WARNING FROM BERMUDA
Recently we have been receiving frequent, disturbing reports about the indiscriminate use of scuba self-contained underwater breathing apparatus by untrained persons, leading to violations of safety rules and occasional fatalities.
The only U.S. organization trying to counter the trend is the American National Red Cross. Their water safety men give a stiff scuba test, which only a small percentage of all skin-divers could pass.
By agreement Bermuda stores will not sell diving lungs nor rent regulators to untrained persons. Now the diving stores and schools are getting together to prepare proposals for legislation to place skin-diving on a firm footing.
The plan includes formation of a skin-diving patrol of instructors under government supervision. They would be authorized to give tests and act as underwater policemen.
Skin-divers would be required to swim 75 feet under water without gear, put on scuba 10 feet under water, ditch it on the bottom and make a free ascent. I wonder how many American scuba owners could pass this simple test.
?The YMCA and the American Underwater Society, among others, and a number of universities are giving similar tests and teaching safety. We recognize the dangers involved, but are inclined to question regulatory laws at this time.—ED.
BARREN GROUNDS: TRAGEDY AND HOPE
The suspenseful presentation of Arthur Moffatt's diary of the expedition to the great Barren Grounds (SI, March 9 & 16) has all the elements of a literary saga. Here we have a Moby Dick, a Rime of the Ancient Mariner or a Robert W. Service masterpiece with photographs.
A truly memorable feature.
STANLEY W. BATES
As long as the because-it-is-there spirit remains within men such as Arthur Moffatt, there is hope for the human race.
THOMAS L. TURK
East Lansing, Mich.
The tragedy that befell Art Moffatt brought tears welling to my eyes, and I am sure many of your readers were similarly touched.