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#19819 - 10/26/05 08:51 AM trying to make sense of this  
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 53
sluggo Offline
sluggo  Offline
Why did they leave a boat, and get in the water to swim? Seems too far. Can't seem to get a straight story, anyone here know anything?

COLUMBUS, Ind. -- An Indiana woman died during an apparent diving mishap over the weekend off the Caribbean coast of Belize, a family friend said today.
Abigail Brinkman, 28, was among four people who had been missing since Saturday before a fishing vessel found three survivors and her body on Monday, said a man who answered the phone at her parents' home but would not give his name.

The divers -- two men and two women -- apparently had floation devices that allowed them to keep afloat during their three-day ordeal at sea. The three were taken to a hospital in Belize City, Belize police spokesman G. Michael Reed.
The Brinkman family friend said the boat apparently had a mechanical problem in the wake of Hurricane Wilma, which had passed by further out to sea hours before.
"She and the other scuba divers went in the water Saturday afternoon to attempt to swim to shore," he said. "I assume that she drowned, but that is not a fact."
One of the survivors is John Bain, an Indianapolis native who now lives in Racine, Wis.
Mary Garrett of Indianapolis, Bain's mother, said she spoke to her son this afternoon as he recovered in a Belize hospital.
Bain, 50, a patent attorney, was suffering from hypothermia and a jellyfish sting, Garrett said. He expected to leave the hospital in a couple of days.

#19820 - 10/26/05 08:54 AM Re: trying to make sense of this  
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 539
Kristykins Offline
Kristykins  Offline
That's a very odd story...

"If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere"
#19821 - 10/26/05 09:03 AM Re: trying to make sense of this  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,459
SimonB Offline
SimonB  Offline
Try here:

(it will be gone later today)

#19822 - 10/26/05 02:05 PM Re: trying to make sense of this  
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 1,419
This is the hardest thing to make sense of.

"(departed)Saturday morning despite a small craft warning and extremely rough seas and strong winds in the wake of Hurricane Wilma."

Even if the captain was a bit "loose in the attic" you would think that among the other 11 persons someone might have figured out that this wasn't a very good idea. One only needs to watch the dive boats go in and out of the cuts in San Pedro when it's a bit rough outside to quickly realize what you can be up against.

Our collective condolences to the family of a fellow Hoosier.

#19823 - 10/26/05 02:16 PM Re: trying to make sense of this  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,459
SimonB Offline
SimonB  Offline
In an interview with the occupants one stated "We have fault because all the other dive shops didn't want to go out on Saturday and apparently there was a small craft warning. But we wanted to go and Advance Diving was willing to take us and so we decided to go even though the last place we checked said it was to rough."

In another interview the dive master indicated that they left the boat against his recommendations and he, smartly, stayed with the boat. Whether or not that holds out to be true or not it does place significant blame on the divers.

Dive operators on the island always find "shop hoppers" on bad days that insist on going out in unsuitable conditions. They also take a lot of abuse from divers whose trips have been cancelled due to poor conditions. It's a pretty thin line they have to walk between satisfying the customers and looking out for their safety. Thankfully the right choice is made 99.99% of the time; you just have to look at the safety record to see that the dive shops care more for the divers than their pocketbooks.

#19824 - 10/26/05 02:28 PM Re: trying to make sense of this  
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 5,850
Diane Campbell Offline
Diane Campbell  Offline
well said simon.

#19825 - 10/26/05 03:24 PM Re: trying to make sense of this  
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 1,419
Ditto, Simon. You only have to look back at the Blue Hole incident with the Florida doctor a few years ago to realize what some of the dive shops have to routinely contend with. A family member has had over 200 dives in BZ the past 4 1/2 years and she's never been upset when weather cancelled one, just relieved. Just a damn shame that in this case a wonderful young life, full of promise and help for others, had to be ended because of a series of bad judgements.

#19826 - 10/26/05 07:49 PM Re: trying to make sense of this  
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 6,251
NYgal Offline
NYgal  Offline

#19827 - 10/26/05 10:04 PM Re: trying to make sense of this  
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 8,880
seashell Offline
seashell  Offline
This is something from the msnbc site, that I don't recall seeing in any of the other reports.

"the company that hosted the excursion called Advanced Diving is under investigation, they had no warning flares in the boat, or radios, and their two guides had suspended licenses."

I've been thinking so much about how they made the decision to head for the shore. I believe I would have stayed with the boat, but I'll never know for sure. If the shore looked that close and we had full tanks, I might have believed we could make it too. All that said, I don't believe I would have tried to swim it on the surface. In that regard, I'm talking about taking a reading, dropping down and doing it on SCUBA.

In any event, I'll never leave a boat now under bad circumstances unless I'm thrown out of it.

A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?

#19828 - 10/26/05 11:55 PM Re: trying to make sense of this  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,459
SimonB Offline
SimonB  Offline
The book "Fastnet Force 10" is a tragic reminder of how the boat often survives after an abandon ship while its crew doesn't. I'd recommend it for anyone who spends time on the water, I don't know of many hardcore sailors who haven't read it.

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