Snorkeling with Irukandji Jellyfish Kills Five Tourists at Great Barrier Reef

A British tourist has died on a trip to the Great Barrier Reef after swimming in an area suspected to be plagued by killer jellyfish.

The 63-year-old man, who has not been named, was killed during a snorkeling trip at Moore Reef– 25 miles off the coastline of Cairns, in Queensland, Australia. He is believed to have been just feet away from the reef pontoon when he had a heart attack clinging to a safety ring.

A rescue helicopter was sent but emergency response crewmembers could not revive the man.

His death came the same day a 43-year-old woman was rushed to hospital by helicopter to Cairns Hospital in a critical condition after being pulled from the water off Green Island unconscious.

The incidents have heightened suspicions of attacks by Irukandji jellyfish in the area, one of the world’s most venomous creatures.

On Jan. 30, three children suffered suspected Irukandji stings off nearby Fitzroy Island, just under 20 miles from Moore Reef.


Last month, several beaches in the area, including Three Cairns beach, were closed to the public following sightings of the jellyfish.

This is the fifth death in the last three months at the Great Barrier Reef.

In November, two French tourists died only minutes apart when they were snorkeling. Their deaths were followed by that of 60-year-old British scuba diver David Lowe from Sheffield, who was found on the ocean floor during a holiday with his wife.

At the time, cardiologist Dr. Ross Walker told ABC News, “I think it’s highly likely they were stung by Irukandji. Irukandji are the size of your little fingernail, they’re very small, you can’t see them.

“Let’s look at the fact and probability. It’s highly unlikely that two people are going to die within minutes of each other just because they’ve got underlying medical conditions.”

Professor Jamie Seymour said, “Because the water temperature has increased, it allows them to go further and further south.”

This story originally appeared on The Sun.

Obama Snorkeling with Sea Turtles off Hawaii

ABC’s World News Tonight closed out the show Monday evening with a spotlight on President Barack Obama snorkeling off the coast of Hawaii for the National Geographic Channel. Anchor David Muir could barely contain his joy as he led into his report. “Finally tonight here, President Obama taking a dive in a place he helped protect,” he stated, while sounding elated.

“They’re images unlike anything we have seen before,” hyped Muir, “A sitting president snorkeling in open waters.” The location the president was swimming in was Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. The president expanded the size of the protected monument area through an executive order back in August of 2016.

According to LiveScience, the president expanded the area “after Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), along with conservationists and marine scientists, urged the president to protect the region’s waters and marine life.” “The monument is now 582,578 square miles … an area more than twice the size of Texas,” they added.

Muir was completely enamored with Obama’s remembrance of his mother, “It’s a place he grew up with, a place he told the magazine that, along with his mother, helped shape his love of nature.” “She’s the kind of person who would wake me up to see a full moon if it was particularly spectacular. Yeah, so I give her a lot of credit,” Obama told NatGeo.

“11 days before the next president, the current one and a question he’s often asked,” Muir coyly fawned:

People always ask, “Why do I stay calm in the midst of crazy stuff going on?” Well, I always tell people, I think part of it’s being born in Hawaii and knowing what it’s like to jump into the ocean and understanding what it means when you see a sea turtle in the face of a wave.

The president’s interview was a part of a National Geographic Channel documentary titled “Sea of Hope.” The program also highlights the discovery of a new fish species, which had been named after the president. Tosanoides Obama is its scientific name, but it’s also known as the “hope fish.”

While ABC and Muir were swooning for Obama snorkeling in the calm waters off the coast of Hawaii, they were turning a blind-eye to the turbulent waters of the Strait of Hormuz where the USS Mahan was harassed by Iranian boats and was forced to fire warning shots.


The President of the United States, Barack Obama arriving on Midway Atoll Midway on September 1, 2016 to commemorate his use of the Antiquities Act to expand the boundaries of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.
The President gave interviews to National Geographic Magazine writer Craig Welch and to Dr. Sylvia Earle, National Geographic Explorer in Residence.


Channel Islands National Park Resets Guided Kayaking and Snorkeling Tours

A 10-year concessions contract has been granted to the Santa Barbara Adventure Co. to lead kayaking tours and snorkeling tours at Channel Islands National Park/Patrick Cone

Much of the beauty and wildlife protected within Channel Islands National Park can only be seen from the water, and soon, guided sea kayaking and snorkeling tours will be available at Santa Cruz Island without a reservation for the first time.

The park gave Santa Barbara Adventure Company a 10-year concessions contract to run guided sea kayak tours, snorkel equipment rentals, guided snorkel tours, and limited convenience item sales at Scorpion Anchorage on Santa Cruz Island. The company, doing business as Channel Islands Adventure Company, has provided guided sea kayak services for more than 18 years and has operated in Channel Islands National Park since 2007.

“This is a significant step towards improving visitor access and enjoyment,” Superintendent Russell Galipeau said in a release. “The contract will, for the first time in the park’s history, afford visitors the opportunity for guided kayak and snorkel tours on the island, with no prior reservations needed.”

The park’s 2015 General Management Plan directed the transition of the Scorpion Area Kayak Guide Service from a limited, commercial-use permit to a concessions contract. Scorpion Anchorage is a Marine Protected Area and part of NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.

“To be selected by the NPS is a huge triumph,” Santa Barbara Adventure Company owner/director Michael Cohen said on the company’s blog. “We are excited to be able to continue to bring school groups, veterans, and travelers from all over the world to our beloved national park.”

The new contract will take effect on March 1. Details of tours are available at Santa Barbara Adventure Company’s website.


Along with Scuba Diving, Try These Ocean Sports!

If your idea of a great vacation involves adventure, adrenaline, and taking a break from the ordinary, then the Caribbean islands are calling your name. While the region’s pristine white sand beaches and turquoise waters tend to call to mind images of lounging on the beach with a colorful cocktail in hand, the islands are also a playground for adventure sports enthusiasts.

We’ve teamed up with global cruise line Royal Caribbean to highlight eight unforgettable adventure sports that are sure to make your next island getaway nothing short of epic. Whether you’re an experienced thrill seeker or a newbie adventurer, you don’t want to miss these experiences on your next Caribbean vacation.

  • JMichl via Getty Images

    Brushing up on your superhero skills? You’ll want to add kiteboarding to your arsenal of adventure sports. Blending elements of windsurfing and wakeboarding, kiteboarding traces its origins all the way back to China circa the 13th century, when sails were used to propel travelers’ canoes. Several centuries and technical innovations later, kiteboarding today ranks among the most exhilarating sports, with its combination of high-speed surfing and serious airtime for jumps and tricks. While the sport requires a certain amount of physical fitness to operate the kite and board, beginners can get the hang of it by taking a lesson taught by a local expert.

    With its smooth cross-shore trade winds and warm waters, Barbados offers great kiteboarding for all levels. There are several kiteboarding schools located around the island, and beginners will do well at the sheltered Freights-Bay, while experienced kiteboarders will love the wavy conditions at Silver Rock and Long Beach.

  • arrowsg via Getty Images

    Taking sci-fi dreams to new heights, the flyboard is a techie thrill seeker’s dream come true. Powered by pressurized water connected by hose to a nearby jetski, flyboards let their riders soar more than 25 feet above the water—and even dive below the surface and shoot back up, superhero-style. Marty McFly would be proud.

    Give the see-it-to-believe-it sport a try in St. Maarten, where the protected waters of Simpson Bay provide a great backdrop for trying your hand at flying. Check out Flyboard St. Maarten for rentals and lessons, and make sure someone in your crew is positioned onshore to take lots of pictures of your crazy feats. After soaring high above Simpson Bay, be sure to wander through the colorful, busy streets and sample the delicious French and Creole flavors that define St. Maarten’s cuisine.

  • David Neil Madden via Getty Images

    There’s just something undeniably cool about surfing. In 1778, Captain James Cook recorded the first written description of the sport. He described a surfer as someone with the “most supreme pleasure while he was driven so fast and smoothly by the seas.” While mastering the art of surfing takes balance and practice, even beginners can experience the supreme pleasure of catching a wave along the many surf-friendly beaches in the Caribbean.

    Gentle trade winds, miles of pristine coastline and hundreds of offshore reefs: Puerto Rico is home to world-class surf that attracts professional wave riders from around the globe. There are also plenty of spots mere mortals will be able to surf too, located near charming beach towns like Rincon and Aguadilla. Rent a board, book a lesson, and get ready to hang ten.

  • ICHIRO via Getty Images

    If flyboarding or surfing feels a little too risky for your crew, try parasailing: a great alternative for kids and anyone who may not be an athlete, but still wants an ocean adventure. Parasailing is the equivalent of a great beach day with an even better view: you and your companion will be strapped into a harness on the back of a small boat and then rise high above the ocean waves as a colorful parachute propels you forward. There are plenty of ways to experience the underwater adventures of the Caribbean, but parasailing is the best way to take in a truly unique bird’s-eye view of the stunning scenery.

    The lush natural beauty of St. Kitts makes a perfect vista for parasailing. Take in the natural beauty of this mountain island as well as historic sites like Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, a former British fortress now preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • 4FR via Getty Images

    Stand up paddleboarding (SUP) is perfect for those eager to put their upper body strength and balance to the test. SUP is quite a core workout even in flat waters. If you’ve mastered your balance on the board, try a yoga session at sea. The budding sport combines yoga sequences with the fluidity of the water for a balance-enhancing workout.

    Aruba is a great place to try SUP and SUP yoga. Check out the calm waters of Palm Beach for rental options and great conditions to practice your balance. Once you’ve mastered your downward seadog, celebrate at one of the plentiful bars and restaurants along the west side of the island.

  • 4FR via Getty Images

    Combining elements of water skiing, surfing and snowboarding, wakeboarding is all about balance. Riding on a short board towed behind a motorboat, wakeboarders can catch impressive air by leaping over the waves while performing spins and tricks. Newbies can just enjoy the thrill of getting up on the board and zooming past the shoreline.

    Wakeboard rental shops can be found on several Caribbean islands, and you can’t go wrong catching some air along the coast of St. Lucia. With its stunning volcanic beaches and the twin peaks of the Pitons as your backdrop, there’s no shortage of postcard-worthy landscapes to take in as you cruise behind your guide boat. Beginners will get the hang of wakeboarding techniques with a quick lesson before grabbing the tow rope.

  • Antonio Busiello / robertharding via Getty Images

    Scuba divers love the Caribbean, and for good reason. From warm waters ideal for coral reefs to thrive to the hundreds of species of marine life that make their home in these incredible underwater environments, scuba divers will feel like kids in a candy shop amongst the Caribbean’s many reefs. And while certification requires divers to master the sport’s breathing techniques and complete about five offshore dives, the effort is well worth it.

    Head to Honduras for some of the world’s best dive sites. Located 30 miles off the coast, the Honduran island of Roatan boasts some of the most diverse coral reefs in the whole Caribbean. From undulating sea fans to giant barrel sponges to turtles, stingrays and even sharks, a dive into the shallow reefs along Roatan is an unforgettable experience.

  • cdwheatley via Getty Images

    Originally created thousands of years ago by Eskimos for hunting and fishing expeditions, modern kayaks let you get up close and personal with aquatic life. Nearly anyone can paddle around calm waters in a kayak, making it a perfect entry-level sport for new adventurers and families. Just sit down, grab your paddle and life jacket, and off you go!

    The pristine coastline of Curacao is a perfect spot for your crew to kayak. From bay tours that take you to great snorkel locations to kayak trips through the Spanish Water (Curacao’s largest lagoon), there’s no shortage of stunning sites to take in as you skim along the water’s surface. Or try a night kayak tour to experience the thrill of the ocean by moonlight!


Get your adrenaline pumping and make your next island vacation unforgettable by trying a new sport. Royal Caribbean is the only cruise line with ships that feature FlowRider surf simulators, zip lines, rock climbing walls and even RipCord® by iFLY® sky-diving simulators for an endless array of memorable onboard experiences! Royal Caribbean is the perfect choice for thrill seekers looking to take their travels to the next level, so book your next awe-inspiring adventure by visiting today.

Indonesian Reefs are being harmed by diving and snorkeling according to

Diving and snorkeling contribute to coral reef damage according to research by the Bogor Institute of Agriculture (IPB).

The study, conducted at Panggang Island in the Thousand Islands regency between April and June 2013, found that diving and snorkeling in the area had destroyed 7.57 percent and 8.2 percent of coral reefs per year, respectively due to divers or snorkelers who kicked, stepped on, touched or took the coral.

WWF Indonesia marine and fisheries campaign coordinator Dwi Aryo Tjiptohandono said that the main cause of damage to the reefs was the amateur divers’ inability to float and irresponsible divers who took coral for souvenirs.

(Read also: Guide to visiting Raja Ampat for first-timers)

According to a recent report by kompas.comvandalized coral reefs were also found in Raja Ampat in West Papua. An Australian who lives in the area, Doug Meikle, uploaded three photographs on Stay Raja Ampat’s Facebook account, which showed three areas of damage.

Meikle said that this vandalism was not the only thing that was destroying Raja Ampat’s coral reefs. Live-aboard anchors were said to be responsible as well. “[The live-aboard anchors] are even worse than the vandalism,” he said.

The head of the underwater tourism acceleration program, Cipto Aji Gunawan, said that the Tourism Ministry would revoke the license of dive operators who were involved in damaging the reefs.

Scuba Diving Dinner?

Pulling on their scuba gear and flippers at a swimming pool in Brussels, Nicolas Mouchart and his wife Florence are not just going diving – they’re going out for dinner.

Lowering themselves to the floor of the pool, an especially deep one built to train scuba divers, they swim to one end where their restaurant awaits, five meters (16 feet) below the surface.

“The Pearl” is a two-meter wide white sphere tethered close to the pool’s floor. The diners jettison their weighted belts before swimming underneath and up into the pod that looks like a cross between a lunar landing craft and a giant spaceman’s helmet.

Food is served by expert scuba divers who deliver foie gras, lobster salad and champagne in waterproof cases before leaving the diners peering out of the portholes, enjoying the strange tranquillity of eating in an air pocket, completely submerged.

“We are launching a new era of restaurants,” said John Beernaerts, who founded the NEMO33 pool in the Belgian capital a decade ago.

The restaurant, where an underwater meal costs 99 euros ($106) per person, took more than a year to build and multiple attempts were needed to perfect the design, mechanics and food delivery system.

“It was a wonderful experience,” said Mouchart, 41, his hair still wet after the return swim through the warm – 33 degrees Celsius (91 Fahrenheit) – water to the pool side.

“It was the first time in our life that we ate underwater, which was really fun. It’s a unique dinner and we will remember this all our life.”


Royal Caribbean Cruise Line Handing Out Scuba Certifications


Royal Caribbean is now the only cruise line out there with onboard Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) Five Star Dive Centers, where guests can become certified scuba divers as part of their cruise vacation.

Program Details

Royal Caribbean’s partnership with PADI offers a range of programs; from a 30-minute Try Dive program ($29) for those who just want to get their feet wet, to PADI’s Reactivate Program for certified divers who want a refresher ($59).  Those who want to center their vacation on diving can enroll in the Open Water Diver course to earn their complete certification, which starts at $599 per person.

The course begins at home, with an online course that will ultimately leave more time for actual scuba diving while on the cruise.  Once on the high seas, divers will test the waters in the ship’s pool before heading out to complete the four mandatory, open-water training dives in some of the world’s most beautiful waters.  The training dives will be split among two ports, and upon returning home guests will be certified divers that will be able to plan and execute dives on their own.

How to Book

Guests can book their PADI course before boarding through the Cruise Planner, or while onboard at one of the PADI Five Star Dive Centers found on ten ships across the fleet: Oasis-class, Freedom-class, and Voyager-class ships, as well as Anthem of the Seas.

Featured photo: Flickr Creative Commons

Florida Scuba Diving Sculptures

It’s not every day you get to flipper-kick your way through the staterooms of a sunken ship and gaze at artwork while you’re at it. But for scuba divers who visit Fort Lauderdale, it’s as simple as paying a visit to the Lady Luck, an underwater art exhibit located off the coast of Pompano Beach.

It’s the latest addition to Shipwreck Park Pompano, a cluster of shipwrecks off the coast of Pompano Beach. The centerpiece is the Lady Luck, a 324-foot tanker vessel built in 1967 that was sunk off Pompano Beach on July 23, 2016.

As divers swim in and around the ship (which is as long as a football field), they are treated to underwater artwork created by local artist Dennis MacDonald. We’re talking poker tables, “card sharks,” slot machines on the ship’s deck, a cascade of gigantic dice, starfish and an octopus dealing craps.

All make for great scuba selfies.


We offer 24/7 dedicated support

If you need assistance with your order, do not hesitate to contact us.

Got Question? Call us 24/7

(855) 683-7476


Sign up for newsletter

Copyright © 2022 All Rights Reserved.

Add to cart