Missing scuba divers found

2012-11-11 14:26

Durban - Nine scuba divers who went missing off Shelly Beach on Sunday have been found safe floating in the ocean, the National Sea Rescue Institute said.

"A medical triage centre has been set up at the NSRI Shelly Beach rescue base in order for medical personnel to triage for casualties, but NSRI can confirm that all nine divers are safe," spokesperson Craig Lambinon said in a statement.

They had been missing for about three hours at the diving spot, about 130km south of Durban, and were found shortly after noon.

A charter boat, from which the nine had been diving, lost sight of the group in rough seas on Sunday morning. Three NSRI rescue craft, two helicopters, the police, and owners of private boats took part in the search.

  • beverly.young3 - 2012-11-11 15:14

    Phew, the family and parents of these people must be so relieved. As a mother of a surfer/diver, I know the agony I have lived through at times. Good news for a change.

      darren.raath.5 - 2012-11-11 19:36

      this happens too often.these skippers need to catch a frakkin wake up.

  • fanie.gerber1972 - 2012-11-11 15:59

    Common guys - where where your deploy buoys? And Skipper - how the hell can you loose sight of the group - DM without a Surface Marker Buoy? Glad they are safe, but this is the first time in years that I have been involved in SCUBA that I have heard of a skipper "lost" a WHOLE group , and it is one time to many.

      badladballie - 2012-11-11 18:25

      I agree. I would be ready to punch if I was part of that group.

  • - 2012-11-11 17:24

    Fantastic news. It's great to see a bit of good news. Well done to the NSRI.

  • ivan.vanheerden.3 - 2012-11-11 18:30

    @ Faine. You weren't there. I was. We all had Surface marker bouys. When there is a strong current and the wind picks up during the dive it is not always easy for the boat to maintain visual contact. This was one of those times. This is not the first time people have gone missing and been located hours later kilometres from where they initally dived. As soon as the dive boat lost sight of us rescue procedures were instituted which is why, given the conditions that had developed we were found relatively quickly. The group of very experienced divers stayed calm, everyone kept each others spirits up and helped each other. My Thanks to "TYDE" and her crew who found us and for everyone involved in the search and rescue effort.

      badladballie - 2012-11-11 19:55

      Fair enough....I guess you guys knew the risk. I am glad you are happy everyone did what they were supposed to. Actually a good example then of what to do if things go wrong. Just as a matter of interest can you recommend anything new from this experience that would have made your rescue easier? I am not an experienced diver but I surfski and we all take cellphones with us in very windy conditions. Would this be a practical thing for divers to do??

      craig.sweet.750 - 2012-11-11 21:20

      Well done to Skipper Chris Korsten, owner and skipper of the boat TydeII. It is the second time he has found divers - NSRI spokesperson on the site accurately described him as the hero!

      kobie.nel1 - 2012-11-12 00:05

      Friend of mine had the same experience, but the skipper went of checking out a whale while they were down under. When he return he could not find them for some time. Do not remember how long, but I do NOT believe he will EVER go whale watching with some burly divers down, again, ever.

      ivan.vanheerden.3 - 2012-11-12 08:38

      Ballie, Problem with cell phones is finding a container that can withstand pressure of 30+ metres and then be waterproof enough to use on the surface. We had a Nautilus handheld radio and GPS and could hear the boat calling us but the transmit power was not sufficient for them to hear us. Most important thing is for all divers to carry a SMB. This should be mandatory for diving in South Africa. We all had them and it made it much easier for the skipper of Tyde and his crew to spot us

      badladballie - 2012-11-12 21:21

      Good advice thanks ivan

      badladballie - 2012-11-12 21:30

      Hey ivan just googled this....i am sure this would have made you guys much easier to find. or is this the type of SMB you guys use already??

  • sonja.ebersohn - 2012-11-11 19:40


  • cheryll.geldenhuys - 2012-11-11 19:47

    This happend to us on 2/10/1997... not a pleasant experience. Sounds like similar sea conditions! Our incident took place near Aliwal Shoal. I agree with comment on skipper posted earlier... @Fanie & Ivan, in retrocspect, we all could have done something differently in a situation like this, thankfully we also had no casualties and went diving again the next day...

      fanie.gerber1972 - 2012-11-11 20:37

      Agreed - and yes I was a bit judgemental - appologies. I am usually the sod who are rounding up stragglers/missing buddies and get very stroppy with skippers who are less than vigilant. Once on Aliwal the stream was so bad that the buoy line streamed horizontal Was a late afternoon dive and one guy had flares in a waterproof canister - have been hunting for a similar setup for a while - especially for night dives

      ivan.vanheerden.3 - 2012-11-12 08:41

      Fanie the problem with flares is that the small ones are useless during the day. We had them and set one off but really only usefull if the boat is close enought for you to see. Best thing for night dives are strobes that go on the back of your tank.

  • kym.pollard.9 - 2012-11-11 22:09

    Aqua Planet Dive Centre and Charter would like to thank all the concerned people out there that contacted us today regarding the missing divers. We were very pleased that all the divers were found and are home safe tonight. However due to the overwhelming publicity, we would also like to clear the air - Aqua Planet Dive Centre and Charter, based in Shelly Beach was NOT the dive company linked to the missing divers nor have we ever lost any divers off Protea Banks. Our skipper Tristan Burrell, who is also an Instructor, is an excellent skipper with sound judgement and great skipper skills and understanding of our dive environment.\r\n.

      lea001 - 2012-11-12 18:21

      So who was the dive charter?

      kym.pollard.9 - 2012-11-12 23:05

      African Dive Adventures, but I am sure they will make a statement in due course.

  • Louis Jordaan - 2012-11-12 09:22

    It was a very unfortunate incident. we can only praise God that it ended up in this way. We tend to become complacent in what we do. Chris surely can be seen as a hero. I have been out on the see with him a couple of times and i can say he knows the see. Best wishes to those involved.

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