23 September 2005

South Africa: Scuba diver goes missing in Hout Bay

An intensive search was launched on Thursday night for a diver who had gone missing in Hout Bay during a night diving course, the National Sea Rescue Institute said.

Spokesperson Graig Lambinon said on Friday morning at least three boats and a helicopter were taking part in the search.

He said the NSRI in Hout Bay received a call Thursday night around 07:30 after Cape Town Port Control had seen red distress flares.

The NSRI in Hout Bay launched its two boats and the Kommetjie branch, as well as the Table Bay branch also launched boats to help in the search. Police and Metro Rescue divers were also deployed to assist with the search while two private boats joined.

"On arrival on-scene a search commenced for a missing diver who was reported to be in full dive gear including a buoyancy vest and wet-suit," Lambinon said.

"Sea conditions were one to two metre short choppy swells and 10 knot South Westerly winds.

"The search grid was plotted by the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre and included a search along the coast taking into account natural drift currents, wind speed and wind direction."

Lambinon said ten people were taking part in an advanced night dive course at Vulcan Rock, off the Hout Bay coast.

Seven divers went into the water, but two decided to abort the dive due to the choppy seas. When they tried to board the boat again, one drifted away and was soon missing. The missing diver's identity has not yet been released.

During the night rescue teams were rotated and the search continued early on Friday morning with the helicopter joining around 06:00.

Source: www.news24.com


At 11:02 AM, Anonymous Alex said...

What the hell? I wonder who the dive shop is that took people on a night dive in these conditions? Was there whistles, strobes, dive lights issued to each diver?


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