Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Recovery Team Member: Agnes Milowka Remained Calm Until Last Breath

A somber follow-up to news of the death of Agnes Milowka over the weekend, revealing insight into her final minutes underwater.

CAVE diver Agnes Milowka remained calm until her last breath as she tried to find her way to the surface.

Dr Richard Harris, a close friend of 29-year-old Ms Milowka, says she didn't panic in her final moments.

He is part of the team trying to clear the way for police divers to retrieve her body from Tank Cave, near Millicent.

Dr Harris, who had seen Ms Milowka's body submerged under 20m of water in a tight section of the cave about 550m from the entrance, said she was not trapped before her death.

He said Ms Milowka, who worked as a stunt diver for James Cameron's movie Sanctum, had ran out of air and suffocated after becoming disoriented.

She was separated from her diving partner and later became lost after stirring up silt from the cave walls and floor.

"It looks like she has remained very calm right to the last breath while she's been working at extricating herself," close friend and state safety officer Dr Harris said.


He said Ms Milowka - a marine archaeologist - was at the "leading edge" of the sport and respected worldwide for her diving skills.

Her "aggression" in the winding and narrow tunnels might have cost her life, after venturing into "a very narrow, rocky piece of passage," which took divers about an hour to reach, he said.

"There was no room in there for two people so she was by herself. To dive by yourself under certain situations is acceptable in this sport," he said.

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Milowka was a skilled professional until the end.

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