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March 2013    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 28, No. 3   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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A Lost–at-Sea Diver Tells His Tale

a 14-hour swim from Gordo Banks back to the mainland

from the March, 2013 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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When you're diving in underdeveloped countries and somehow get into trouble during a dive, your first line of rescue is the dive boat. Many times, that's your only line of rescue. In remote places, such as eastern Indonesia or the Maldives, you must depend on your boat -- and perhaps other dive boats in the area, because you'll typically be far away from any government authority and its rescue vehicles -- if they have any at all.

Lost-at-sea dive stories also happen closer to home. On July 12, three divers on a trip with Baja California dive shop Cabo Eagle Divers, along with two dive guides, went missing near Gordo Banks, a popular site for hammerhead shark sightings four miles south of San Jose del Cabo. It was not until well after midnight that all of them turned up alive, having swum back to San Jose del Cabo. We asked Mick Kiernan, one of the divers lost at sea, what happened on that Gordo Banks dive. It took a while to get all his information, but he ultimately told us about what went wrong, and what divers should do to ensure they don't end up in a situation like he did.

"I've been diving for 12 years, with more than 300 dives logged, and I'm a rescue diver and chairman of my local scuba club in Kent, England. My 18-year-old son, Daniel, has been diving for seven years and is a PADI advanced openwater diver who has logged more than 100 dives. We've dived in various places, such as the Caribbean, Egypt, Greece, Malta and the Canary Islands. We decided to go to Mexico for our annual holiday, mainly for the diving and to see the hammerhead sharks that frequent these waters. This was our first trip to this country....

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