top of page

October 2022 Bulletin

Underwater Research Group of New South Wales

Presidents Slate

By Duncan Heuer

Hi all,

It is good to be back in Sydney after being away for a month. Great to see all the boat activity from a far and super jealous of the amazing photos produced.

First off, AGM is being held at Clifton Gardens on Saturday 22 October, kicking off around 11am. For those that want to have a shore dive first, meet around 8:30 - 9am and find a buddy.

We are also doing another Bunnings fundraiser on Sunday 9 October in Chatswood. This one wasn't planned but Stephen found us an opportunity to snag a cancellation, so thank you for that. A fair number of regular volunteers namely Pablo, Rianti, Jens and David are away that weekend, so if you can spare a couple of hours converting some poor excuses for sausages into cash, please pop your name on this spreadsheet. Those that have already put their hand up will be very grateful for the additional support. Also a good excuse to pick up some herbs for the garden now that spring is under way.

Our next general meeting / social club-pub event will is on Tuesday 11 October at the usual spot upstairs in the Oaks Hotel.

Lastly before I brag about my trip to the Azores I wanted to say a big thanks to the work Josh, Pablo, John Swift and Marcus have been doing over the last few months. They seem to work tirelessly to ensure to the boat is running and we have activities on the go.

Right, so instead of words, here is a short video clip of the Princess Alice Banks and a shark dive we did while staying on Pico. In the last clip, the shark took my strobe. I gave it a nudge and it let go!

Local Club Dives

By Sara Han De Beaux

A pleasant couple of boat dives with URG around the Kurnell area where we saw plenty of weedy sea dragons and some octopus mating. Great dives!

Blue Morwong. Ranges from S. Qld to Tas. Grows to 740mm. Common on offshore reefs. Nemadactylus douglasii.

By Kris O'Keefe

A couple of good dives out today around Botany Bay at Henry's Head and the Steps. Thanks to our trusty convenor Joshua Batchelor for taking us out and providing hot shower , lollies , cheese and crackers and soup and good company :) .

History Article July 1966 URG Finds Venomous sea urchin in Sydney Harbour.


By R. Inder

The spectacular sea Urchin from Camp Cove, Port Jackson, recently presented alive to the Australian Museum by Clarrie Lawler, has aroused much interest there. Immediately recognised by Elizabeth C. Pope, Curator of Echinoderms at the Museum, as Yoxopneustes pileolus, the venomous sea urchin from Indo West Pacific region, its reported occurrence in Australian waters began only as recently as January, 1960, when six specimens were found exposed at low tide on a mud flat in Moreton Bay, Queensland; later, still in Queensland waters, further specimens were taken on an Australian Museum expedition outside the Great Barrier Reef. The Camp Cove specimen thus represents an extension of 600 miles southward in the range of reported findings.

The species is noted for its possession of venomous pedisellariae (seizing organs resembling small three-jawed pincers on stalks) and is believed responsible for the deaths of several divers in Japanese waters. (Fujiwara, 1935, Mortenson, 1943.)

Robert Endean's description of the Moreton Bay specimens is interesting. he says....(they) were hemispherical and averaged 95mm in horizontal diameter. They possessed stout primary spines which averaged only 8mm in length. In four specimens all the spines were green, tipped with white, while patches of purple spines occurred in the other two specimens. Open pedicellariae resembling minute purple and white flowers were scattered amongst the spines. The jaws of the pedicellariae were united by skin, and, when viewed from above, each pedicellariae averaged 3.5mm in diameter.

Each jaw of the pedicellaria terminates in a hook and possesses a venom gland: two ducts arise from each gland and open just below the hook. When the three jaws of a pedicellaria close, their terminal hooks may penetrate the object seized, and venom will be poured into the puncture as a result of contraction of muscles in the walls of the venom glands.

The Japanese scientist Fujiwara (1935) reported that when he picked up a specimen of T. pileolus, seven of eight pedicellariae closed on the skin to the side of the middle finger of his right hand. he immediately experienced severe pain, difficulty in breathing, paralysis of the lips, tongue and eyelids and relaxation of limb muscles, and was scarcely able to speak or control his facial expression. The pain diminished in intensity after 15 minutes and disappeared after an hour. However, facial paralysis lasted six hours.

As pointed out by Fujiwara, the only regions of the body that can be stung are those where the epidermis is sufficiently thin to be penetrated by the minute hooks of the pedicellariae, venom thus being allowed to reach blood capillaries.

The truth of this can be gratefully acknowledged by those of us who handled and prodded the urchin at Camp Cove without realising that probably only our thick-skinned finger tips saved us from severe discomfort.

However, the danger to a lightly clad skin diver is obvious should he be unwary enough to contact Toxopneustes with, say the thin skinned abdomen, rib cage or underarm. The subsequent paralysis could easily cause drowning. Miss Pope considers that the presence of this specimen in the Museum collection is of extreme scientific significance in that it represents, to anyone engaged in the study of this animal, an authentic record of its occurrence in Port Jackson.

A series of photographs of the live animal were made at the Museum and it is anticipated that it will also be the subject of an article in the Museum's quarterly magazine.

A Blast from the past - Club Assets

Setting up gear in the carpark at Murrays Ramp Jervis Bay.

Recent Events

Editors Note:On the 18th of September Pablo and volunteers represented the URG at the Seaside Scavenge @ Balmoral Beach. Thanks to all who helped raise the profile of the Group. Mosman Seaside Scavenge took place on Sunday 18th Sept, It was a beautiful spring day with lots of sun.

Seaside Scavenge @ Balmoral Beach

By Pablo Bolomey

This year the Seaside Scavenge was taken over by Take 3 with the help of Mosman Council, The URG was invited once again by the Mosman Council to participate in the event.

We did not have any divers to help with the underwater portion of the clean up. Oceans were in perfect condition, flat and clear.

We were pretty busy on our stand, speaking to a lot of people regarding the URG marine debris program. At this event we also launched together with Mosman Council the Take care of your tackle bins, that now you can see at Balmoral Baths and Chowder Bay wharf. We also have taken under our wing the DPI tackle bins already installed by the council, these will have new labels printed to bring then in line with ours.

We are actively seeking volunteers to help us maintain the tangle bins at these locations. Please contact us if you are interested in helping.

Big Thanks to Pablo Bolomey, Jens Somers and Peyton Bolomey for the help on setting up and packing up on the day.

CEO Take 3 for the Sea

By Pablo Bolomey

Once again Take 3 invited The URG to participate in this year's CEO Clean-Up event in Manly Cove. The Morning started Wet and miserable but the heavens gave us an awesome morning.

Flat seas and visibility of about 4 to 5m, only 2 divers came along to help Pablo Bolomey and Jens Somers, thank you for their time. Between the 2 of them they picked up a large amount of marine debris around the nets area in manly cove. Our divers once again took the price for the most unusual items to find on the cleanup.

Take 3 celebrated the success of this year's CEO Clean-up. The rain did not stop our CEO’s from rolling up their sleeves and getting their hands dirty in support of Take 3 for the Sea and spreading awareness about the problem of plastic pollution in our oceans and waterways.

This year's major sponsor of the CEO Clean-Up, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) Australia.

If you missed out and would like to help, we are definitely coming back next year, so keep and eye on the calendar.

Upcoming Events

Boat dives have resumed post COVID19 lockdowns and the URG cat is heading out most weekends from the St George Motor Boat Club Marina in San Souci. Check and Facebook for dates and conveners to book onto dives.

Boat handling lessons. Pablo and Josh are both running more lessons in boating skills covering everything from convening, to docking, to knots. Contact him via facebook if interested.

AGM will be held in October 2022.

Statements of Objects of the association (Underwater Research Group of NSW)

The objects for which the association is established are:

(a) To engage in research so as to improve elevate and further the technical and general knowledge of all persons in respect of all matters relating to underwater life rocks wrecks minerals plants water gases and all things under the surface of the water whether in all cases under sea water or fresh water and whether any of such water be in an ocean lake pond river estuary cave or in some subterranean form.

(b) To carry out underwater photographic salvage demolition construction and exploration work of any kind.

(c) To promote encourage and develop underwater activities in all forms.

(d) To initiate and develop safety measures and precautions so that all who may be engaged in any form of underwater activity may do so with greater safety.

(e) To establish and maintain museums aquariums and laboratories.

(f) To provide facilities for social intercourse between the members of the association and their friends and if thought fit to afford them all or any of the usual privileges advantages conveniences and accommodation of a Club.

(g) To promote and encourage high ethical standards of conduct by all those engaged in any form of underwater activities.

(h) To originate and promote improvements in the law relating to any object of the association and to support or oppose alterations therein.

(i) To encourage the discovery of and investigate and make known the nature and merits of inventions which may seem capable to being used by or which may be useful to all persons engaged in any form of underwater activity.

(j) To diffuse among members of the association and the public information on all aspects of underwater activities.

(k) To adopt such means of making known the activities of the association as may seem expedient.

(l) To promote finance equip or assist in expeditions under the water.

(m) In furtherance of the objects of the association to enter into any arrangement with any Governments Municipalities or other corporations or public bodies or any of them and to obtain any rights privileges and concessions which the association through its committee may think it desirable to obtain and to carry out exercise and comply with any such arrangements rights privileges and concessions.

(n) To establish scholarships and to arrange lectures meetings classes and conferences to advance the objects of the association.

(o) In furtherance of the objects of the association to enter into any agreement or arrangement with any association authority or body whether incorporated or unincorporated having objects substantially similar to those of the association and to co-operate with any such association or body in any way which may be deemed conducive to the attainment of these objects or any of them.

(p) To purchase take or lease or in exchange hire or otherwise acquire any estate or interest in real and personal property of any kind whatsoever for the objects of the association.

(q) To invest and deal with the moneys shall be invested only in such forms of investment as may be permitted by law for the investment of trust funds.

(r) To accept any gift endowment or bequest made to the association generally or for the purpose of any specific object and to carry out any trusts attached to any such gift endowment or bequest.

(s) To procure the association to be registered or recognised in any country or place outside the State of New South Wales.

(t) To raise funds for the objects of the association in such manner as the Committee may from time to time determine.

(u) To support and subscribe to any local or other charities and any institutions societies or clubs which may be for the benefit of the association or its employees and to grant donations for any public purpose.

(v) To undertake and execute any trusts or agency business which may seem directly or indirectly conducive to any of the objects of the association.

(w) To erect reconstruct demolish alter and maintain any building for the objects of the association.

(x) To draw make accept endorse discount execute and issue cheques promissory notes bills or exchange bills of lading warrants debentures and other negotiable or transferable instruments.

(y) In furtherance of the objects of the association to amalgamate with any companies, institutions societies or associations having objects altogether or in part similar to those of the association.

(z) To pay all costs charges and expenses of the promotion formation and establishment of the association.

(aa) From time to time to make rescind or alter such by-laws not being inconsistent with any Statute or with this memorandum of association or with the articles of association of the association for the time being in force for the regulation of any of the affairs of the association as may be deemed necessary or convenient.

(bb) to conduct the association on a non-political non-sectarian basis and so that no funds of the association shall be used to subscribe to the funds of any political parties or sectarian group or groups.

(cc) To do all such other lawful things as are incidental or conducive to the attainment of the above objects or any of them.


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page