Michael Aw Photo Gallery

Michael Aw, who has published several popular books of his photography, provides a bonus photo gallery of his images.

Program Spotlight: Return to Diving Initiative

After taking time away from diving, whether for a few months or even longer, divers should assess several essential factors to help them safely get back in the water. DAN’s new Return to Diving initiative is a comprehensive, practical guide developed by dive medicine physicians, scientists and researchers to provide the knowledge needed to make informed decisions. The guide contains six sections, each with detailed step-by-step instructions and tips. Topics include issues stemming from inactivity, your health status, fitness to dive, equipment, dive skills and travel plans.

Thunder Bay Photo Gallery

Becky Kagan Schott provides a photo gallery of images from the shipwreck destination of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Lake Huron.

Engine room of the Norman at Thunder Bay

DAN Dispatch: DAN Safety Services

The newly reorganized DAN Safety Services department combines the prevention focus of our risk mitigation efforts with the incident-response aspect of our first aid courses and safety products. Everyone in the dive industry — students, divers, and dive professionals and operators — can access DAN’s wealth of educational, training and safety product options to help keep themselves and their fellow divers safe.

DAN Safety Services focuses on incident prevention and incident response.

An Insider’s Guide to Roatán

Located in the Bay Islands of Honduras, Roatán is a tropical gem nestled in the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. The largest of the Bay Islands, Roatán sits about 30 miles off the Honduran coast between Utila and Guanaja. Its fringing reef system makes up the southernmost edge of the Mesoamerica Reef (the world’s second-largest reef system) and is arguably Roatán’s biggest attraction.

Swarms of silversides often appear in certain caves and swim-throughs in the summer.

Lessons Learned While Lost at Sea

A DAN member shares lessons learned while lost at sea for many hours after being carried far from the dive site by currents. It’s important to stay calm and bring your own safety gear such as a surface marker buoy. Before leaving on a trip, establish good physical fitness and always let someone know where you are and when to expect you. Understand the risks, be proactive about your safety, and don’t ignore red flags about the dive operator.

lighthouse in the distance with turbulent waves in the fore ground

Operation Rising Sun

The story of the search for the Japanese submarine I-52 is one of two discoveries separated by time and purpose. In the dark of night in the Atlantic Ocean in 1944, U.S. Navy anti-submarine ships searched for a clandestine meeting between German and Japanese naval crews. Operating on captured intelligence, they sought to surprise and sink the two submarines. Half a century later, the I-52 still rested undiscovered on the seafloor, but this time the search was in the dark of the deep ocean in pursuit of possibility, not destruction.

anti-aircraft guns still point skyward on the wreck of the I-52

Hazards in Wreck Diving

Shipwrecks lure divers as much as they attract the sea life surrounding them. The spectacle of life on a wreck, an ecosystem unto itself, is often the main attraction for divers. Nearly every ocean, sea and lake holds a world of shipwreck exploration for advanced open-water divers. Each lost ship, submarine, airplane and even the odd locomotive is a time capsule waiting for an underwater explorer to visit and photograph. Never venture inside a shipwreck until you have advanced wreck-dive training from a certified, qualified dive training professional.

Swimming through a wreck with good trim, buoyancy and finning technique is essential.

Aw Inspired

Michael Aw’s early life while growing up in Singapore — he didn’t see the ocean until age 17 — gave few clues that he would one day become one of the most influential print journalists in destination diving and ocean conservation. The author of or major contributor to 43 books, Aw created Ocean Geographic magazine in 2007 and also leads expeditions, often to exotic regions. He now hopes to raise awareness of the folly of shark-finning and the overexploitation of our marine resources.

Silky sharks often congregate at the edge of the continental dropoff at Jardines de la Reina.

DCS in Cozumel

Our checkout dive was easy, with a maximum depth of 75 feet for 50 minutes. The current was slight, and the visibility was spectacular — an ideal first dive. It closed with a nice, slow ascent and a three-minute safety stop. When we returned to the boat, I felt a sudden tingling in my right foot followed by a dull ache in my knee. I assumed the worst, thinking I had decompression sickness (DCS). When I reviewed the dive in my mind, however, that seemed impossible.

Staff members monitor and communicate with patients at the Costamed chamber.