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wild scuba story - not in Belize

Posted By: Marty

wild scuba story - not in Belize - 06/08/08 07:32 PM

Stranded scuba divers chase off Komodo dragon on remote Indonesian island
June 08, 2008 12:14 PM EDT

JAKARTA, Indonesia - European scuba divers swept away in strong currents survived 12 hours in shark-infested waters and then scrambled onto a remote Indonesian island where they faced yet another threat: a Komodo dragon.

The divers - three from Britain and one each from France and Sweden - came face-to-face with the giant, carnivorous lizard on Rinca island's palm-fringed beach, and fought it off by pelting it with rocks and pieces of wood, port official Pariman said Sunday.

"Luckily, they were able to chase it away," said Pariman, who, like many Indonesians, goes by only one name.

The beasts have sharp, serrated teeth and often come out when they smell something new, including humans, whom they've been known to kill, Pariman said.

The divers encountered treacherous currents after plunging from their wooden boat off Tatawa island on Thursday afternoon. They drifted 20 miles (30 kilometers) from their dive site before swimming to Rinca, their last chance to avoid being swept into the open ocean.

"We struggled against the current for several hours, but eventually stopped," 31-year-old Laurent Pinel, of France, told The Sunday Times of London. We "tied ourselves together by our diving vests to preserve energy."

They ran into the Komodo dragon on Friday afternoon. The next day, rescuers plying the waters in more than 30 boats spotted them waving frantically on the shore and took them to Flores island for medical treatment.

The area where the diving trip took place is famous for its rich marine diversity, including sharks, manta rays and sea turtles. But it is also known for its treacherous and unpredictable seas.

Recommended only for experienced divers, it is in a place where the Indian and Pacific Oceans meet, creating currents that converge and separate. Whirlpools and eddies can pull divers downwards.

"We're safe but absolutely exhausted and dehydrated," Charlotte Allin, a 25-year-old British diver, was quoted by The Sunday Times of London as telling her parents from the hospital where the five were taken.

Komodo dragons, which can grow up to 10 feet (3 meters) long and weigh as much as 365 pounds (165 kilograms), are only found in the wild on Rinca and Komodo island. There are believed to be 4,000 left in the world.

Thousands of tourists visit the area in eastern Indonesia each year to see the lizards in their natural habitat. They are normally shown around the arid and rocky island by guides who carry large, forked sticks to ward off the lizards.
Posted By: Rykat

Re: wild scuba story - not in Belize - 06/08/08 07:45 PM

Someone should re-write that "story" minus the alcohol?!
Would probably read like........
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: wild scuba story - not in Belize - 06/09/08 03:01 AM

Why Rykat, this report corresponds with the ones I've read? And yes, the Komodo dragons are extremely dangerous.
Posted By: Rykat

Re: wild scuba story - not in Belize - 06/09/08 03:26 AM

jeeze, loosin up p2, little humor thats all. story sounded true BUT a wee bit exagerated....coulda run with it...stodgy!!!!:-)
Posted By: ScubaLdy

Re: wild scuba story - not in Belize - 06/09/08 03:28 AM

AND the currents are VERY Strong.
While diving in Palau in í98 we were warned to stay away from certain area that they call the Philippine Express.
One day Patti and I swapped dive buddies and I went with Jim. When we encountered a large school of Titian Trigger fish laying eggs in the sand Jim did not know how dangerous they were. It took me some effort to get him around that section.
Even though we were good friends we had not been diving together and didnít have the underwater communications I had with Patti.
We did not realize that we had taken a far left turn and went out into the current. As soon as I realized we were moving way too fast we surfaced and were about a mile from the boat. Thank goodness they made everyone use safety sausages and I had my in-line screamer. The boat hurried and picked us up but just weeks before some divers had disappeared.
It sounds to me like these people used pretty good sense once they realized their peril.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: wild scuba story - not in Belize - 06/09/08 05:06 AM

Yes, but the DM should have had an electronic location device and the boat should have had appropriate detection equipment. The unpredictable and wild currents there are well known, and any dive operator not so equipped is irresponsible. IMHO.
Posted By: ScubaLdy

Re: wild scuba story - not in Belize - 06/09/08 02:03 PM

I got the impression tht they dove from their own boat. Does anyone have a link for this story?
Posted By: CatMo

Re: wild scuba story - not in Belize - 06/09/08 02:27 PM

A bad day diving is better than a good day at work...usually. wink
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