z” was and still is, one of my favorite movies. I have always wanted to be inserted by Klepper kayaks and blow up ships in harbor or an old bridge. 

SOE-Australia (SOA) was a WWII Special Forces and covert operations organization operating in the Pacific theater behind Japanese lines. It was made up of men and women from Australian, British, New Zealand, Canadian, South African, Indonesian, Timorese and Malay. SOA fought a secret, undercover war against the Japanese occupying force on the islands north of Australia. With the success of the British SOE unit in the European theater, Winston Churchill ordered that a similar unit be formed in the pacific. SOA was made up from many different units like the Royal Australian Navy’s  Coastwatcher’s, a propaganda unit the Far Eastern Liaison Office (FELO), the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS/SIA), a Dutch East Indies intelligence unit (NEFIS), the United States’ Philippine Regional Section (PRS, operating in the southern Philippines) and an Australian/British Special Operations group, which was to carry out missions behind enemy lines. The SOA took part in hundreds of covert operations against the Japanese and were directly responsible for eliminating thousands of enemy troops and sinking tons of ships and supplies, they paid a high price with more than eighty SOA commandos losing their lives. To maintain security, the SOA was given a cover name – Inter-Allied Services Department (IASD, mostly referred to as the ISD). It had British SOE agents that had escaped Singapore and the Dutch East Indies before it fell to the Japanese. That helped get it up and running.

SOA operators could operate in parties as small as two men, ISD Operatives faced overwhelming odds against a barbaric and increasingly desperate enemy. They conducted similar operations as many other SF groups in WWII. From Jedburgh’s type of missions (training indigenous guerrilla forces) to conduct direct action missions and raiding targets of opportunity. They also performed special reconnaissance missions close to enemy forces behind the lines.

The ISD men kept quiet about their exploits for over 50 years, and even today, the full story has never really been made public. The whole story of ISD operations during WWII is one that has been largely overlooked and misunderstood for the past 75 years. One of the main reasons for this is the misunderstanding that ISD was named Z or M Special Unit. The Z and M just referred to their administrative arm of the units. Z Special Unit was also used for requisitioning stores and transport through Australian Army channels. There are cases where Colonels were removed from transport aircraft to make room for ISD Corporals. Such was the administrative power of the Z Special Unit. So, this is how it was broken down, for Australian Army personnel and civilians assigned to ISD, and later to SRD, and as such, Z Special Unit appears on the service records of every Australian soldier who was assigned to either of those organizations. Another reason for some of the confusion is that in early 1943 the SOA was giving a new code name the Services Reconnaissance Department (SRD), and the term SOA was only to be used at the highest level. Z Special Unit does not appear on the service records of RAAF, RAN or British, NZ, Canadian, or South African personnel assigned to ISD or SRD since they weren’t enlisted in the Australian Army. However, Z Special Unit or Z Force became a common term in the post-war years, even among SRD Veterans. Although it is historically inaccurate to refer to the Special Operations as Z Special Unit. So, where do M Special units fit in? During the war an Allied Special Forces Reconnaissance Team under the command of the Services Reconnaissance Department (SRD.) It was the successor of the Coastwatcher’s unit. Raised in Queensland, Australia, in 1943, the unit operated behind enemy lines for long periods in the Pacific theatre, collecting intelligence such as enemy troop movements and shipping details. It was disbanded at the end of the war in 1945.  

Unlike its sister unit, M Special Unit wasn’t as well known for direct action missions. Z Special Unit was comprised of about 81 members and generally inserted via small boat, submarine, or airplane and conducted quick hit and run missions. They would also conduct intelligence-gathering operations. M Special Unit, on the other hand, operated behind enemy lines for extended periods and did long-range intelligence collection; as such, they tried to go undetected and, as such rarely engage the enemy.  

Also, all personal assigned to ISD were still listed as attached to the parent unit they came from. The reason for this was to help maintain secrecy. It was also used as a way to hide the funding for the ISD. As one of the best ways to keep something secret is never to show that money is going to them. The units never had an official insignia. You will often see a Z of M with a dagger through it. This was not made until 1970 and unfortunately, is mistaken for the units WWII symbol. 

One of ISD/SRD’s most famous Operations was called Jaywick. They used a 68-ton wooden ship. British authorities had seized the Kofuku Maru in Singapore following Japan’s entry into the war. In 1943 she was renamed Krait and assigned to the SRD. The objective of Operation Jaywick was for SRD members to attack Japanese shipping in Singapore. SRD commandos paddled into Singapore harbor in kayaks and attached limpet mines to Japanese enemy shipping. The stealthy raiders sank seven ships and about 39,000 tons of supplies and equipment before escaping home to Australia. By the time they returned nearly seven weeks later, the crew of 14 had carried out one of the most successful clandestine raids in Australian history. Throughout the war, the 70-foot wooden-hulled boat involved in the Jaywick raid, MV Krait, sank more shipping than any other ship in the Australian navy.  

In a subsequent mission to Jaywick called Operation Rimau, the raiding party was detected by the enemy, hunted down and executed. Seventeen of SRD members lie in graves at Kranji War Cemetery in Singapore. In Operation Copper, eight men landed on an island off New Guinea to disable enemy guns before the Allied landing. Discovered by the Japanese, three commandos were captured, tortured, and executed. Four others escaped and fled out to sea, but only one made it home.

No matter what their name was or what they are called now, the units of WWII are the forefathers of today’s Special Forces in Australian and New Zealand and helped end the war.


SCUBAPRO Sunday – Extra Masks

Sunday, January 12th, 2020

When you first learn how to dive, whether it is a military school or civilian. They will talk about, extra items you should carry with you. One of the most important is an extra mask/ mask strap. When I was going through training, we were doing our final FTX dive. It was a ship attack in San Diego harbor on a ship that was used for paintball training for the fleet. I was not the driver, so my job was to hang out and make sure my dive buddy didn’t hit his head on the pier, ship, or anything else. About 10 minutes in my mask started to flood. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get it to stop. I checked my hood, the strap, the seal, took it off and put it back on. I had no hair at that point, so that wasn’t it. Nothing that I did fixed it. As we were in training, we were not allowed to have two masks. So, I spent 3 hours with my mask filling up and me draining it. As I was doing this, my swim buddy hit his head twice. After the dive, I blamed it on him saying he was swimming too fast, and that was why he kept hitting his head. He knew I was lying, and I ended up buying him a steak dinner. When I got to a team and went through STT diving, the first thing I did was get an extra mask. I have never dove without two masks ever since.  

As you can probably tell, I didn’t go through training last year, it has been a while, and there have been a lot of advancements in gear that is used on the land and in the water. So here are just a few things to think about before you dive.

Let start at the beginning of the dive. You are about to jump in the water you put your mask on and the strap breaks. At some point, almost all straps will break. Rubber can dry rot over time. It will most likely happen when you are putting it on, as this is the time you stretch it the most. This is why all dive supervisor kits should have extra mask and fin straps. If they have one, use theirs before you use the one on you. There are new mask straps called Comfort straps from SCUBAPRO. They are made from a similar material to ski goggles, and they will not break. At some point, they will lose their elasticity, but again this should only happen at the start of a dive, and they are straightforward to change out.  

Now you are in the water, and you are turtle-backing to the point you are going to start your dive; it is cold; the seas are crap, and you are getting pushed around. You and your swim-buddy get to your start point as you are putting you mask on a penguin pops up out of the water. Your swim-buddy screams and throws his mask and it sinks to the bottom. He goes by the theory of (travel light and mooch) so he doesn’t have an extra mask. But you were taught to have an extra mask, so you give him yours. An excellent place to keep an extra mask is in an old M16 pouch on the belt that holds your rebreather to your waist. It is right at hand and easy to find in the dark. These are one of the best pouches ever made if it unbuckled anything inside won’t dump out. It was designed to hold three fully loaded 30round magazine upside down and not lose anything, even when unbuckled. I usually put a extra mask and fin strap in it.  

You can carry an extra mask or just the strap. If you are doing a longer dive and you have to cut back on the size of additional items, some people like to carry a smaller mask as their extra one. There are some excellent smaller masks out there. The Scubapro’s Steel Pro is a great mask if you need to carry something smaller. It uses the same comfort strap and can be tucked away in a small pocket without doing any harm to the skirts.  

Now let’s say you are on a dive. You are sent in to cut the steel net that will keep your submarines from getting into shore, and you come upon some other combat swimmers. They were sent out to stop you. While you are fighting underwater, you know with knives. In the heat of the battle, you lose your mask. So, once you win the fight (let’s hope you have been to underwater knife fight school) (if there is one, I am not saying there is) (I signed paperwork saying I wouldn’t talk about it). Now since you have an extra mask, you can pull it out and slap it on and go back to cutting the net. 


All kidding aside, having an extra mask and/or mask strap will make your life a lot better, something else you can put in there is some defog, that you can put on your mask if it keeps fogging or if you are putting your extra one on that hasn’t been treated. Again, this will make your life underwater a lot better. 



Jaws Spit is nice and thick and can be applied underwater, so it is ideal for use on a mask underwater, and it is small and can be kept in the same mag pouch as the extra mask. It is also good for use before the dive.


If you never have to use any of this stuff when you are underwater, you are a lucky person, but I hope you won’t take that chance, and you keep this stuff on you or make your swim buddy carry it. (travel light and mooch)

SCUBAPRO Sunday – Dry Suits

Sunday, January 5th, 2020

Now that is cold, I thought it would be good to share some information about Dry suits and Semi- Dry suit. David Rhea is a SCUBAPRO ambassador and one of the best explorer divers in the world. The videos are made to advertise SCUBAPRO gear but there is also some good information in them about how to properly wear and maintain your suits.

SCUBAPRO Sunday – Mask Maintenance

Sunday, December 29th, 2019

Your dive mask my not be your most expensive piece of kit, but it is the one piece of equipment that if you have problems with it, it will make for a very long dive. I like to say the dive mask is one of the most personal things every diver has. Even if you are issued all of your dive gear, from head to toe, a lot of people with go and buy their own masks. Great effort is put into finding and selecting the right kind of mask. I know a lot of people that would buy three or four of the same masks if they found one, they liked in the fear that they would never find one again. Which is even more reason to learn how to take properly care for your mask so that once you find that right mask, it serves you for a long time.

When you first buy your mask, you will have to clean it very well to make sure it doesn’t fog up all the time. This helps remove the tiny layer of oil that manufacturers coat the silicone surfaces of the mask with to protect the silicone in storage and shipping. What I like to do first is take some soft scrub without bleach and a light duty scrub pad to scrub all the stuff left in the mask from when it was made. I scrub the entire inside of the mask glass and rubber. After that I like to use a little bit of toothpaste and rub the inside glass surfaces and rubber. I just use my fingers for that part. Toothpaste can also be used when you need to clean a used mask from dirt, or oils from your head, suntan lotion etc. Gently rub the paste applying minimal pressure to clear both surfaces from any dirt or oils. The micro abrasive particles in toothpaste help clear dirt and oil from the microscopic dents and scratches that are on the surface of the mask.

To ensure that your mask remains scratch free, never lay it face-down on any surface. Sea salt, sand and dirt found on boats and piers will scratch the lens of your mask and permanently damage the viewing surfaces. Always place your dive mask face upwards when you are not wearing it. If you have to put it down, try and always put it on your fins or something that way you will always know where it is. Also ensuring your mask is transported in your dive bag inside its protective box this will prevent other items of equipment scratching it and it help if someone throws your bag. In the old days a day/night flare gray box with some holes in the lid made a great and cool mask box. Well maybe not great. But cool looking.

Always rinse your mask in clean, freshwater after each dive. Salt and grime attack the soft silicone in your mask causing it to degrade over time. Dry the mask thoroughly before putting it away for storage in a hard case. This will also help protect your mask in storage, if you do not clean your mask properly the oil on it from your skin will attract bugs(rotches). They will think it is food and try to eat it. It will look like dry rot, but it is bugs looking for a meal.  If you are between dives, keep your mask out of the sun and allow it to air out and dry (after you fresh water rise it).

One of the most important things to ensure your mask lasts a long time is to keep it out of contact with direct sunlight as much as possible. Sunlight and high temperatures attack the rubber and silicone of masks, turning the translucent soft silicone into a yellowing harder mass, that causes mask leaks and degradation over time. Mask bands and straps exposed to sunlight, form cracks and may break easily when stretched. SCUBAPRO has a lot of their masks adapted to use their comfort straps, it is very similar to a ski goggle strap and won’t break in the middle of a dive.

Always store your mask inside its case in a cool dark place. If you have a silica gel packet or desiccant, place this inside your mask case to keep the moisture at bay. Prolonged exposure to moisture will harm your mask and eat away at the silicone. While on a dive, ensure that when you are not using your mask, that you place it in a cool shaded area and away from the harsh sunlight.

There are more ways to clean a mask that I have not talked about, the reason is if you have never done it and you try it can ruin your mask. Like everything today, you can google how to clean dive mask and watch a video about it. I hope this will help you keep your favorite mask for a long time.

Zodiac Milpro Has Just Launched It’s New Website!

Saturday, December 21st, 2019

Visit for more information about our company and our solutions for military and professional users.

Zodiac Milpro is a manufacturer of military inflatable and rigid hull inflatable boats.  Well known throughout the world as the definitive Special Forces boat, Zodiac Milpro boats are used by more elite soldiers and sailors than any other craft worldwide.

All Zodiac Milpro inflatable boats destined for the US Military are Berry Amendment compliant and built in Stevensville, MD.  Zodiac Milpro also operates factories in Vancouver, British Columbia and Roses, Spain. 

Since 1896, Zodiac Milpro has been designing innovative products in the Military and Professional field for “those who work on the water”.

Zodiac Milpro has originated most of the major concepts that have driven the development of the modern inflatable boat since the 1930s. Since those early days, Zodiac Milpro has become the preferred manufacturer of inflatable and semi-rigid boats for Professional and Military applications.

SCUBAPRO Sunday – All Black Masks

Sunday, December 15th, 2019

For the past couple of years, SCUBAPRO has been working hard to have more user-friendly products for the military. SCUBAPRO has always been actively involved with the military especial since one of the founders of the company was a former UDT man in Korea. But we have renewed our commitment to making sure the military gets the best gear posable. Starting with some little things, like adding holes to the classic SCUBAPRO Jet Fins. We have two lines of Jet fins; one now comes with a hole in the blade to help you carry them when coming out of the water or on the back of your gear. The Jet Fins are still a favorite for combat swimmers around the world and have been for over 50 years. So, what else can you do to help update one of the most popular fins in the world? Well, you work with one of the best tactical gear companies to adapt one of their products to work with yours. The MATBOCK Skins are a multi-layer adhesive/fabric laminate designed to give the user the ability to camouflage any surface desired. The Skins are waterproof and oil resistant and can be reused multiple times. The skins are available for the SEAWING Nova’s and the Jet fins. They come in two colors Muti-Cam and International Orange. The Skins can be used for OTB, combat swimmer operations, and adding the Orange if it will help you be seen on SAR missions.

We have added a new subdued color to some of the best masks we have and also updated some to use our comfort strap system and Odin helmet strap system. The masks that have the new colors are the Spectra, Zoom, Synergy Twin Trufit, and the Flux Twin. All of these masks are also HUD compatible. You can now choose to use a comfort strap with it, and it can come with a HUD mount built into the mask.

The dual-lens Spectra offers a broad view and comfortable water-blocking seal. Its low volume design makes it is excellent for combat swimmers; this also allows for effortless clearing and provides maximum field of view. Ultra-Clear lenses are made from tempered glass for safety and long- term durability.  Universal skirt design is very comfortable and fits a variety of face shapes. Unique nose pocket design makes easy work of equalizing.

The Zoom is another low volume dual-lens mask that is ideal for all divers but, is especially well-suited to divers who use optical lenses. The mask has an innovative lens-change system that enables you to switch lenses yourself, without tools, in less than a minute. The mask also has an optional HUD hands-free dive computer mount adapter that attaches directly to the mask.

The Flux Twin is a low-volume dual-lens mask that comes with a robust and impact-resistant polycarbonate frame to withstand a lot of use and abuse. It is a little smaller than the Spectra. The hypoallergenic, silicone skirt features a double-feathered edge to provide a comfortable, watertight seal on a variety of face shapes.

The Synergy Twin benefits from SCUBAPRO’s second-generation Trufit technology. Unlike its predecessor, which featured a skirt made with uniformly thin silicone, the Synergy Twin Trufit features a skirt made of two thicknesses of silicone – thin and pliable where it touches the face for comfort and to ensure a watertight seal, and thicker near the mask frame for support and rigidity. It’s a compelling combination that delivers a comfortable fit for a wide range of face shapes as well as a reliable seal against water intrusion.

SCUBAPRO is always trying to innovate for the working divers and set the standard for new gear. The latest features for the Frameless/ Frameless Gorilla mask are the addition of the comfort strap adapter. They can be added onto existing masks, and this allows the user to add several new features to one of the most iconic masks ever made. We have new accessories for the classic Frameless mask. The latest version of the Frameless that is available with an integrated HUD Arm that allows you to mount the SCUBAPRO HUD hands-free dive compute.

You can also convert the Frameless with quick clip adapters so you can use the comfort straps and even the Odin Helmet Straps. Again, SCUBAPRO has partnered with a leader in the Tactical Gear Industry. Ops-Core is the primer brand when it comes to helmet innovation. The Odin system allows any mask with quick clips to be attached to any helmet that has the Ops-Core ARC rail systems. The Odin straps are perfect for any time you have to wear a helmet when diving or in the water. Like diving a DPV, Wearing Jet-boots, Search and Rescue Operations or working in Fast Moving Water. The Comfort Strap is similar to a ski goggle strap in design. It clips right into the mask buckle adapter and offers a wide adjustment range. It also is a lot less likely to break mid-dive as it is a nylon strap and not rubber or silicone. The adapter also makes the mask non-magnetic for EOD use, as it removes all metal parts.

Frameless with quick-release buckles QR kit PN 24.340.039

The SCUBAPRO Odin Helmet strap system features two mask straps fitted with the Ops-Core goggle swivel clip and shoe rail adapters. It will fit all Ops-Core helmets, or any helmet equipped with an ARC rail. It will fit any SCUBAPRO mask that has quick clips. Odin Helmet straps (part number 24.815.100)

For more information, please contact SCUBAPRO Global Military/ Government manager.

SCUBAPRO Sunday – Drinking Saltwater

Sunday, November 24th, 2019

I know most people will never be on a boat that sinks and be in the situation, whereas they would have to try and survive by drinking saltwater. First, don’t drink saltwater it will kill you. But there might come a time that you are on are out in the field for a long time, and you have to find water, and its either get it from the ocean or possible from a river or swap that has brackish water (half salt/ half fresh). The best method is to have a pump with you that can be used for saltwater. It will be a lot of work pumping saltwater and turning it into fresh is a lot of work for a little reward. There is also a way to get clean water out of saltwater that uses a leaching method that you can fill and forget. HTI uses Osmosis is the natural diffusion of water through a semi-permeable membrane from a solution containing a low concentration of dissolved solids to a solution having a higher level of dissolved solids. When it comes to the best method for you that depends on the situation, I am going to talk about a few different techniques and also suggest a few things you can just buy and keep around.



Getting salt out of seawater requires the following essential components. It doesn’t matter what you do to accomplish this, but they should be as clean as posable.

1. Method of evaporation

2. Something to catch condensation

3. A way to collect the condensation back into a substantial container.

There are a lot of things you can use to accomplish this, and during a real survival situation, knowing the necessary actions will go a long way. You should always carry the right items, so if you find yourself in this situation, it will make it a lot easier. All of this will go a long way and could save your life. You should always have items to purify water on your boat because you never know what will happen. You can have this in your boat, and if you need it, it is there.


Above is a basic Solar still, you can even just put a plastic bag on green vegetation and collect water that way.

This can be accomplished with a poncho also. Beach well. Along the coast, obtain water by digging a beach well. If you are near a beach you can go back on the beach or inland a little bit and dig a beach well, let it fill with water and drain it at least three times before you drink it. It should be boiled or treated.


There was an 18year old kid from Indonesia that survived 49 days on a tiny fishing boat, and he used his clothes to filter the water thru to make it (more) drinkable. He used his cotton shirt and drank the water thru it. Some studies have shown that filtering water through a sari, is a garment that is commonly worn by women in the Indian subcontinent, can significantly increase its potability. In 2003, scientists discovered that filtering water from rivers and ponds in Bangladesh through a folded piece of cotton cloth taken from a sari cut the risk of infection with cholera by half. Interestingly, they noted that old fabric makes for a better filter than new material because the pore size of loose threads is smaller.

In a follow-up study in 2015, researchers found that a filter made of four layers of worn cotton material could filter out more than 99 percent of all cholera bacteria.

One of the biggest things to remember in a survival situation is, do not eat if you don’t have water. If you have water available to you, you should try and filter it as much as possible. But if it comes to, I am going to die if I don’t drink the water. Well, most survival experts say to drink it. (that only counts for freshwater not water with salt in it) When you are rescued, a lot of what you can get from drinking bad water can be treated.