Divers recover two bodies from S African cave


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Posted by on January 13, 2005 at 09:19:20:

In Reply to: Australian diver's body recovered in South Africa posted by on January 12, 2005 at 22:46:26:

Australian diver Dave Shaw probably died after becoming tangled in a line attached to the remains of a man he was trying to recover, it emerged yesterday.

The airline pilot's body, along with the remains of Deon Dryer, 20, were brought to the surface after divers retrieving equipment left behind by Mr Shaw found them 20 metres under the surface of the world's third deepest freshwater cave.

Mr Shaw, 50, was entangled in a nylon line he had attached to Mr Dryer's skeletal remains.

The breakthrough, confirmed by Police Commissioner Ben Groenewald, came after Mr Shaw's widow Ann said she would respect his wishes and not search for his body.

Both bodies have been taken to a government mortuary for investigation and will be released to their families when police complete their work.

But initial signs from a video tape Mr Shaw recorded and from his body have led his colleagues to assume he had reached the remains of Mr Dreyer, to which he had tied the line when he first discovered them in October last year.

Sounds of heavy breathing on the tape appear to indicate that he was working hard to recover the South African who died in the Boesmansgat Cave 10 years ago.
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"He was working right to the end," Don Shirley, a member of the dive team told The Age.

"I imagine he was trying and had no intention of stopping," Mr Shirley said. "I guess he was working hard moving the body and his carbon dioxide levels went up. My guess is he just started because his mouthpiece was still open. That means he just passed out," he said.

Mr Shaw's widow Ann learnt of the discovery at her home in Hong Kong after a call from South Africa in the middle of the night.

Mrs Shaw said: "It was a great shock to me last night when I heard that David's body had been brought to the surface. This was something I had neither expected nor wanted.

"However, I hope that this will bring comfort and completion to both families.

"I would like to thank the many, many people here in Hong Kong, in Australia, in South Africa and other parts of the world for their prayerful support and kind words of comfort - many people that I know and love, but also many others that I have never met," she said.



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