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"New" Hero ....

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.


Desk Driver
Dec 6, 2001
I saw a documentary last night on Barracudas ... part of a series called "Survival"

And there, effortlessly freediving to 35 - 50 ft, and then CATCHING BARRACUDA WITH HIS BARE HANDS, were our 'own' Jay Styron.

DUDE! Awesome job man - Tell us MORE MORE MORE!!!! That habitat looks SO cool - what a place to live. Share dude, share!! And get me a job there while you're at it !!
catching berracuda bare handed???? wow I remember seeing those barracudas in the red sea they wouldnt let me closer than 3m and then slowly backing off..How can one get that close to those fish...did he use some flashers to lure them fish close or what???
Welll .....

What was happening (as far as I could follow the story) was that he was living in an underwater habitat. There was a lot of Baracuda around, and some of them still had hooks / traces and line in their mouths from broken fishing tackle.

He would freedive to below the cuda's, then extend his hand and slowly ascend untill he could get hold of the trace. He would then remove it himself or get people in a boat to help with a pair of pliers ...

Amazing stuff ....
sounds totally cool!! although I wouldn't like to get to srtuggle with one of those cudas that I saw in the red sea....3m long beasts...
Jay Styron tell us more about that??? sounds like fun!

i had been conversing with jay back and forth about his involvement at the research station. it was funny because that's the area that i spearfish. so, we got to talking, and after about our 4th or 5th email, i happened to see that show(barracuda) on the discovery channel. it was too funny, cause i had just read his email right before the show came on. how funny is that? rofl

jay's going to be gracing our presence at the 2nd annual keys kraze this month down in marathon. if you'd get your lazy butt in gear, maybe you could come over and get his autograph! :D he's actually boycotting the Oscars Awards this year to come down! whatta guy! :D i'll be selling his autographed pics on my site soon. ;)

seriously, he's a great guy and i look forward to meeting him. maybe as much as he looks forward to meeting my speedo cladded cuban counterpart! rofl

Man I never figured this thread was about me, I'm honored. I've seen the title for the past few days and just skipped over it cause I figured thats all the world needs is another hero. I'm truely flattered.
So here's some background info. I worked w/ the Aquarius project for about 10 yrs, 9 of those were down in the Keys. The habitat sits about 5mi offshore in about 60fsw. We have 4 scientist and 2 techs saturate for 7-10 days. While they're down there they study just about everything imaginable. The techs take care of the system and help the scientist if needed. Since we're saturated we get tons of bottom time. Up to 9hrs a day up to 98fsw. My last mission I went out on hooka from the habitat for 6hrs a couple of times. You get to see alot when you're out that long, not to mention 10 days of living U/W. There are two 30" view ports and multiple 12"ers located around the habitat. Always a room w/ a view!
I guess the barracuda thing was born out of boredom and just seeing if I could do it. While doing maintienence on the habitat we have so surface time thats pretty slow. The site attracts alot of barracuda because of the 10m support bouy and the habitat itself. Alot of these get caught by fishermen but since they're not eaten and have a mouth full of teeth they just cut them off w/ the leader hanging. This could be 6" to 6ft. I would imagine this hinders their feeding. I first tried catching them on scuba but this didn't work because of the bubbles and sometimes rapid ascent. Since I was already freediving this became a natural choice. Most of the 'cudas aren't real skittish but don't let you swim up and pet them either. I found that if I got under them picked the one I wanted and swam up REAL slow under and slightly behind them I could sometimes grab the leader. Sometimes it would take a few days to catch them but patience pays. After chaseing them two or three times they catch on and stay away. You have to get a good grip before they realize whats happening because once they feel the pressure they explode. During this time I'm ascending and they're usually going crazy. I have to say I have never been bitten or have had one try. They just want to get away. But the potiental is there, accidents happen! Once on the surface and tired out I grab them by the tail and flip them over, it seems to put them in a catatonic state somewhat. Once the hooks are out I release them.
So for those that think this sport is dangerous and fool hardy already I've just added a new level.
DISCLAIMER: With all this said, this activity has the potiental to be very dangerous. Nuff said.
You can also ck/out the Aquarius web site for more details. www.uncwil.edu/nurc/aquarius
Feel free to email me if you have any questions, and again thanks for the kind words... even you Anderson:)... Safe diving everyone.
He he he ...

Sorry for putting the spot on you ..

Thanks for sharing dude. It must have been absolutely awesome. Me, I'm stuck behind a computer screen the whole day (I'm a programmer)

What are you doing at the moment? I mean, work - wise? Why did you leave the Aquarius Project?

Man .... still wish I could be doing that. What kind of qualifications etc would one need to do something like that now?
Very cool Jay! Thanks for responding.

I look forward to meeting you in a couple of weeks. If you have a VHS copy of the "Survivor" show, bring it along and we all can watch it (I'll be bringing a 9" portable TV/VCR).


thanks for sharing Jay, oh man if I just would get my ass into water someday..that would be good stuff now it is just apnea walking and some static.....
Safe diving
Hi Everyone,
Thanks again SASpearo. I'm w/ the same organization but in NC now. I'm from here originally so it was a good move. The job w/ Aquarius was very cool but like alot of other things it was time to move on. I still go down there for a mission or two a year so I can still keep my hand in it. Thur. I'm going to the Keys for a tech diving mission on a wreck thats in about 230'. The archeologist wants some artifacts recovered and probably video and measurements. With my job now I travel alot more and get exposed to alot of different things. When I started w/ Aquarius I only had a BS in Marine Bio., I moved from floor sweeper to supervisor by the time I left. You end up doing alittle of it all on a project like that, I guess today we call it cross training. People w/ electronics and computer skills are a big part of the program since thats the way the technology is heading. Keep your ears open jobs like that are out there. Take care everyone.
Scott-I'll try to remember to bring the tape.
SASpearo come on over to the get together in the Keys this month.
I'll try and explain ...

... in easy terms why I can't.

I'd reaaaaalllyy love to go, but with our currency being what it is, it's kinda impossible.

A good programmer earns about R10 000 a month. Sounds like a lot, but it's not even $1 000 US. To put it into perspective, a good speargun would cost me aroudn R1500 - only about $120 US, so it doesn't sound that expensive. But that's 15% of an average programmer's salary. A good speargun in the US would cost around $250 - $300 US, where a good programmer can make $80K to $120K a year - which turns out to be 3 or 4 % of your monthly salary. Mmmm ... let's not start on airfares - it would cost me two month's straight salary to get to the US and back ...

Sigh .....

But at least I've got Great Whites in my back yard .... he he he.
I understand about the money thing. The only reason I'm able to go on this trip is it's cheap, although I probably spend more on spearfishing stuff than I should anyway. One of these days maybe I'll get over to your side of the world. Take care and watch your back.
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