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June 2015    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 30, No. 6   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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A Bad Night on the Wind Dancer

divers and crew endangered as reef rips open hull

from the June, 2015 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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There has been a spate of leaking and sinking liveaboards in recent months. For examples, see our March 2014 story "Choose Your Dive Boat Wisely," about three liveaboards in Thailand that sank within three weeks of each other last year, and last month's story about a typhoon that hit Truk that sunk the Siren and badly damaged the Odyssey. We believe it's important to keep our readers apprised of liveaboard dramas, and Undercurrent subscriber Joel Sill (Los Angeles, CA) had such a tale while aboard the Wind Dancer at Cocos Island in late April. After he made it back to the U.S., he wrote his story and shared it with us.

* * * * *

On the evening of April 29, we were moored in Chatham Bay, Cocos Island. All the divers and some crew were having dinner in the salon; it was the night before heading back to the mainland at Puntarenas, Costa Rica. Suddenly, we heard the terrible sound of steel scraping, which increased as the ship starting banging up and down. I have been on boats that have run aground, and the sound is unmistakable. Everyone hurried to the dive deck, which is also the Muster Station. Looking astern, I could see we were smashing up on the rocks of what I believe was Manuelito Island (I'm not sure because it was dark and I don't know how far we drifted). The jagged rocks were covered with barnacles and foaming over with the typical surge. My first thought was, "If we have to go in the water, this is not a safe retreat," then I vaguely wondered about black-tip sharks....

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