Two scuba divers saved by passing yacht after charter boat left them to DIE at sea

gleet

What's black and white and red all over?
Jul 24, 2005
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#1
A couple of good quotes, and the one by the captain will sound great to the two juries hearing the cases. "Oh well, no harm, no foul. Live and let live. All's well that ends well. Forgive and forget."

* Terrifying ordeal 'like a scene from the film Open Water'

By Richard Luscombe In Miami

Last updated at 3:33 PM on 5th October 2011


Two terrified divers were left stranded in shark-infested waters when their charter boat disappeared.

Paul Kline and Fernando Garcia Puerta had to cling to a buoy for two hours after surfacing from their late-afternoon dive in the Atlantic Ocean three miles from Miami and finding no trace of their boat.

'We were in shock. We could easily have died,' Kline, 44, told the Miami Herald.

'If night had fallen, the situation would have turned into panic.'

He said they kept talking to each other throughout their ordeal 'to try to keep up our high spirits'.

Mr Kline, a married father of six from Texas, told WSVN-TV that he could only think about getting back to his family while stranded in the water.

He said: 'I wasn't giving up anytime soon.'

Mr Kline and Mr Puerta, a Spanish tourist, were eventually spotted by the crew of a passing yacht and brought safely to shore.

'You could notice a strong feeling of relief,' said Elie Trichet, captain of the No Compromise which was returning to Miami from the Florida Keys when his passengers saw the men clutching their diving equipment.

'They had been clinging to that buoy for two hours hoping somebody would rescue them.'

The rescued divers each paid $85 for the four-hour adventure in Biscayne Bay, which was meant to include two one-hour dives at different locations.

Mr Kline said that he initially thought there had been a medical emergency aboard the boat, which is why it was not there when he and Mr Garcia surfaced 55 minutes into the first dive after studying coral reef. He said he assumed another boat would be sent back for them.

Instead, the other divers on the trip had already boarded and the boat was en route to the second dive site with the captain unaware he had left the two behind.

Mr Kline said they realised after a while that they had been forgotten.

The two, who did not previously know each other, were recovering in Miami today while coastguards launched an investigation.

Sasha Boulanger, owner of South Beach Divers, which organised the trip, was due to meet Mr Kline today to apologise.

But he said the incident was the fault of RJ Diving Ventures, the boat operators he contracted to take the divers out, and not his own company, which he said enjoyed an 'excellent' safety record.

'We are the ones who facilitate the trip and connect A with B,' Mr Boulanger told the Miami Herald.

'I must assume a certain degree of responsibility, but unfortunately, this falls on (RJ Diving),' he said. 'They are in control of the divers and their security.'

The captain of the dive boat, Mike Beach, refused to discuss the incident with reporters, saying only: 'Everybody is OK, no one is hurt, everybody is happy.'

Coast Guard spokeswoman Sabrina Elgammal said: 'The incident is under investigation.'

She added: 'We got a call that the two people were picked up in the sea and there was no medical harm and they went back to port.'

Despite stringent safety requirements, there have been several high-profile episodes of divers being abandoned by boat operators.

One of the most famous incidents was made into the 2003 film Open Water.

Americans Tom and Eileen Lonergan surfaced from a dive off Australia’s Great Barrier Reef in January 1998 to discover their boat had gone.

The couple, who were never found, scrawled a desperate plea for help on a diver’s slate later found at the site. It is believed they drowned or were eaten by sharks.

In 2005, British divers Louise Woodger and Gordon Pratley were rescued in the same area after being missing for four hours.

They were found suffering from exposure and hypothermia after currents forced them away from their boat.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...ie-Miami-Beach-charter-boat-Key-Biscayne.html
 

Sinn Fein

Infidel and White Interloper
Wackbag Staff
Aug 29, 2002
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#3
A buddy of mine is into scuba diving and always bugs me to take a trip... My answer has always been "no fucking way" and if he ever asks me again I will reference this article.
 
Jun 2, 2005
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Dallas
#4
One of the biggest fears of any diver. My BC has a full survival kit in a water-proof back permanently in the pocket. (Signal mirror, mylar blanket, etc)
 

mascan42

Registered User
Aug 26, 2002
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#5
How exactly does this happen? Don't the crew know how many people went in the water? Are they just not paying any attention?
 
Jun 2, 2005
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Dallas
#6
How exactly does this happen? Don't the crew know how many people went in the water? Are they just not paying any attention?
They're supposed to. Another thing they're supposed to do is keep a Coast Guard check-list with all the divers on the boat, and what emergency equipment each diver has with them. Mylar blankets light up radar like a friggin aircraft carrier, so I keep one that I can tie to a safety sausage and fly in case I'm ever left. Since no one keeps a check-list any more, most organizations suggest you have laminated cards made that you can leave with the crew when you go on dive trips. It makes it a lot easier to find someone at sea if you know what kind of equipment they might have to signal you.

SCUBA boat crews are notoriously over-worked, therefore lazy on shit like that.
 

whiskeyguy

PR representative for Drunk Whiskeyguy.
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Jan 12, 2010
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#7
They're supposed to. Another thing they're supposed to do is keep a Coast Guard check-list with all the divers on the boat, and what emergency equipment each diver has with them. Mylar blankets light up radar like a friggin aircraft carrier, so I keep one that I can tie to a safety sausage and fly in case I'm ever left. Since no one keeps a check-list any more, most organizations suggest you have laminated cards made that you can leave with the crew when you go on dive trips. It makes it a lot easier to find someone at sea if you know what kind of equipment they might have to signal you.

SCUBA boat crews are notoriously over-worked, therefore lazy on shit like that.
How about a head count before you move on to the next dive spot? Seems like a pretty easy fix.
 

gleet

What's black and white and red all over?
Jul 24, 2005
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#9
Mylar blankets light up radar like a friggin aircraft carrier, so I keep one that I can tie to a safety sausage and fly in case I'm ever left.
I wondered why you had that. I didn't think it would be for warmth in the water.
 
Jun 2, 2005
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Dallas
#12
How about a head count before you move on to the next dive spot? Seems like a pretty easy fix.
That's the way it's typically done, but savages gonna savage.

what is a safety sausage?




Basically, it's an inflatable signalling device that you keep rolled up and clipped to your vest. You inflate it with your regulator and it sticks up to signal you're there, and if you tie the mylar blanket to the top it's a huge radar signal added to the visual.

I wondered why you had that. I didn't think it would be for warmth in the water.
I have two, actually. One for the signal, one to put over you so you don't get fried by the sun.
 

gleet

What's black and white and red all over?
Jul 24, 2005
22,541
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#13
I have two, actually. One for the signal, one to put over you so you don't get fried by the sun.
It warms, it cools, it signals, it makes a kid's hot air balloon. Is there anything it can't do?
 

cosmic cow

RaMoooooone!!!
Jul 26, 2005
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#14
Thanks Tumor. I can't imagine the horror of being left behind in the ocean.......... how quickly would you punch the dude who left you behind when he comes to say "sorry"
 
Jun 2, 2005
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Dallas
#15
Not only would I beat the shit out of him, but I'd own a dive resort once I got some lawyers involved.

People are scared of sharks and dumb shit like that, but this is by far the biggest fear in the diving world.

Blue-ring octopus, fire coral, jellyfish, mantis shrimp and various other things are far bigger threats as well.
 
Dec 25, 2005
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#17
I'm planning to go with my girlfriend in a couple of months or so.. probably Belize. I swear if one of these fucks comes close to pulling this shit I'll slit their throat.
 

gleet

What's black and white and red all over?
Jul 24, 2005
22,541
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Idaho
#18
But on a serious note... Industrial machinery and electrical boxes have keyed lockouts. Everybody working on the machine puts their own locks on the switch and it will not turn on again until everyone unlocks their lock. Keeps the hamburger meat to a minimum. Why can't dive boats have lockouts on the ignition? It ain't that expensive to set up a series switch unit and it would keep the divers calm instead of constantly have them looking up for the bottom of the boat.
 

gleet

What's black and white and red all over?
Jul 24, 2005
22,541
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Idaho
#20
One asshole loses their key and everyone gets stuck...
Then you hit the override and go home. At least the asshole is in the boat saying he lost his key. But when a captain can't count to 11 twice, once when they jump in the water, and again when they climb out, then something simple has to be done.
 
Jun 2, 2005
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Dallas
#22
You have to understand, this shit never happens. It's really easy to know you have 10 people on your boat, and to wait for 10 people to get back on. More than that, though, usually one of the crew is the actual dive master so they're down with you.

I'm planning to go with my girlfriend in a couple of months or so.. probably Belize. I swear if one of these fucks comes close to pulling this shit I'll slit their throat.
My buddy Tull (yes, that's his name) does the music at Belize Yacht Club. If you're going to San Pedro you should go hang, it's a damn good time.

Also, have fun doing Blue Hole. :thumbsup:
 

WhiteHonkyDevil

El hombre de los moleculos!
Dec 8, 2004
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#23
I'm planning to go with my girlfriend in a couple of months or so.. probably Belize. I swear if one of these fucks comes close to pulling this shit I'll slit their throat.
How are you going to do that from inside the local aquatic life?