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February 2004 Vol. 19, No. 2   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Relax and Drift

from the February, 2004 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Currents pose dangers if one has to struggle against them. In October 2003, Christina Thomas Watson, 26, from Hoover, Alabama, died at the Yongala wreck while on her Australian honeymoon. Gabe Watson, her husband, told the Townsville Bulletin that had they known how strong the currents were, they wouldn't have entered the water.

Mike Ball Dive Expeditions general manager Stan Kielbaska said the pair had been in the water once before and had been offered an orientation dive. Kielbaska said 25 divers on the Spoil Sport had been told to drift past the wreck and surface at the other end. However, the Watsons decided to abort the dive after a matter of minutes when they realized how strong the current was.

Watson said that "after the incident, one of the female volunteers on the Spoil Sport told me that as they were on the anchor line the current was so severe it pushed them horizontal. From what we were used to in the States, the current was very strong. Tina got into difficulty as we turned back. It is my belief that whatever physical problem took Tina's life was triggered by our struggle with the current as we tried to abort the dive." Kielbaska said that although the current was strong, Mr. Watson still managed to make headway against it while bringing his wife with him.

Had they relaxed and ridden with the current, however, this story might have had a much different ending.

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