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Field use report from Galveston Island Beach Patrol/Park Board Police Dept

Over this past summer season, Ocean Care Solutions, Inc. provided Chief Peter Davis and supervising staff from the Galveston Island Beach Patrol/Park Board Police Dept. (www.galvestonbeachpatrol.com) with our Stingray and Man o War Sting First Aid Kits.

Here is the e mail OCS received from Chief Davis…

We did get to use the product quite a bit, although we used saline to wash the area as opposed to vinegar, thus following the recommendations of the USLA and medical protocols set by our medical director. People really seemed to respond well to it. They liked the packaging and the way it is a self contained treatment that they could potentially carry with them “just in case”.

Hope things are good with you. We had a fairly easy season as far as stings go, but enough for all of our supervisors to be able to use the product.

Take care,
Peter

Chief Peter Davis
Galveston Island Beach Patrol/Park Board Police Dept

Sea Urchins..what you need to know..

Sea urchins (class Echinoidea) are animals with a round, rigid skeleton (test) made of interlocking calcite plates. The test is hollow inside, containing its various organs, and covered with lots of spines on the outside. They belong to a bigger group of animals called the spiny-skinned animals (phylum Echinodermata – “echino” roughly means “spiny”; “derma” roughly means “skin”). Examples of other echinoderms include sea stars, sea cucumbers, and feather stars.

long-spined sea urchin (Diadema setosum)

The spines can come in various forms – long or short, smooth or rough, sharp or blunt. They not only help the sea urchin to move, but deter predators as well. Some sea urchins are venomous, and hence it’s a good habit not to pick up any of them. The venom may be delivered by the spines or tiny stalk-like structures with biting jaws called “pedicellariae”.

Like other echinoderms, sea urchins generally have a five-part body plan with radial symmetry (i.e. pentaradial symmetry), at least in some stage of life. In other words, you can divide a sea urchin into 5 equal parts. Also, they are able to regenerate lost body parts – such as spines lost to predators. Echinoderms are brainless, but despite that, they can still perform their daily functions – they can move, they can eat, they can shit, and they can reproduce – all these without a brain! Also, instead of blood vessels, echinoderms have a water vascular system. This system is essentially a network of water-filled vessels used for internal transportation of oxygen, food and waste.

Salmacis

The mouth of a sea urchin is on its underside, comprising five elongated vertical jaws held together in a structure known as the Aristotle’s lantern. Sea urchins generally feed on algae and seagrasses, though some may scavenge. The anus is on the top side.

There are two main groups of sea urchins: the regular sea urchins with spherical tests; and irregular sea urchins with more flattened tests that are bilaterally symmetrical. The former generally lacks the Aristotle’s lantern as well. Interestingly, the regular sea urchins are usually found in seagrass meadows and coral reefs, while the irregular sea urchins are typically burrowers in sandy substrates. In Singapore, more than 20 species of sea urchins have been recorded.

If you step on one of these animals, be sure to have along our Sea Urchin First Aid Kit..it’s not just hot wax any more..Our kit has everything you need to provide first aid for an urchin wound..

Article and photo courtesy of Ron Yeo www.tidechaser.blogspot.com

Lion's Mane Jellyfish..the largest animal species

The Lion’s Mane that live in the northern parts of the Earth’s globe usually are the biggest sea animals and can reach some big measures, but most of the specie inhabiting the northern seas and oceans usually reach to 50-60cm in body diameter and the tentacles of the larger ones usually reach up to 30m. in length. The Lion’s mane jellyfish has very sticky tentacles which are grouped into eight clusters and each of those clusters contains more than 100 tentacles which are set in rows.

The bodies of the Lion’s mane jellyfish are shaped like a star with eight points. Lion’s mane jellyfishes change their color depending on their age. For instance the old ones are usually dark purple while the younger ones have a light orange – dark yellow color.

The main residence of the Lion’s mane jellyfish is near the ocean surface. It’s rather rare when they go under 20m depth. The main way they move is by using water currents and wind, but they can also move on their own using body pulsations to go forward. Lion’s mane jellyfish can be seen mainly in the end of summer and autumn when the flocks in which they move increase in size and they get moved near the coast by water currents.

However despite their big size their sting isn’t fatal. There hasn’t been a reported case in which a person has died, because of a sting from a Lion’s mane jellyfish. But of course if you get stung by such a jellyfish you should consider visiting a doctor as quickly as possible, because you will be feeling some strong pain and the place where you got stung will change its color to red.

OCS Jellyfish Sting Relief Solution is proven effective on the Lion’s Mane along with a number of marine stingers.  Don’t get stung without it !!

Ocean Care Solutions Dedicates a Portion of 2012 On Line Sales Profits in support of Disabled Veteran Scuba Organization

Soldiers Undertaking Disabled SCUBA (SUDS) is a Charitable and educational nonprofit corporation formed for the purpose of bettering the lives of disabled veterans through participation in SCUBA diving.

“I can think of no better way for our company to show our appreciation to disable vets than to support such an incredible organization like S.U.D.S.”

Ocean Care Solutions is a company specializing in the development, distribution and sales of marine sting first aid kits and jellyfish sting relief spray designed to provide safe and proven effective pain relief supported by medical and marine science first aid protocols for marine envenomations. Kevin Freeman, OCS President and a dive enthusiast, immediately realized his company was in an ideal position to actively support our nation’s disabled veterans through product support and sales profit donations.

“My family has always supported our veterans in some form or another over the years since my brother first served with the 101st Airborne in Viet Nam in 1967-68. He spent 23 years in the service and retired as a Sargent Major, U.N.Command, 8th Army, Seoul, Korea so veteran’s affairs became a way of life for our family. I can think of no better way for our company to show our appreciation to disable vets than to support such an incredible organization like S.U.D.S.”.

Soldiers Undertaking Disabled Scuba (SUDS) at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) in Bethesda, MD is designed to help improve the lives of injured service members returning from Iraq & Afghanistan. By training the warriors in a challenging & rewarding activity it can help facilitate the rehabilitation process & promote mobility. Offering this venue provides the service member with a sport they can enjoy throughout their life. S.U.D.S., established in 2007, is a Charitable and educational nonprofit corporation formed for the purpose of bettering the lives of disabled veterans through participation in SCUBA diving ( SUDS is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization & a chapter of Disabled Sports USA ).

S.U.D.S. honors our disabled vets by sharing their passion for the sport of SCUBA diving and to enable our participants to experience the challenges, exhilaration, and sense of accomplishment and wonder that they may find in an aquatic environment. We encourage our participants to enjoy life, to share in the camaraderie that SUDS has to offer while developing a lifelong interest in diving. “Our participants can accomplish extraordinary things regardless of their disabilities and the SUDS program gives them an opportunity to prove it to themselves,” according to the SUDS mission statement.

“Our plan is pretty simple,” according to Freeman, “we will donate $1 from the on-line sale of any of our fine marine sting products this year while providing the organization with the product they need.” Freeman went on to say, “we hope to expand this program for years and eventually to retailers but for now, anything we sell from our site, we will be honored to donate to this worthy cause. I would also like to encourage any and every one to support this organization directly at http://www.suds.org whether you need our product or not. Anything helps and your support brings a great deal of joy.”

Ocean Care Solutions’ offers a full line of marine sting first aid products, including their Portuguese Man o’ War, Stingray, Sea Urchin and Fire Coral first aid kits as well as a specially formulated, medically supported 5% acetic acid Jellyfish Sting Relief Solution. Each product was rigorously tested to ensure delivery of the most effective, medically supported first aid. Each kit is fully equipped with every thing necessary to provide pain relief, water proof, light weight with very easy to use directions.

For more information, visit our site at http://www.oceancaresolutions.com. You can also find Ocean Care on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/OceanCareSolutions.OCS.

Join Ocean Care Solutions support of Soldiers Undertaking Underwater Scuba

Join Ocean Care Solutions in supporting SUDS..Soldiers Undertaking Disabled Scuba..OCS will donate $1 for every marine sting product sold on line (www.oceancaresolutions.com) to this great cause..Or go to www.suds.org and make your tax deductible donation directly..Our veterans deserve our support in any way we can so please take the time to help…Every one wins when you do..Thank You…

http://video.today.msnbc.msn.com/today/40132598#40132598

Stalked Jellyfish..A strange mixture of Crinoid and Sea Anemone

Image: Wikipedia

Stalked Jellyfish? What? It may seem strange but there really is such a thing as a jellyfish with a stalk. They have abandoned the usual life of swimming with the sea’s most graceful wobble and have instead opted to attach themselves to the floor and stay there.

The 50 or so species of Staurozoa range between a few millimetres to 15 cm in height. Most come from cold, coastal environments in the northern hemisphere, but some explorers find themselves around Antarctica and the biggest ones come from the deep sea.

Image: California Academy of Sciences

Their affinity to the floor starts right at the beginning. You might remember how jellyfish start outas a tiny planula that swims using hair-like cilia. Stalked Jellyfish are similar, except their planula have no cilia and creep along the ground like a slug. There’ll be no care-free drifting for them, they got to get to work finding a nice site to set up home.

Their usual place of residence are stones, algae, eelgrass and the like. The planula attaches itself and grows into a polyp just like the usual jellyfish. But they don’t go through strobilation, where the polyp segments into a stack of tiny jellyfish. Instead, the whole polyp matures into an adult and remains attached to their surface.

Image: California Academy of Sciences

They end up as a strange mixture of Crinoid and Sea Anemone. They have 8 arms, each tipped with a pom-pom of tentacles for catching small crustaceans. The whole creature looks like quite a nice, decorative goblet, or you could turn it around and turn it into a fancy light fitting. Or maybe just leave it where it is. Up to you.

Just like Sea Anemones they can slowly slide along the floor to find better situations, but some of them have sticky tentacles so that they can somersault their way to pastures new. Some even have to do this because the youngsters live on algae that can’t actually support their weight when they approach adulthood. You wouldn’t have thought a jellyfish could have an adolescence full of difficult upheavals, but they have managed to find a way.

Image: California Academy of Sciences

Reproduction is achieved by the tried and true method of chucking all your stuff out and letting them get on with it. For such lovely little flowers as these I’m willing to consider it some kind of “sea-swept pollination”, but just this once and only because it’s you.

 

Article courtesy of realmonstosities.com

Dive adventure with S.U.D.S…Soldier's Undertaking Disabled Scuba

Blog courtesy of Mike Gerken..Mike is a professional dive boat captain, underwater photographer/videographer and writer who promotes his work through his company, Evolution Underwater Imaging. In this blog, follow Mike’s underwater exploits, view his newest works and get the latest news on marine conservation issues.

Please join Ocean Care Solutions in supporting this great cause..For every OCS marine sting product sold on line, we will donate $1.00 to this great cause or go to www.suds.org and make your tax deductible donation directly..Every one wins when you do..Thank You..!!

SUDS divers from left to right Joe Yantz, Shane Heath, John Doherty, Matt
White, Tyler Anderson and Dave McRaney. (photo courtesy of Danny Fachiola)

SUDS or Soldiers Undertaking Disabled SCUBA is a 501(c) 3 non-for-profit organization and chapter of the Wounded Warrior / Disabled Sports Project founded by the Midnight Express’svery own first mate, John Thompson, in Feb 2007.  Based out of Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, SUDS is designed to train our wounded war veterans from Irag and Afghanistan to participate in SCUBA diving offering them a fulfilling and challenging activity that can help facilitate the rehabilitation process, promote mobility and not to mention offer an opportunity for some fun while their at it.  If anyone deserves to have a good time, it’s these men, who made untold sacrifices in the defense of their country.

Midnight Express first mate
and founder of SUDS,  John Thompson.

In 2007, John Thompson, while volunteering at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center was deeply moved by the men and women he saw healing from horrific wounds sustained in battle.  Feeling an overwhelming sense of duty to help them in what ever way he could, John decided to do what he knew best and that was teach them to dive with their disabilities.  With a staff of more than a dozen men and women volunteers John set up the SUDS program which to date has certified more than 300 men and women to dive in locations such as Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, St. John, Curacao, South Florida, Puerto Rico and of course the Outer Banks of North Carolina with Olympus Dive Center.

The dive boat Olympus of Olympus Dive Center.

This weekend past, Olympus Dive Center would be host to six men from SUDS on board the company flag ship, M/V Olympus captained by Robert Purifoy but, as I just mentioned the first two days of their three day excursion were ‘blown out’ due to foul weather.  That didn’t stop these men from doing what they came here to do and that was to train and dive.  On Friday and Saturday the SUDS guys went to a nearby quarry where SUDS member John Doherty performed his open water check out dives and passed with flying colors.  Welcome to the club John!  The other SUDS guys Joe Yantz, Matt White, Tyler Anderson and Dave McRaney took part in a wreck diver specialty course with Olympus instructor Jon Belasario and by all accounts they exceeded expectations once again.

The SUDS Team training at the quarry.

Mean while, veteran SUDS diver, Shane Heath stood by and supported the others in their training as part of his Divemaster program, which he is currently enrolled in. Most instructors, including myself, who have trained military personnel agree that it is always a pleasure to teach them for the simple fact that they are apt at listening and carrying out instructions with precision.  It’s apparent they are a product of outstanding training in the military and it carries over to their civilian lives as well.  Over all the trip to the quarry was a very productive one for them all even though they did not make it offshore to dive the wrecks the first two days.

Celebrity guest mate on board the “Midnight”,
Gavin Vollmer of the Olympus.

However, the entire weekend was not a wash out for offshore diving for the SUDS men.  Mother Nature granted us a reprieve from the high winds and seas allowing us a dive day on Sunday July 10th.  Although the ocean was still a bumpy mess with 3-4 foot ground swells leftover from the previous 48 hours of blustery weather, it was safe and manageable enough to make it out to the wrecks of the USCG Cutter Spar with the SUDS men on board the Olympus.  John wanting to be there for the guys traded places with Olympus mate, Gavin Vollmer for the day.  Unfortunately, I would not have the honor of taking these men out diving on the ‘Midnight‘ but I did received a full report at the end of the day.

Secretary of SUDS and Olympus employee,
Danny Facciola.

As told by SUDS secretary, Danny Facciola the day offshore for the men went without a tangle in every way but one.  Many of the guys apparently were feeling a little under the weather due to the unsettled seas and their defiant attitude towards Mother Ocean by staying out late the night before and not getting enough rest.  She has a way of humbling even the toughest ‘salt’  and these military vets were no exception.   When the guys were done hanging their heads over the rail, they sucked it up and donned their gear on the swim deck and made a forward roll in to the water. All the men met on the hang lines under the boat and performed ‘bubble checks’ on each other looking for any gas leaks from their gear.  With everyone passing this test four of the guys Joe, Matt, Tyler and Dave accompanied Jon Belasario for wreck diver specialty skills down on to theSpar.  The visibility was around 40 feet and there was a slight current that would test these men a little more.  Jon would drill them on gear configuration and the utilization of wreck reels, which is a spool of string that is used for navigation in and around wrecks.  Gear configuration is very important in diving.  Knowing where your gear is and how to access it quickly at all times is critical.  For some of these men these skills are made more difficult when having to use prosthetics.  The word has it that all four did marvelously on the dive.  While these guys were off getting tested, newly certified diver John Doherty stayed close with divemaster candidate, Shane Heath and instructor Danny Facciola and swam around the wreck checking out the schools of Atlantic Spade Fish and Sand Tiger Sharks on the wreck.

“Someone stop the boat from moving”

 

The SUDS divers hangin’ out.

On dive two on the Spar the wreck diver candidates penetrated in to the wreck as part of the course training.  Entering a dive environment that has no immediate exit over head can be a little tricky but, with the correct training and use of underwater lighting systems and wreck reels it can be exciting good fun.  All of the guys did great and even when Matt White dropped his light he handled the situation like a pro and managed to deal with the problem and find his way out safely with the team.  By all accounts the guys had a blast and learned a lot at the same time.

I wish I had the opportunity to dive with the SUDS team but my schedule on the‘Midnight’ did not allow for this.  At least Danny and John had some good stories for me.  For example, the other night over dinner at a local restaurant John, the SUDS guys and Danny were approached by the waitress after she brought their meals and said, “are you missing anything?” Without delay one guy humbly says, “well, I’m missing a leg”, while another indicates, “I’m missing several fingers” and so on.  The waitress immediately turned crimson red and ran back to the kitchen not knowing how to retort.  She had just become another victim of a group of men whose desire to have one of many needed laughs, at their own expense, was more important then not embarrassing the waitress.  You gotta love their sense of humor.  I personally am pleased that the SUDS guys squeezed off a couple of successful dives on Monday and completed some courses in the down time.  I truly hope that SCUBA diving will continue to be a part of each of their lives and become as important to them as it is to me.

The SUDS Team posing in front of Olympus Dive Centers statue of Neptune.

Come dive with the jellyfish..a Blue Ocean Film

Since discovery in 1870, the Lion's Mane is still the largest jellyfish

Way back in 1870, a Lion’s Mane Jellyfish washed ashore in Massachusetts Bay. Jellyfish wash up all the time, but this one was special… this one has a bell that was 7’6″ in diameter and tentacles that were nearly 120 ft long! That means that the Lion’s Mane Jellyfish might just be the  longest animal alive!

The Lion’s Mane Jellyfish doesn’t always grow that large. In fact, most of the time their bell is only around a few feet wide, and those that live in the warmer waters max out around a foot and a half. Basically, the colder the water the larger they grow! The species is rarely found at latitudes lower than 42 degrees, and are nonexistent in the Southern Hemisphere.

All Lion’s Manes, regardless of size, have tentacles that are clustered into eight segments. There are at least 65 tentacles per segment, though there can be as many as 150, and these tentacles can grow over 100ft long!

If you touch the tentacle of a Lion’s Mane Jellyfish, you will probably get stung.. which results in blistering, irritation, and muscle cramps. Stings are not thought to be fatal to humans.

Take along Ocean Care Solutions Jellyfish Sting Relief…safe and effective, Don’t get stung without it..!!

Blog courtesy of Lauren animaladay.blogspot.com

Safely Dive With Stingrays…avoid the attack zone..

As they gently glide a few inches above the sand, stingrays appear elegant, peaceful and calm – and they are ninety-nine percent of the time. The only time divers need to worry is when stingrays feel endangered. A frightened sting ray can plunge its sharp, venomous sting straight through a wetsuit and deep into a diver’s flesh.
While diving, stingrays may be approached with little risk. On the rare occasion that a stingray strikes a diver underwater, the diver has most likely inadvertently threatened or cornered the animal. Perhaps the diver hovered directly over the ray or floated in front of it making the stingray feel trapped against a reef without an escape route.
Because a stingray sees and swims forward easily, leave it a forward escape route. Most importantly, stay out a stingray’s striking zone, the area directly above the ray. The ray can easily strike in the area at the top of its back by arching its tail forward. By contrast, the area behind the ray’s back and the space to its sides are difficult for the ray to reach without turning its body or making swimming adjustments. Divers who are alert and aware of the stingray’s attack zone should be relatively safe.

Stingray attacks are more likely to occur to divers who are entering or exiting the ocean through shallow water and accidentally step on a stingray. Naturally the stingray will react. When the stingray is stepped on, it quickly whips its long tail forward and down, which jabs the sting at the base of the tail into the offender. This is a defensive maneuver designed to remove the diver’s foot from the stingray’s body, and it works. To avoid stepping on top of a stingray, divers can shuffle their feet when entering or exiting the water. In addition, divers should be aware of stingray habitats such as long sandy shores. Because neither dive booties nor fins protect a diver from a stingray’s hard, razor sharp sting, the diver should be vigilant if he suspects he might be in a stingray habitat.

Although the possibilities of being stung are in yiour favor, take along our Ocean Care Stingray First Aid Kit.  Everything is there to provide you immediate first aid with easy to follow directions on just what to do..Don’t get stung with out  !!

 

Article and photos courtesy of Natalie Gibb, About.com Guide