Posted by on January 25, 2005 at 03:55:21:
In Reply to: Jealous husband denies last wish posted by on January 25, 2005 at 03:30:06:
The ashes of Deon Dreyer, the diver whose remains Dave Shaw went to fetch in a doomed mission, will be sprinkled in Boesmansgat.
"There's only one place for my son's ashes," Theo Dreyer said yesterday.
"I know people will think it's ironic, but we know that this should be the final resting place for our son."
Theo said he would fetch his son's ashes today after attending a memorial service for Shaw - the 51-year-old Australian pilot and deep-cave diver who died earlier this month trying to retrieve the remains of Dreyer by plunging 271m to the bottom of Boesmansgat.
Dreyer was 20 years old when he lost his life at the Northern Cape cave a decade earlier.
"I will attend the service to pay my final respects to Dave. Dave came out to do me a favour and I want to give him a hero's sendoff," Dreyer said.
Shaw had discovered Dreyer's remains when he explored the silt bottom of Boesmansgat during a world-record dive on October 28. Shaw then told the Dreyers that he would return to Boesmansgat and fetch their son's remains.
But on January 8, about 22 minutes into a dive that was scheduled to last 12 hours, Shaw lost consciousness.
For four days, his body lay next to Dreyer's. On January 12, when the support divers were retrieving the cylinders from the doomed dive, Shaw's body floated up to the roof of the cave - and dangling from his body were Dreyer's remains.
It wasn't the way he had intended, but Shaw had kept his promise and completed his mission.
"I want to meet Steven (Shaw's 23-year-old son) and tell him what a great man his father was," Dreyer said.
Yesterday, Steven Shaw arrived in Johannesburg to attend the memorial service. It was Steven who introduced his father to diving seven years ago.
"I had gone to the Philippines and learned to dive. The next year my dad and I went on a holiday in the Philippines. His passion for diving just took off from there. He loved exploring. For him it wasn't about going deep; it was about being the first person to discover something," Steven explained.
He said his father had been doing "dangerous stuff" for years and the family had accepted it. "This is who my father was."
After the memorial service, Steven was due to travel to Boesmansgat. "My mom wasn't ready to come to South Africa; she will come later this year."
Meanwhile, specialist dive doctors Frans Cronjé, Hermie Britz and Jack Meintjes released a report about what went wrong during the dive.
The doctors said they had examined the diving equipment, analysed the gas mixtures used, reviewed footage from Shaw's camera and re-enacted the breathing patterns of the last 10 minutes of his life. They concluded that a number of unforeseen problems arose.
"Shaw appropriately aborted the attempt at six minutes as planned but became entangled in the line used to mark Dreyer's body. In the ensuing effort to free himself he succumbed to carbon dioxide poisoning."
"As he had enough gas reserves, the question that remains is 'Why?' "
The doctors add that even though the equipment was functional and the gas was appropriate for the depth, the inability to exchange gas effectively eventually resulted in a rise in carbon dioxide.
"At times Shaw's breathing rate increased to 36 breaths a minute, his distress was obvious and gas exchange would have been greatly impaired," the report states.
Shaw eventually lost consciousness and drowned at a depth of 264m.
The doctors warned against diving at such depths. They said they were aware of only six divers who had ventured beyond 250m.
"Three are dead and two of the remaining three have been seriously injured during their attempts."
The report goes on to say: "It's our view that 150m is a more realistic depth limit for this very advanced and hazardous form of recreational diving."
"We hope David's death will urge future technical recreational divers to be sensible and realistic about their ambitions," the report says.
"Even Dave, who was a highly trained and experienced technical diver, was not immune to the dangers," according to the doctors.
Post a Followup