Monday, October 31, 2005

INTO THE WILD WATCH: A lonely speck on the open sea

"OK - stay in the boat, people!!!"
thanks for the link, Frank - swimming to Belize, no thanks

It started as a routine tourist dive in the sunny Caribbean. Then the trip took a terrible turn

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The engine died a few miles off the Caribbean coastline of Belize. Nancy Masters, a 38-year-old Portland nurse, wondered how long it would be before she and the three other tourists could make their dive.

The dive captain tossed the anchor, but the boat kept drifting. He jumped in, disappeared in the blue water and surfaced, holding a bent O-ring where the anchor had snapped off.

They checked the radio. Dead. Two of the divers tried to get the engine working. No luck. Another searched the boat for flares. Nothing.

That's when Masters and the other divers -- 50-year-old John Bain, a Wisconsin patent lawyer; Yutaka Maeda, a 34-year-old Japanese national; and Abigale Brinkman, a 28-year-old Indiana medical student -- decided to swim for it. The dive captain was wary. If they swam in the wrong direction, he told them, there was nothing between the boat and Jamaica.

Against the dive captain's advice, they strapped on their diving equipment -- air tanks, fins, buoyancy vests and masks -- and plunged into the Caribbean Sea shortly after noon Saturday.

Three days later, one of them would be dead and the other three would be clinging to life in the open sea, praying for rescue. Search

No comments: