09 January 2005

Diver in Boesmansgat cave operation missing

One of the divers in the operation to recover the body of Deon Dreyer in Boesmansgat has gone missing and the operation has been called off.

Dave Shaw, who dived to 270m to attempt the body recovery did not meet his partner Don Shirley at his first stop of 220m on Saturday morning as planned.

Police commander of the operation Superintendent Ernst Strydom said no plans were underway to search for Shaw in such dangerous conditions.

Meanwhile, Shirley - who is the dive's technical co-ordinator - was suffering from decompression illness and was due to return to the surface at 6pm on Saturday.

Early on Saturday afternoon Shirley was slowly returning to the surface.

News of his condition came from others in the team of eight divers who had been underwater.

The dive started at 6.15am on Saturday.

Dreyer blacked out and drowned in the cave, the third deepest freshwater cave in the world, while diving there in 1994. He was 20 years old.


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