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September 2017    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 32, No. 9   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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The Great Risks of Golf Ball Diving

from the September, 2017 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

The owner of a Welsh online company that sold golf balls retrieved from lakes has been jailed for 32 months for manslaughter, following the death of an employee. British regulations specify that a commercial dive team should have been used, but Dale Pike's company, Boss Golf Balls, employed a 29-year-old man with learning difficulties, Gareth Pugh, and paid him the equivalent of $40 per day. He was equipped with a mask and weight belt and air supplied through a garden hose connected to a small compressor floating on a rubber raft at the surface.

The murky water of the lake at Peterstone Golf Club near Cardiff was only 2.5m (8 feet) deep, but Pugh had been underwater for some time on his first dive before Pike realized something was wrong. Emergency services discovered Pugh's body inverted, weighed down by not only his weigh belt but a bag containing 340 golf balls.

"Dale Pike stood by and watched as Gareth entered the water, knowing that safety regulations were being breached," said Iwan Jenkins of the Crown Prosecution Service. "His deceit and callousness resulted in Gareth losing his life."

(Source: South Wales Argus)

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