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Tina Watson Death - The Full Story

Discussion in 'Scuba Related Court Cases' started by clownfishsydney, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. clownfishsydney

    clownfishsydney Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Sydney Australia
    1,094
    574
    113
    As most divers would know, American diver Tina Watson died in 2003 when diving the SS Yongala in Queensland while on her honeymoon. In 2008 her husband, Gabe, was charged In Queensland with murder. He later pled guilty to manslaughter on the basis that he was negligent in his role as a buddy. He served 18 months in gaol.

    In 2012 Gabe Watson went on trial in Birmingham, Alabama,for Tina's murder. He was acquitted by the judge when the State did not produce any evidence of murder or that it had been planned in Alabama.

    As some will know, I have had an interest in this matter since 2003. At first I thought he was guilty but in 2010 I found transcripts of the second police interview with Gabe and within a few minutes I realised that he had been telling the truth the whole time about a key bit of information and that the police and media had either ignored or not understood what he. This piece was considered by the police to be the thing that proved Gabe was lying and therefore was guilty of murder.

    Over the following 18 months I was given access to a lot more evidence by a number of journalists and I came to the certain view that Gabe was totally innocent of murder, and just a very inexperienced diver who also panicked and made the wrong decision.

    Late in 2011 I was asked to be the defence's expert dive witness alongside Dr Carl Edmonds (probably the foremost dive medical person in the world) who was to be the defence medical witness. We were then given access to all the evidence and Carl and I spent a lot of time going through it and discussing it. We came to the same conclusions about what happened and why Tina died.

    We spent the month of January 2012 preparing questions for the defence to ask all the possible State witnesses as well as questions to ask us. In February we both flew to Alabama and attended the trial.

    I have now totally updated my web site pages on Tina's death, including evidence that I was previously not at liberty to divulge as well as graphs, photos and a summary of each day's evidence at the trial.

    I encourage everyone to look at my pages and make up their own mind as to what happened.

    The link to the index page is Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving Web Site.

    I will be happy to answer any questions on this matter, either by email via my web site or on this forum, so long as civility is maintained.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
    sydney-diver and Mark Derail like this.
  2. huwporter

    huwporter DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Sydney, Australia.
    138
    95
    28
    [Edit - removed paragraph that referred to a typo, now fixed]

    Thanks for writing all this up.

    Cheers,
    Huw
     
  3. clownfishsydney

    clownfishsydney Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Sydney Australia
    1,094
    574
    113
    Error corrected.
     
  4. sskasser

    sskasser Cave Instructor

    # of Dives:
    Location: L.A. (Lower Alabama)
    479
    75
    28
    I'm thinking the subject of this thread and your signature line don't jive.....
     
    gbrandon and skyguy94 like this.
  5. RogerAGrimes

    RogerAGrimes Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Key Largo, FL
    104
    14
    0
    Thanks for sharing the information. Ultimately, I'll share ahead of time that I still think Gabe is guilty, mostly because a grown man abandoned his new bride and slowly ascended. Ascending at the fastest rate stated for Gabe still doesn't show much concern for his drowning bride. I can't get over that fact. It's unforgiveable. More to the point, I've never heard of another dive buddy ascending anything but extremely rapidly when faced by the same circumstance. In dive incident after dive incident they all come up, at great risk to themselves, panicking and trying to get help back down. Gabe claims to have tried to get help, but he certainly didn't do it that rapidly.

    But on another point, how did Gabe clear his mask when his regulator was missing or fatally damaged (i.e. missing its mouthpiece)?

    Interviews state that he fixed and cleared his mask and then noticed his mouthpiece was missing. You can't clear your mask of water without a working regulator. To believe Gabe's version of events, he cleared his mask and only then did it fall apart, so that he had to go to the alternate air source. It's possible, but he doesn't recount it that way.
     
  6. Doubler

    Doubler Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives:
    Location: Bremerton, WA
    1,606
    312
    0
    Roger of course you can clear your mask without a regulator in your mouth.
     
    TonyErnst13 and Bratface like this.
  7. clownfishsydney

    clownfishsydney Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Sydney Australia
    1,094
    574
    113
    Roger

    Please read again my articles. I clearly refute the argument that Gabe did not ascend quickly. Remember, he tried to attract the attention of some other divers on the way up to see if they could help him. He was also physically stopped from going back down, again this is mentioned by me.

    I also show that it is possible to clear your mask without a regulator, both my wife and I easily did it first go. I will try to post the video evidence I have of this in the coming days. Why do you think it is not possible to clear a mask without a reg? Also, his reg did not fall apart. When it was knocked out of his mouth the mouthpiece was pulled off the reg. He never attempted to refind his main reg, he used his "Air 2" octopus.

    As also covered, Gabe pled guilty in Australia to abandoning Tina. He paid for this with time in gaol. Personally, I do not think he should have even served this, as the people who had the responsibility to ensure Gabe and Tina had a safe dive totally failed in their duties under Queensland law. They have never been really punished, apart from a very small fine.
     
  8. RogerAGrimes

    RogerAGrimes Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Key Largo, FL
    104
    14
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    A relatively new diver, with a mask full of water, already in a panic situation?? I don't believe it.
     
  9. RogerAGrimes

    RogerAGrimes Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Key Largo, FL
    104
    14
    0
    Your fast statement of ascent is pretty slow. It's far slower than the stranger that rescued his bride. It's far slower than what I see on almost every dive I'm on. Many divers, in the course of a regular dive, ascend faster than Gabe's fastest possible rate. It's stupid that they do, but I see it all the time.
     
  10. RogerAGrimes

    RogerAGrimes Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Key Largo, FL
    104
    14
    0
    "As we know (from dive medicine expert Dr Carl Edmonds) that a minimum of two minutes and more like three to four minutes is needed to kill someone at this
    depth,"

    Can you explain this statement? The average person, if they can't get air, will be passed out in about a minute. It may take much longer to "die", but you'll be unconscious and not be breathing" far sooner than actual death.
     

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