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In this episode we discuss scuba tank visual inspections, age and diving, Sea Hunt – the other pilot episode
We learn early on in our training that there are two different types of inspections for scuba tanks – hydrostatic (every 5 years) and the annual visual inspection. Only the hydrostatic test is mandated in the US by the US DOT. The visual inspection is a scuba industry standard. It all came about in the 1970s in response to a study conducted by the University of Rhode Island on behalf of the National Underwater Accident Data Center titled Investigation of scuba cylinder corrosion – phase 1. The findings were powerful enough for our industry to self-regulate on this critical safety inspection.
As we grow older, we are not able to do some of the same physical things that we did in our youth. Diving should not be one of those things. There is a chapter in The Complete Diver by Dr. Alex Brylske that discusses age and diving. There is some great info in this chapter along with the reference to a study published in 2003 that shows that age does not dramatically impact diving as long as we stay physically fit.
Mark of the Octopus was actually the first episode of Sea Hunt that was ever produced. It was a pilot episode used to try and sell the show to networks or syndicators. We are introduced again to Mike Nelson fresh out of the Navy, his boat, and the gadgets like an underwater TV camera. Mike is working again for Marine Land of the Pacific at the start of the show. When two divers go missing he is hired by a mining company to find them. One of the divers turns up dead with octopus like marks on his leg but Mike is skeptical and turns out he is right. Underwater fights, spear guns, regulator hose cuts, feeding eels, capturing porpoise, trying to catch a manta ray make this a must see episode.