Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Fijian Gov't Launches Investigation Into Abandoned Scuba Diver Incident

In a follow-up to the article we posted last Friday about the abandoned scuba diver who survived a 12-hour swim to safety off the coast of Vanua Levu, the Fijian government has ordered an immediate investigation into the incident.

Initial reports say that a 40-year-old German tourist had to swim for about 12 hours before reaching land.

Ministry of Tourism Acting Director, Ratu Manoa Malani, questioned the logic of the diving trip at Rainbow Reef near Viani Bay in Vanua Levu.

Ratu Manoa says he is concerned about the practicability and sense of sending tourists at 5pm in the afternoon and the risk of going out to dive without adequate air.

The 40-year-old German tourist was among three other tourists who were part of a diving trip.

25 minutes into the dive he had to surface because he had exhausted his air supply.

The tourist was then told by the dive master to wait for him whilst he (dive master) went in for the remaining three who had also exhausted their air supply.

The tourist said he could see the boat about 100 feet away but was unable to swim for it because of strong currents.

Despite noticing lights on Vanua Levu, he decided instead to swim for Taveuni where it was more populated.

He kept swimming until he felt the seabed, screamed out for help and collapsed on the shore.

A woman rescued him after hearing his cries for help.

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