Diving association points out the many fallacies in Open Water

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SAN DIEGO -- Acting swiftly to deflect negative impressions of scuba-dive operations generated by the movie Open Water, the Diving Equipment & Marketing Association (DEMA) launched a campaign to support the dive industry and to point out inconsistencies in the film.

The trade group represents dive destinations, equipment manufacturers, retailers, resorts, media and training agencies that cater to recreational divers in the U.S.

Open Water is a thriller based on the experiences of an American couple left behind by their dive boat in shark-infested waters off Queensland, Australia.

Everything depicted in the movie after the couples disappearance is speculation and fiction, according to DEMAs executive director, Tom Ingram.

He said the events in Open Water were highly unlikely due to safety procedures in the dive industry.

These procedures include a name system used by dive boat operators to account for each diver and emergency signaling devices worn by many divers to identify their locations.

Inconsistencies in the movie apparently are as rampant as the sharks themselves. For example, actress Blanchard Ryan slips below the surface in her wetsuit and with an empty air tank.

In reality, both are buoyant and would not allow a diver to sink, Ingram said. Also, the dive boat crew does not clean the boat until the next day, which is when they discover equipment left behind by the missing divers. Dive boats are normally cleaned right after the trip, so any unaccounted-for diver would be recognized, according to Ingram.

Open Water, which debuted in 47 theaters in 19 cities Aug. 6, grossed more than $1 million in its first weekend. It was released nationwide on Aug. 20.

To contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].

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