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The dive started at 10am. The two divers had 70 and 30 dives respectively. The site was "Challenger Bay" at the bottom of Ribbon Number 10. There were rain squalls about the place. The divers surfaced but well away from boat. At 11.10am it was determined they were overdue. At 11.15am the emergency plan was invoked, authorities alerted, local boats asked to help, search dinghies deployed. Large tidal swings swept the pair around Challenger Reef and out towards the gap in the outer reef and thence out to sea. The divers were located by helicopter at 1710, several miles east north east of dive site. The heli hovered above them until one of the search boats arrived on site. They were soon after returned to Spoilsport by dinghy.
so, the "great things" you've heard seem true - the divers were properly logged in, their overdue status was noticed very quickly into the piece, and the proper plan was invoked resulting in their rescue.
Sounds like as is well that ends well! It would be nice to hear a first hand account of what exactly when wrong. However it appears that the dive Op did everything right, and that no one was hurt. That is all good!
I won't know for a couple more days just what happened so won't even speculate. The information I do get will be from the group leader of the trip and owner of Lancaster Scuba Ctr, John Walker. He always is very specific about divers following safety standards. I have traveled with Lancaster Scuba on many dive trips throughout the world without incident. John has always stated to me that there are two main rules on a trip. Dive safe and have fun, with safety first. I've come to repect his goals and have become a personal friend to boot.
What happened on this particular trip happened, No doubt about it, but you can already see how the media is playing it up. To state that the two divers, one with 70 dives and the other with 30 dives, are experienced just shows how totally inept and irresponsible the media is at digging up facts. They have no concept of what experience means in the diving world.
So who is ultimately at fault in this ordeal? Frankly, I'll have a better understanding once I talk to John, but I wasn't there so I don't know first hand. Therefore I will keep my cool and wait for the official report. Whatever happened, we can all be glad that both divers were found relatively safe and hopefully a lot wiser for their ordeal.
And to think that I was thinking of going on this trip myself? I very well could have been one of the MIA's.
In case you don't know, that is a poor source for information, known for distorting stories, etc. It was long blocked from SB but the block actually created interest so now we just try to warn each other.
Last edited by RonFrank; February 18th, 2009 at 07:29 PM.