Rainbow Warrior claims two divers’ lives

Date: 1/4/2005

In separate incidents a 53 year old woman and a 27 year old man died recently while diving

at the popular site of the Rainbow Warrior. Neil John Doherty surfaced in difficulty at the site near

Matauri Bay, Northland and later died in Auckland Hospital. He was an Auckland diver with limited

experience and was diving alone. Hazel Absalom, an English tourist, was pulled from the water unconscious.

Resuscitation was attempted after it was noticed in the final few minutes of her ascent to the surface that

she had stopped breathing. She had an advanced open water diving certificate.

The Greenpeace vessel is one of the country’s most popular dives since it was scuttled in Matauri

Bay in 1987 and now lies at a depth of approximately 27 metres. ‘It’s an easy dive because there’s a

descent line to follow to the bottom and you can get around the wreck in one air tank easily and you

have an ascent line to come up safely’, says Mr Le Couteur, co-owner of Paihia Dive.

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