14 January 2005

Boesmansgat video footage shows how Dave Shaw died

A video camera attached to the helmet of Australian diver Dave Shaw has graphically recorded his last 22 minutes in Boesmansgat cave in the Northern Cape.

Dave Shaw, 50, had a video camera fitted to his helmet on Saturday when he tried to retrieve the remains of 20-year-old Deon Dreyer - who drowned in the cave on Carmel farm near Dani´┐Żlskuil more than 10 years ago - from a depth of 276m.

The video, which was shown exclusively on e-tv news on Thursday evening, graphically portrays the last 22 minutes in Shaw's life before he also died in the Boesmansgat cave.

The video material shows that thin rope (which was strung from the guideline for Dreyer's remains) became entwined with Shaw's torch while the body itself became entangled in the guideline.

Shaw, too, became ensnared in the rope.

It took Shaw 11.5 minutes to follow the guideline and reach the bottom.

He reached Dreyer's remains and started putting the body into a body bag.

Exertion under extreme conditions
Shaw had five minutes to complete all his tasks at the bottom but was still busy after five minutes and running into difficulties.

The video camera went dead 22 minutes after Shaw had started the dive.

Gordon Hiles, a production leader, said on e-tv that abnormal exertion under extreme conditions had played a major role in Shaw's death.

The story has made headlines worldwide after Dreyer and Shaw's bodies were unexpectedly brought to the surface on Wednesday.

Dreyer's remains will be cremated and the ashes possibly will be strewn on the waters of Boesmansgat Cave.

Deon's parents, Theo and Marie Dreyer, have been inundated with phone calls.

Mrs Dreyer said they will probably would have a private cremation for their son.

Michael Vickers, spokesperson for the Shaw family in Hong Kong, could not be reached by telephone on Thursday.

Underwater photographer Derek Hughes said on Thursday: "We know that Dave reached Dreyer's body, but that he was not successful in placing the remains in the body bag or removing the equipment from the remains.

"Dave promised to retrieve Deon' body.

Diving suit inflated
"He kept his promise, but he paid with his own life in doing so."

Inspector Deon van Eeden, a police diver from Cape Town, said on Thursday the guideline could have been under tension during the weekend, which could have resulted in the bodies being disturbed.

He said Shaw's diving suit probably became inflated, which caused the entangled bodies to rise.

The higher it rose, the more the diving suit became inflated and the faster the bodies rose.


At 12:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's very intersting...
Good luck...
see you again.



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