Drowned man’s diving gear found on beach

2014-06-24 00:00

EQUIPMENT thought to belong to world-renowned diver Peter Timm, who drowned near Aliwal Shoal last week, was found yesterday.

The equipment is understood to have washed up on the beach and was discovered by three runners who had been training on the shoreline.

Timm, who garnered wide acclaim for his discovery of coelacanths near Sodwana Bay, died along with his dive partner, Adele Stegen.

A detailed examination of the diving gear belonging to Timm and Stegen could prove vital in establishing what went wrong.

One set of equipment, which was lost during the rescue of the two, remains missing.

Timm and Stegen are understood to have descended to a depth of 60 metres in order to recover a piece of equipment lost during a research mission.

It is understood that during their ascent, Stegen got into difficulty and Timm had ignored his own safety and rushed to the surface in an effort to aid her.

While performing CPR on an unconscious Stegen, Timm himself collapsed.

Dive charter owner Marc Bernardis said that the runners had found the dive gear floating in the shallows.

“There are some locals that go for morning runs on the beach and while running, they saw the gear in the water. They called a local school I used to teach at and told them about it and they called me,” he said.

Bernardis paid the men a reward not to sell the gear, vital to understanding why Stegen and Timm had died.

“I phoned them and urged them not to sell it. I gave them a reward and asked them to keep an eye out for the second set, which hasn’t been found yet.

“I just want to help to find out what happened. It’s not an issue about money, but more about finding out what happened out on the water. If we find [Stegen’s] gear, we will at least maybe be able to find out what happened to her,” Bernardis said.

A South African Maritime Safety Authority investigation into the diving accident continues. Police are conducting a separate inquest into the deaths.

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