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Dave Shaw - An Amazing Bloke

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by LastManOut, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. LastManOut

    LastManOut Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: I'm a Nomad, so I could be anywhere
    You know I think it's kinda great that one of the deepest divers in the world was just another guy from Australia. You wouldnt have picked him. Makes me proud really.

    Dave Shaw rose from just a guy doing an intro dive to do things that most of the retired armchair big shots dream of. 330-odd dives (of astounding scope) and a whole lot of money (that he could afford being a Cathay Airbus pilot I suppose) later, he wound up dead like so many of the deep wanderers before him. The risks of what he was doing just got the better of him, sad but true.

    He died trying to recover a body that he found himself that had been lost for 10 years, as he was probably the most uniquely qualified person in the world to accomplish a feat like that at the time. That is noble, and that is courageous. Here was a man who didn't do deep dives for publicity, or just to be deep, or any of that attention seeking trash. If it had been up to Dave, no one would have known about it.

    The story of Dave Shaw inspires me, not just as a diver or an Aussie, but on a personal level. Because any man that can be called friend and equal by some of the most experienced divers in South Africa, including Don Shirley, is an amazing human being. He was humble, modest, driven, and above all a loving and genuine bloke, all traits that are rarely found together at the top of any game. His loss was a real blow to the dive industry, as a lot could have been learned from his experience.

    If you haven't read the books or the articles about Dave yet, get to it. His web address at deepcave.com is still there. Have a read and you'll see what I mean.
  2. Garrobo

    Garrobo Great White

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ohio
    Who's Dave Shaw?
  3. tgsmith

    tgsmith Barracuda

  4. battles2a5

    battles2a5 Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
    What an amazing guy. You can say what you want about too far too fast, but the guy had the stones and the skill to make the dives he did leading up to the last recovery dive. There is an intersting thread on rebreatherworld about what might have happened on the last dive. What a shame. Guys like him are most certainly of a different breed.
  5. Gene_Hobbs

    Gene_Hobbs Instructor, Scuba

  6. ratherbefishin

    ratherbefishin Angel Fish

    Here's a great article about Dave Shaw that I remember reading a long time ago, before I was a diver, that made an impression on me.
  7. ianr33

    ianr33 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Wah Wah Land
    FYI: There is a website Google that is very helpful with all sorts of questions like this.
  8. krawdady

    krawdady Barracuda

    Dateline NBC did a great special on him and his attempt to recover that kids body. I have it on my Ipod and usually end up watching it on short plane trips. If you haven't seen it you really should if you get the chance.
  9. Doc Intrepid

    Doc Intrepid Instructor, Scuba

    Unfortunately, I hold a different view.

    While all exploration involves risk, risk must be balanced against perceived benefits.

    There are many aspects of this case, but the bottom line is that sub-800' working dives exceed most parameters for projections - and especially for body recovery. The fundamental rule in body recovery is that you don't lose another diver attempting it.

    Dave had two kids who needed a father in their lives growing up, and a wife who needed a husband. Sometimes men allow things to influence their decision-making for reasons that are not always noble, although we're pretty good at rationalizing our decisions.

    Dave was an amazing guy and his loss was a terrible tragedy. I suspect that his two kids lost more than nearly anyone else on the planet, though, as a result of that decision.

    Your mileage may most certainly vary...



    Brief explanation: corpse buried in silt, attempted to put corpse into body bag, corpse came apart, lower part of corpse could not be extracted from silt, entanglement occurred, at some point level of effort exceeded diver's capacity to recover. A wide variety of after-action reports are available at different cave diving sites on the web.

    Last edited: Jan 23, 2009
  10. IceBergSlim

    IceBergSlim Instructor, Scuba

    Most people who are trying to keep their exploits quiet don't create elaborate websites detailing their activities.

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