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#19815 - 10/26/05 12:41 PM Dive boat?
CHOOCHOO Offline
Top news story in central Indiana this a.m. concerns a 28 year old female medical student from Indiana who died along with three others when a dive boat over turned in rough water in BZ. Any one know more about this?

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#19816 - 10/26/05 01:09 PM Re: Dive boat?
NYgal Offline
If its the same one... it was out of Placencia.
Group of snorkelers and divers went out...snorkelers were left at Little Water Caye and divers went out into deeper waters. Engine stalled, boat drifted..one person( captn?) was able to swim the distance to another shore and 4 were in the water.

Three survived the float in the water, one passed frown

Many daylight hours spent searching but life was found on the Little Water Caye and 23 (I think) miles, from where the incident happened, was where they found the divers.

It's all over the news on another forum and our caretaker called us last night and was very upset since this was the 2nd time this same captn. had this trouble.

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#19817 - 10/26/05 02:16 PM Re: Dive boat?
CHOOCHOO Offline
NYg,

Thanks. As usual the broadcast media here had it wrong and said that there were 4 fatalities when there was only the one. If you click on the San Pedro Daily on the AC board there is a statement from Monday from the Tourism board. At that time there had been no recovery of the divers.

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#19818 - 10/26/05 03:09 PM Re: Dive boat?
SimonB Offline
Amazing how the news media can screw thing up so badly, probably just looking to sensationalize the story. Maybe they need to read this board to get the correct info.

Rescued Divers Critical But Stable
They were lost at sea for 55 hours, but yesterday afternoon, three of the lost divers were found alive. The survivors are 34-year-old Japanese national Yutaka Maeda and Americans 38-year-old Nancy Masters and 50-year-old John Bain. 28-year-old Abigale Brinkman a medical student who did not have a wet suit, didn't make it. The divers were spotted by a BDF aerial search team about 23 miles southeast of Glover's Reef Atoll.

We will hear firsthand from the BDF pilots about their dramatic rescue in a few but first...tonight the three survivors are listed in critical but stable condition at the Universal Health Hospital in the city. They were airlifted by helicopter from Southwest Caye to Universal's Helipad where they were admitted into the intensive care unit. Universal's Dr. Victor Lizarraga attended to all three and he says that the divers are well on the way to recovery.

Dr. Victor Lizarraga, Universal Health Services
"They arrived in pretty bad shape. They were very dehydrated, hypothermic, badly sun burnt, and one was semi-conscious. They were brought directly to our emergency room where we started resuscitating measures. The most important thing was dehydration and hypothermia along with metabolic abnormalities because of drinking of sea water. They were severely burnt. They are clear skinned people and they had stayed in the water so especially the upper part of the body was damaged and at least one of them was exposed to bites from little jellyfish in the water. Today they are not as critical as yesterday, they are getting better, and they will do very well."

Keith Swift,
How longer would they have been able to survive out there?

Dr. Victor Lizarraga,
"Well I'll tell you they did very well to survive for two days, especially since the weather is pretty chilly right now with Wilma passing and so on. The waters would have cooled off tremendously so they are pretty tough."

Keith Swift,
How lucky are these people to be alive?

Dr. Victor Lizarraga,
"Very lucky, very lucky. They are lucky to have been found. They couldn't have lasted another day. Kudos to the BDF."

Abigale Brinkman was taken to the KHMH for a post mortem. Police note that bruises were found around her neck.






The Heroic Rescue That Almost Wasn't...
And as Lizarraga pointed out it is thanks to the BDF. In the two-day search, the BDF Air Wing flew over the search area for more than 20 hours under the leadership of Major Ganney Dortch. Today he told us that the Defender was just about to retreat for the night, because they were running out of fuel, when they spotted a female survivor. Major Dortch says the soldiers made a split second, life saving decision.

Major Ganney Dortch, BDF Pilot
"Just about the last 20 minutes of flight the pilot had declared his intention to bring in the search to a halt. He declared his fuel state as being low and on sighting the first body it brought life to us and it gave us some great sense of achievement and as a result of that we had to make a decision for that airplane to extend out and eventually it landed at Placencia with only a couple of gallons remaining in the tanks which proved to have been very fruitful."

Keith Swift,
What reaction did they have when they saw the plane overhead?

Major Ganney Dortch,
"On the initial contact, on declaration of possible sight of a body, the female that was sighted first took off her fins and started to wave in excitement and after that we could have actually heard the two pilots in the background with some sense of achievement. As a result of that we then started to go in the second stage of our searching method where, since we had located one person in that general vicinity we started to do a tighter search. The airplane then descended from 800 feet to approximately 500 feet and a dinghy was dropped to one of the survivors so she could have inflated it and eventually climb into it. Unfortunately, it is our belief, that she was a bit weak. She swam for approximately ten meters and she just saw the dinghy floating and couldn't do anything about it."

Keith Swift,
Do you guys feel like hero for saving these three lives?

Major Ganney Dortch,
"Firstly, being a military personnel I do not take rewards. We do what we are supposed to do the best of our knowledge and the best of our ability and that is what gives us great pride and a sense of achievement."

Keith Swift,
I know you met the survivors this morning. What did they say to you?

Major Ganney Dortch,
"Well one of the females mentioned that if she weren't in that condition, she would have gotten up and hugged us. You could have seen a great sense of thanks from these people. I literally couldn't bear the sight. I couldn't believe that these people had lasted some 40 plus hours out there at sea and I must at this stage commend them for a job well done. I think that they were responsible for saving their lives because living out there on the sea for 40 plus hours is a bit difficult."

We note that Placencia dive master Brian Young, who we interviewed last night, was also on the search mission which found the survivors. Major Dortch and the other pilots had to spend the night in Placencia because they were low on fuel after the successful rescue. This morning the first order of business when they landed in Belize City was to visit with the survivors at Universal Hospital.

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