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Reef Report for Saturday, July 14, 2007

Great Barrier Reef's Diving Legend Gone Walkabout

Have you seen Dive Bear?

One of the most well-known diving stuffed animals on the Great Barrier Reef has gone missing, and is the subject of an intensive and good-natured search, all for two good causes; his safe return and the protection of the Great Barrier Reef.

Since 2004 Dive Bear has been the celebrity saturation diver aboard various vessels running out of Cairns aboard the Santa Maria, a beautiful historic sailboat that operates high-service live aboard dive trips out of Cairns, Australia. © New Horizons Sail and Dive Mich, the skipper aboard the Santa Maria met Dive Bear at Christmas time, and very soon after adopted him taught him to dive.

Over the years Dive Bear has become a favorite of crew and guests alike, to the extent that Dive Bear had been taken as a guest on dive trips all over the world.

His dive log read like a veteran diverís dream, including Thetford, Flynn, Hedley, Moore, Ribbon and Osprey Reefs on the Great Barrier Reef. Dive Bearís quiet charm enchanted guests, who offered to take him on adventures all over the world, including safaris in Kenya and diving in the Caribbean. He fielded a proposal of marriage from a Swedish diver, but ever so politely turned it down, preferring the solo adventurous life with his dive buddy Mich on the Santa Maria.

It all went wrong in September of 2006, when Dive Bear was spotted in the Cairns International Airport, headed with a group of divers from the USA on his way to a diving adventure in St. © New Horizon Sail and Dive Croix in the Virgin Islands. Since that time, except for scattered and hazy recollections of sightings all over the world, there have been no confirmed sightings, no emails, and no postcards.

A very worried Mich contacted us hoping that we could help find Dive Bear, and see that he finds his way back home to the Santa Maria.

Together DiveTheReef.com and New Horizon Sail & Dive Adventures, who operate the Santa Maria, are offering a reward of $100, donated to Reef Check Australia, in the name of the person that provides information that leads to Dive Bearís return home.

In addition, we have started a website, www.WhereIsDiveBear.org, to further spread the word and involve more dive travelers in the hunt. The website will be the search headquarters; a place where you can find more pictures, identification characteristics, recent sightings, and hopefully someday the news that Dive Bear has returned to his home in Cairns on the Santa Maria.

We will forward any news about Dive Bear to the appropriate authorities, please send any information you have to whereisdivebear@divethereef.com

More about Reef Check Australia

(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.

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