If the search had started at Eureka . . .

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Posted by Ken Kurtis on October 24, 2010 at 21:09:15:

In Reply to: Re: Re: Re: Drifting Dan won 1.63 Million posted by Eric S on October 24, 2010 at 16:10:40:

Eric S wrote: "If he would have been counted as missing like it should have been and a search started right away AT THE CORRECT LOCATION FROM THE START we wouldn't be having this discussion."

Thart's not correct and I think underscores one of the great fallacies of this case.

Caveat up front: I testified at the trial on behalf of Ray and the Sundiver as an expert witness. This is one of the points I covered. Some things to remember:

1. Dan surfaced at 9:09. (There's a dispute as to where but it doesn't matter rightnow.)
2. The roll call was completed and the boat left at 9:30.
3. The current was moving at 1.24mph, or 109fpm.
4. Dan testified he couldn't kick because he was afraid he was going to cramp up so he was carried by the current away from the rig.
5. That means in the 21 minutes he was on the surface, he drifted 2,289 feet from his starting point, or roughly 1/2 mile.
6. The visibility was estimated at 1/4 mile.
7. Had Dan been discovered missing at Eureka at 9:30, Dan would not have been visible to anyone.
9. Based on the timeline from the seasrch actually done at Ace One (the second site), with putting divers in the water, and a search around the site, plus getting permission from USCG to leave the site to start a search, it would have taken roughly another hour, or 10:30 before the boat could leave the rig.
10. By this time, Dan is roughly 1.67 miles away from Eureka.
11. I won't go through the math, but searching in the fog at roughly 2mph (so you don't run him over), if the boat has made a beeline on Dan's course and found this needle-in-a-foggy-haystack, the earliest this could have happened would be ANOTHER two hours, which puts it at 12:30. (If they do a widening zig-zag, it owuld have taken longer.)
12. Dan was picked up by Argus at 1:50.
13. So the best argument you can make if that the DM botching the roll call extended Dan's drift by roughly an hour and a half. However . . .
14. Even if the roll was done properly at Eureka and the search procedures started right away, Dan wouldn't have been found immediately.
15. Dan "owns" the first three hours and 20 minutes of that drift no matter how you cut it.

The notion that if the search for him had started at Eureka t 9:30 means he would have been found faster/immediately simply doesn't have any merit.

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

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