Lost diver’s cries reach crewman on smoke break

Date: 1/6/2006

The Wellington diver picked up after a night drifting in Cook Strait started to worry when sea fog closed in round him. The 34 year old was one of 10 divers in an organised trip off the capital’s south coast when he became separated from his companions. An air and sea search was mounted but there was no sign of the missing diver until shortly after 5am when his cries for help were heard by a crewman on the Strait Shipping vessel The Kent when he had gone on deck to smoke and heard his cries for help. They stayed with the diver and directed a nearby fishing boat to pick him up at the mouth of Wellington Harbour. The diver was experienced and equipped with a rescue sausage. The dive rescue sausage is great for daytime visibility, but any diver who goes into the water within two hours of sunset is encouraged to make sure that they also carry a strobe light, mini personal flare or a torch.

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