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August 2016    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 31, No. 8   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Six Hours Adrift Alone

a stirring tale of Australian true grit

from the August, 2016 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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As Nietzsche said, "That which does not kill us, makes us stronger." Jacob Childs, a 30-year-old PADI instructor and course director from Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia, who considers himself a relatively experienced diver, would agree. He demonstrated his true Australian unflappability when Undercurrent asked him about his six-hour ordeal drifting afloat, alone in the open ocean after he became separated from his dive boat and his dive buddies.

"July 6th started like any other day of diving; an early rise, prepping, making sure everything was functioning, spares. It was 8.30 a.m. when our group left Bundaberg in the club's boat, heading out 30 miles to the wreck site of the Althea, arguably my favorite local dive site. We each agreed on all the normal things involved in any dive planning: signals, lost buddy separation procedures, buddy pairs, emergency procedures, etc. This also included what was to happen if a diver surfaced away from the anchor line. The procedure that was to be followed was, if a diver were to surface away from the rest of the group, or away from the line, the boat skipper was to disconnect from the anchor line, leaving a buoy in place in case any other divers surfaced, collect the separated diver, and return to the buoy. We were also ensured that every diver had an SMB/DSMB and whistle."...

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