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Posted by Ken Kurtis on June 03, 2004 at 17:16:38:

In Reply to: Re: Some answers posted by Chuck Tribolet on June 03, 2004 at 13:06:37:

I should have said 400 feet, not yards. And the vis is my guess based on a photo I saw and what I've heard. It could well have been 500 feet. Bottom line is that there was fog and the vis was limited.

As far as Dan's drifting distance, by his own account he surfaced 15 minutes after he started. My estimation is that with ear-clearing problems and the current, it took him 4 minutes to get to 100 feet (his max depth). Assuming that's the depth he ascended from (I've not seen a graph of his dive computer), let's be generous and give him 2 minutes to ascend with no safety stop.

That leaves 9 minutes of drifting. Let's negate any distance added by Dan just kicking in the wrong direction. 9 minutes is 15% of 60 minutes. A mile is 5280 feet. If the current was 1mph, 15% of that would be 792 feet or 264 yards . . . plus whatever distance Dan was from the boat when he started. If the current is 2mph (barely swimmable), then you end up 1584 feet away, or 528 yards.

So I think, given the time he was underwater apparently off the rig and drifting in THAT current with no visual reference, it's quite easy to see and understand how he could surface hundreds of feet (or yards) away from the boat.

Ken Kurtis
NAUI Instr. #5936
Co-owner, Reef Seekers Dive Co.
Beverly Hills, CA

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