Scuba divers on Blacktip Island’s reefs have been bombarded with bad music this week from an as-yet unknown source. (photo courtesy of User:violetto_mm)
An unauthorized radio signal, transmitted underwater from an unknown source, angered scuba divers on Blacktip Island this week due to its use of unpopular pop music standards.
“It’s a constant stream of Bananarama, Justin Bieber and the Spice Girls,” visiting diver Chip Pompano said. “If there’s a jukebox in Hell, this is it. And it doesn’t stop, even on night dives. I’m to the point I’d rather not dive than be subjected to that crap.
“I’d rather just stay on Tiperon, even though the reefs are trashed there,” Pompano said. “The diving sucks, but at least it’s quiet.”
Island authorities are aggressively investigating the transmissions.
“Whoever’s broadcasting this music is doing so illegally without a broadcasting license,” Island Police Constable Rafe Marquette said. “Our immediate goal’s to locate the transmission source and shut it down. It’s proving difficult to trace, though, and we’re convinced the source is in motion offshore. We’ve got Marine Parks helping out, but they’re just as stymied as we are.
“We’re also investigating the motivation behind flooding the reefs with bad music,” Marquette said. “Who would benefit from that and why they would do it are significant questions.”
Local officials say stopping the transmissions is the top priority.
“It’s terrorism, pure and simple,” de facto island mayor Jack Cobia said. “We’ve tried jamming the signal, to no avail. This keeps up, it’ll chase all our diving guests away. For good. And when that happens, it’s good bye Blacktip.
“Best guess is it’s those rat bastards over on Tiperon,” Cobia said. “They’ve always been jealous of us and all the divers liking us better than them. We need to figure out where they’re transmitting from. If it was a boat, we’d see it, so it has to be a sub or some kind of underwater drone. We asked the Coast Guard for depth charges, but they wouldn’t go for it.”
The music also has local dive staff on edge.
“If I hear the Little Mermaid one more time, I’m gonna hurt somebody,” Eagle Ray Divers divemaster Alison Diesel said. “Same for that damn Pina Colada song and Margaritaville. This stuff makes your teeth hurt. You can’t hear it on shore, but underwater, there’s no escape. A bunch of us are ready to quit.”
Some visiting divers, however, claimed to enjoy the music.
“It’s cool in a morbid sort of way, like walking across the street to get a better view of a car wreck,” Marlin White said. “It’s like there’s a reciprocity of crap, where the song is so bad it hits bottom and starts to head up toward ‘good’ again. Just this morning I heard Richard Harris singing that ‘someone left the cake out in the rain’ song, and I almost spit my reg I was laughing so hard. It’s great, like watching ‘Love Boat’ reruns.”