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Reef Report for Saturday, October 14, 2006

Two Scuba Divers Recovered Safely
A Reminder to be Careful When Drift Diving

Two Scuba Divers on the Great Barrier Reef were safely recovered after being separated from their dive group on an afternoon drift dive. They were spotted by a search helicopter, which spotted the cyalume light sticks that the divers had deployed. © Great Barrier Reef Enterprises All told the search for the divers lasted four hours and ended well after sunset, at around 9:00pm.

Drift diving is a form of advanced specialty diving that takes advantage of ocean currents. The dive group stays together and drifts with the current along the reef, to be picked up by a chase boat at some distance from their entry point.

Drift diving does have itís hazards, and anyone considering doing a drift dive would be wise to review with care the chapter devoted to drift diving in their advanced dive manual. We picked up our copy of the PADI advanced manual, and in it they emphasize that drift diving is a group dive, and that itís extremely important to stay in contact with the dive group, to carefully follow the instructions of the dive leader, and to ask questions if they are unsure of any aspect of the dive.

If separated from the dive group, divers must quickly decide between swimming faster with the current to catch the group, traveling slower to allow the group to catch up with them, or to surface and call for the attention of the chase boat that follows the dive group on the surface. A wrong decision at this point can result in an increased separation from the dive group, and make recovery more difficult.

Divers contemplating a drift dive should equip themselves with devices that will allow for them to be spotted at the surface, such as safety sausages, signal tubes, strobes and cyalume sticks. Be very careful if you are doing a late afternoon drift dive, and be certain of the diveís safety procedures, as if you go missing night may fall and finding you will be made very difficult by the darkness.

Cyber Diver News Network Report

(C) DiveTheReef The weekly reef report is written by Joel Groberg of DiveTheReef.com, who compiles them from the many conversations he has with dive staff in the area, as well as† many other local sources in the dive community.

Index of all reef reports.

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