Posted by on January 09, 2005 at 03:51:52:
In Reply to: One of the recovery divers died as well. + posted by Max Bottomtime on January 08, 2005 at 21:31:17:
Aust diver presumed dead in S African cave
An Australian deep-water diver has disappeared and is presumed dead after a mission to retrieve the body of another diver from South Africa's deepest cave.
David Shaw, who found the skeletal remains of fellow technical diver Deon Dreyer during a world-record dive in October last year, himself did not resurface after descending into Boesmansgat, the world's third deepest cave on Saturday.
Mr Shaw, who was attempting a world-record dive in the sinkhole situated in South Africa's arid Northern Cape province, spotted Mr Dreyer's body on October 28 last year at a depth of 271 metres.
Mr Dreyer disappeared in the cave during a similar dive in 1994.
"He (Shaw) promised Dreyer's parents that he would fetch the diver's body," the Afrikaans paper Rapport said.
The 50-year-old, Hong Kong-based airline pilot started his dive early on Saturday morning.
He was supposed to descend to the cave's bottom for a few minutes, cut loose Mr Dreyer's body and put it into a body bag, before returning to the surface through a series of long-timing decompression stops.
Mr Strydom said Mr Shaw, a father of two, had failed to show up at his first ascent stop.
"The body of Deon is not recovered and the divers are waiting for Dave to resurface. There is no plan to fetch at this stage," he said.
At a media briefing Friday, Mr Shaw prophetically warned that things could go terribly wrong.
"I am quietly confident that we will bring Deon to the surface," he was quoted as saying.
"But if I feel something is not right I will abort the attempt. If anything goes wrong at this depth, it goes very wrong."
Boesmansgat is described by several websites as an ancient watering hole for Bushmen roaming the Kalahari Desert and warned it should only be "dived by experienced divers with some caving and sinkhole experience".
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