Saturday, January 08, 2005

Missing presumed dead

David Shaw is missing, presumed dead, after the attempted recovery of the body of Deon Dreyer who lost his life 10 years ago on a diving trip at Boesmansgat (Bushman's Cave) in Southern Africa. During a record breaking dive in October 2004, David found Deon's remains at 270 meters. He attempted to lift Deon, but was unable to do so since Deon's cylinders were stuck in the mud. However, David attached a line to the body for later recovery.

A volunteer team of eight divers returned to Boesmansgat, the third deepest freshwater cave system in the world, to attempt to recovery the body this month. Intial reports indicate that David did not meet his team mate Don Shirley at his first stop of 220m as planned during the recovery operation, and is presumed lost. At this time Don Shirley is still in the water, however it has become clear that Don is suffering from DCS, although he still has some hours of decompression to undertake before surfacing.

David leaves a wife and two children, my sympathies go to his family and friends at this time.

Update: From later reports it appears that Don Shirley is now safe. Shirley had descended past his station to 250 meters to search for David when he did not reappear on schedule and seems to have suffered a bend as a result. He will be recieving treatment in a recompresison chamber over three days using the Comax 30 schedule, but it is hoped he will make a full recovery. As per David's contingency plans made before the dive, and at his request, there will be no attempt to recover his body.

Update: There has been further news from Boesmansgat concerning the status of Don Shirley, and the recovery of the bodies of both David Shaw and Deon Dreyer.