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Diver missing?

Just the thought of it can give a dive guide nightmares. One moment you still have all your divers and a bit later you are missing one. The movie Open Water is a diver's bad dream but all the more so for divemasters. Now Bonaire is not the Pacific, and with the prevailing Easterly winds divers will not drift toward open water when they get lost on the East Coast. But still, as a dive guide you do not want to lose a diver.

Thank God it never happened to me yet, but I realise that however careful you are, it can still happen. It may happen on a calm day like today. Hardly any wind, calm seas, in short circumstances where the diving is easy as it gets. I did the White Hole, and it was as awesome as ever. As always, before I got out to do the Turtle Hunt in the shallow Sea Fan Meadows, I assembled my group and counted. All eight were there, so we went over the edge and swam out toward the drop off zone. It was Turtle Soup again. Within minutes, four, five, six big green turtles swam around us. I turned around with a triumphant grin to see the astonished faces of my divers. But the grin freezed on my face when I counted only seven divers. I looked around, counted again. Seven divers only. One of the divers pointed up. That's where my missing diver went. I looked up to check. The boat was on the mooring and we were not far from it. My missing diver was already next to it. Thank God!

As it turned out, she lost a weight pocket at the beginning of the dive, and when we got out of the Hole she could not stay down anymore. Not a problem, but please divers, tell me when you are leaving the group prematurely and save me from having a heart attack!

Posted by Wietze Koopman on 2009-12-04


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