Re: Diver's body to be recovered from cave

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Posted by on January 09, 2005 at 03:58:14:

In Reply to: Diver's body to be recovered from cave posted by on January 08, 2005 at 20:56:32:

DaniŽlskuil has a one-stop service station where one can buy half a roast chicken, pap and vleis and a copy of the Afrikaans newspaper Volksblad.

It is not uncommon to see men strolling in wearing only a pair of shorts.

A team of divers, police and paramedics has descended on the small town in the Northern Cape, located 80km south of Kuruman, to recover a body.

Located 30km from DaniŽlskuil is Boesmansgat -- the world's third-deepest freshwater cave.

In 1994, while diving in the cave with his father, Deon Dreyer, then 20, blacked out and sank to the bottom.

On October 28 last year, Australian diver Dave Shaw found Deon's remains at a depth of almost 270m.

Shaw was unable to take the body to the surface as Deon's air cylinders were stuck in the mud.

This week, the diving team staged a "dress rehearsal" at the cave for Saturday's recovery attempt.

This follows four weeks of preparing for what Don Shirley, the team's technical coordinator, described as a "small military operation".

If everything goes according to plan, Shaw will dive to the bottom of the cave and seal Deon's remains in a body bag.

It will then be relayed to the surface by eight divers positioned at regular intervals.

The process is expected to take just more than an hour.

Once the body is at the surface, Deon's parents, Theo and Marie, will be granted a few minutes with the body of their son. Theo requested that his church minister be present.

Deon's remains will then be taken to a mortuary in Bloemfontein, where an autopsy will be conducted.

The police's national dive commander, Superintendent Ernest Strydom, was not too certain what state the body would in, but said he did not expect much flesh on it.

The divers involved are all "technical divers" and members of the International Association of Nitrox and Technical Divers.

Technical diving is an advanced form of scuba diving and uses special methods and equipment to explore environments and perform tasks beyond the range of recreational diving.

Shaw and his team of divers will be equipped with closed-circuit rebreathers as opposed to traditional scuba equipment. Rebreathers allow divers to stay under water for longer periods. -- Sapa

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