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Four die after panic set in during scuba dive at popular Italian resort

Four die after panic set in during scuba dive at popular Italian resort

Post Number:#1  Postby run » Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:17 pm

By Philip Willan, Rome
7:18PM BST 01 Jul 2012
Douglas Rizzo, who was born in London but had been living in Rome, is believed to have been the leader of a party of divers who lost their bearings after kicking up mud from the floor of the "Blood Grotto", a popular destination with amateur divers because of its red walls, caused by a bacterial growth.
According to Italian investigators the group missed the exit to the cave after becoming confused and instead entered a nearby tunnel which led to a chamber with a dead end.
An Italian magistrate has opened an inquiry into the accident at the seaside resort south of Naples. Authorities identified the victims as Rizzo, 41, who leaves a wife and six-month old son, Andrea Pedroni, 40, from Rome, Greek-born Panaiotis Telios, 23, from Reggio Calabria, and Susy Covaccini, 36, also from Rome.
Massimo Ruggiero, the coastguard commander in Palinuro, said: "The entrance to the cave is through a tunnel at a depth of 13 to 14 metres. The group should then have swum up to a higher tunnel and made their exit from the cave through that.
"Beneath this channel there is another tunnel that leads to a dead end in a chamber with a sandy floor. All the victims were found there."
Marco Sebastiani, one of four other divers who survived the tragedy said he realised something was wrong when he saw their guide showing signs of agitation, but at that point it was too late.
"We suddenly found ourselves in a blind tunnel. We couldn't see anything. At that point it was panic. The agitation of the least experienced took hold. Mud and sand came up from the bottom of the cave and visibility was gone," Mr Sebastiani told Il Messaggero newspaper.
"At a certain point I managed to find my way. I took as many people as I could with me and we swam towards the light, which grew bigger all the time. When I came up, I looked around to count us and I realised that Susy, Andrea, Douglas and Panos weren't there."
Roberto Navarra, the diving school owner who provided the group's equipment, confirmed yesterday (Sunday) that four of the group had swum into the wrong tunnel.
"It's an easy cave but there is a dangerous tunnel that people never use. Four people swam into that channel," Mr Navarra told reporters.
He said he had tried repeatedly to save the missing divers but "the visibility was terrible. You could see nothing".
Mr Navarra said the group was correctly equipped and carried torches. "Unfortunately there was not one, but an incredible series of negative circumstances. Now we are all shocked and saddened."
Valter Ciociano, an expert diver from nearby Marina di Camerota, said many of the 35 underwater caves that draw divers to the area have muddy bottoms. "Often when you go in, the water is clear and you don't notice that your flippers are muddying the water behind you, creating what seems an impenetrable wall. On these occasions it's panic that rules the day." The underwater caves do sometimes contain small air pockets under the roof, but experts say they are no guarantee of safety. In many cases the air would not be breathable because of the presence of poisonous hydrogen sulphide fumes.
run
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Re: Four die after panic set in during scuba dive at popular Italian resort

Post Number:#2  Postby oldturtle » Mon Jul 02, 2012 2:54 pm

wonder what goes in the victim's mind when they were realised they were trap..phew ..takut man.. :$
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Re: Four die after panic set in during scuba dive at popular Italian resort

Post Number:#3  Postby gavstang » Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:21 pm

Such a tragedy...the ocean is already so rife with pitfalls I personally dont comprehend the need to go exploring in a dark, claustrophobic hole under the water...
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Re: Four die after panic set in during scuba dive at popular Italian resort

Post Number:#4  Postby syed » Mon Jul 02, 2012 5:15 pm

Very well said, Gustav.
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Re: Four die after panic set in during scuba dive at popular Italian resort

Post Number:#5  Postby zaff1984 » Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:06 pm

errr... takutnya... my octopus stucked at the KM Sipadan's inner door already freak me out...
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Re: Four die after panic set in during scuba dive at popular Italian resort

Post Number:#6  Postby run » Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:13 pm

:) eh just so you know the turtle cave entraced  in sipadan is also muddy too
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Re: Four die after panic set in during scuba dive at popular Italian resort

Post Number:#7  Postby zaff1984 » Mon Jul 02, 2012 11:25 pm

I think they should put rope attached to the wall.. in-case of emergency and they can follow the rope out.
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Re: Four die after panic set in during scuba dive at popular Italian resort

Post Number:#8  Postby Daylight » Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:18 am

I think they sould have pointers and markers for the DM or guide to follow rather than allowing the divers to go blindly into the cave with no return..
diving is AWESOME!!!!
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Re: Four die after panic set in during scuba dive at popular Italian resort

Post Number:#9  Postby run » Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:59 am

i agree to both of your ideas. This news show that dive operators outside malaysia is not that bright either. They claimed that the site is popular destination with amateur divers and yet they know about that dangerous tunnel.
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Re: Four die after panic set in during scuba dive at popular Italian resort

Post Number:#10  Postby gavstang » Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:33 am

Its a hole in the friggin ocean!  I still dont get why anyone wants to go into it..
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