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Cast away

Updated on: 25 September,2022 09:58 AM IST  |  Australia
A Correspondent |

Australian mother and her two sons surface from scuba dive only to find that the boat they had arrived in had left without them

Cast away

The dive boat that came to their rescue after almost an hour. Pics/Justine Clark

Justine Clark, an Australian scuba diver with 30 years of experience, along with her sons, Max, 20, and Felix, 18, booked an afternoon dive at an offshore site called The Supermarket, Fiji Islands, on August 14. The entire situation took a scary turn when their dive boat went missing, leaving them with nearly no means to reach the surface.

“We travelled into an approaching storm and out in open waters in what appeared to be a large channel about 20 kilometres from the island. No tender boat was visible on the surface, the swell was two metres, it was dark with grey clouds and high wind,” stated Clark.

The dive party Clark booked included an English tourist and the divemaster, who worked for Viti Water Sports, a company subcontracted by Captain Cook Cruises. When they reached the surface, the divemaster told Clark that this had never happened in his 27 years of experience. “He apologised and told me he was so scared and he had radioed the captain that he lost us,” Clark said.

It was a garbage collector picking up on rubbish in the ocean who came to the rescue of the mother-son trio. After a regulation drift dive of about 40 minutes, the diver was able to surface with her sons. “I can’t express how concerned I was for everyone’s health, and the sense of determination I had to reach the island in a calm manner,” said Clark. She also added that the captain apologised to them. The company said the situation was unprecedented and that a full internal review had  been undertaken.

20 km
The distance between the island shore and the point where the trio found themselves stranded

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