11 January 2005

Farmer wants bodies of divers retrieved

Dani´┐Żlskuil - The owner of the farm where the Boesmansgat fresh-water cave is situated, wants the bodies of both divers who died there retrieved.

But this time, a remote controlled unit will have to be used, said Andries van Zyl.

Australian Dave Shaw died at the weekend while trying to retrieve the body of Deon Dreyer, which has lain in the deep pool for 10 years.

Shaw gave instructions shortly before diving that should anything happen to him, his body should be left in the cave.

His family have said they will respect his wishes.

Van Zyl said Shaw would not have wanted other divers to risk their lives to retrieve his body.

But, Van Zyl added, if the bodies were brought to the surface, their would at least be closure for the families.

A friend of Shaw's, Michael Vickers, said his family was very religious and they believed he was with God.

"They will respect his wish that his body be left where it is as it is enough for them to know he is in heaven," said Vickers.

The family have no plans to come to South Africa. Van Zyl said a police diver from Bloemfontein would help retrieve equipment that is submerged at 80m, 100m and 150m.

Police superintendent Ernst Strydom said police and technical divers were still at the scene and would be deployed to retrieve equipment.

This should take no longer than a week, he said.

A third diver, 21-year-old Eben Benade from Touws River, drowned in Boesmansgat cave in 1992. His body was however, recovered.


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