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Diver dead in boat capsizing - South Africa

Discussion in 'Accidents and Incidents' started by DandyDon, Mar 24, 2018.

  1. DandyDon

    DandyDon Old men ought to be explorers ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: One kilometer high on the Texas High Plains
    46,992
    3,462
    113
    Diver dies after boat overturns in surf at Umkomaas | South Coast Sun
     
  2. jfe

    jfe Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: South Africa
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    62
    28
    Sad news. The launch at Umkomaas is very tricky, you come out of the lagoon into the ocean with at times currents running across the entry point and very rough conditions. I've been on a rib once or twice where I've thought the launch is too risky (being an experienced skipper myself). Condolences to the family.
     
  3. kommisarrex

    kommisarrex Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Minnesota
    50
    10
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    Any idea who the operator was and the circumstances, like was it a bad judgement call to launch or a freak wave type of thing? Video of the launch site looks really dicey. I have a trip to Umkomaas (Aliwal Shoal) in a couple of weeks so trying to understand better what happened.
     
  4. ajduplessis

    ajduplessis Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: dry land :-(
    3,149
    761
    113
    No idea about the operator, I can confirm launches can be tricky. It should not be any problem for experienced skippers, dont launch if its rough...
     
  5. AndrewStacey

    AndrewStacey Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: andrewstacey@hotmail.co.uk
    1
    4
    3
    Sadly I was on this boat. Having completed over a hundred dives (and launches) from this river I can confirm it was a complete freak accident. The river was flowing with rubbish due to storms earlier in the week. One of the outboard motors was taken out by this rubbish and we ended up beached on a sandbar. The most innoxious wave flipped us. We all ended up up in the surf - in my case after an unfortunate encounter under the boat. Unfortunately the chap that died had never encountered surf and panicked causing him to take on water. The rest of us were picked up with a couple having further complications. In subsequent days I completed another 6 dives without incident. Someone told me that over 5000 launches are completed annually with 4 boat flips - sadly only one lost life. I really feel for the chap and his family. What I will say is this is an amazing dive site - in my humble opinion the best in the world and it will not stop me diving here.
     
  6. lv2dive

    lv2dive Formerly known as KatePNAtl

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Lake City, FL
    2,022
    1,209
    113
    Thank you for the first-hand account.

     
  7. Jack Hammer

    Jack Hammer Solo Diver

    1,476
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    Thanks for sharing your account.
     
  8. DandyDon

    DandyDon Old men ought to be explorers ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: One kilometer high on the Texas High Plains
    46,992
    3,462
    113

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