Monday, February 16, 2009

Aussie Dive Boat Operators: Stranded American Divers Didn't Dive the Plan

The couple about whom we quipped wouldn't be inspiring Open Water Part Deux last week, apparently ignored instructions from the dive boat operators.

TWO American divers who went missing for seven hours in shark-infested waters on the Great Barrier Reef on Friday ignored instructions, dive boat operators said.

The pair - a man and a woman believed to be in their 40s - failed to surface at the end of an hour-long dive on Ribbon Reef Number 10, off the coast of Lizard Island, about 10am.

They were plucked from the water after being found floating eight nautical miles north of the dive site about 5.10pm.


[Mike Ball of Mike Ball Dive Expeditions] said the small levy was nothing compared with the trouble the pair had caused by deliberately straying from the dive plan and ignoring safety procedures. "The dive plan was to go down a descent line and into the reef at a depth of 12 metres," Mr Ball said.

"On the way down, one of the divers let go of the rope and didn't follow the directions to the reef, but let himself drift along with the current in deeper water than planned."

Mr Ball said the pair were experienced divers who should have known better.

"You plan your dive and then you dive the plan," he said. "But that is not what has happened."

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