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SCUBA Tank Warning

Date Posted: 1999-07-03

A recently completed investigation has resulted in military authorities in Okinawa issuing a warning about a potential safety hazard from scuba tanks sold to the public without proper safety inspection.

The warning reads: “Anyone who has purchased steel or aluminum scuba diving air tanks from an off-base dive shop named ‘Fathoms Diving’ or its owner, Richard Allen Ruth, between August 1998 and present, should take the tanks to the nearest authorized shop – for example Tsunami Gear on Marine bases, Torii Scuba Locker or Kadena Marina – for a serviceability and safety hydro inspection.”

Divers are advised to immediately discontinue any further use of these tanks until they are properly inspected. Divers are also advised to call one of the above-mentioned locations for instructions on proper handling of any suspect scuba tanks – especially if they are currently holding compressed air. This action should be taken immediately to prevent any mishaps.

The suspect scuba tanks may be stamped with an unauthorized hydro inspection certification stamp, but were never actually inspected. The stamp in question was stolen from a certified agency, and has been used by an unauthorized company to stamp the tanks in an effort to sell them, without taking adequate measures to have them properly inspected.

Officials at the MCCS said one tank with a false inspection stamp has turned up already. Fathoms Diving is located in Yomitan, Okinawa. Any questions concerning this matter can be referred to any of the telephone following numbers: Camp Foster 645-9500; Camp Hansen 623-7717; Camp Schwab 625-2691; Camp Kinser 637-2027; Camp Courtney 622-9795; Torii Station 644-4290.

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