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Davy Jones Locker dive trip ends in disaster as boat sinks

Davy Jones Locker dive trip ends in disaster as boat sinks

Post Number:#1  Postby jgshuwei » Wed Sep 24, 2008 8:50 pm

Davy Jones Locker dive trip ends in disaster as boat sinks
Powered by CDNN - CYBER DIVER News Network
by LUTHER MONROE - CDNN Safety News Editor

KOH TAO, Thailand (18 Sep 2008) — Another dive boat sank in Thailand some 30 miles offshore.

Witnesses told CDNN all tourist divers and crew were forced to abandon the Chen Samud dive boat in the middle of the night when the vessel sank in rough seas.

The dive boat sank quickly and everything on board including technical diving equipment and personal belongings were lost as the passengers and crew jumped into a smaller RIB chase boat.

The ill-fated 5-day liveaboard dive trip was organized by Tim Lawrence, owner of Davy Jones Locker of Koh Tao, Thailand, which chartered the Chen Samud from Black Tip Divers, also based in Koh Tao.

Witnesses told CDNN that despite pleas from the captain of the dive boat to turn back due to high waves, gale-force winds and water pouring into the boat that overwhelmed the capacity of the pumps, Lawrence stubbornly refused to abort the trip.

Instead, he demanded the captain stay the course towards the HTMS Pangan Wreck, a dive site considered beyond the range of the Chen Samud and similar single engine wooden boats.

Profit vs safety

Recently, there has been a spate of dive boat accidents in Thailand that have resulted in tourist deaths and injuries.

Dive safety experts have criticized lax certification standards that govern the operation of commercial passenger boats in Thailand.

Stupidity and greed has also been cited as factors that contributed to decisions that aimed to safeguard dive shop profits rather than customer lives.

"What is troubling about this case is that the captain's judgement to turn back was overruled by Davy Jones Locker owner Tim Lawrence who clearly was more concerned about protecting his profits than the lives of his customers," said CDNN editor Lamar Bennington.

"Foreign dive store owners in Thailand typically lack the expertise, experience, local knowledge and judgement to safely operate dive boats in the difficult conditions often encountered off Thailand," Bennington added.

"Therefore, it is imperative that dive store owners understand and fully accept that onboard a chartered liveaboard dive boat, they have absolutely no authority to make decisions about the operation of the vessel. Any and all decisions affecting the safety of passengers and crew is the sole responsibility of the captain — no ifs, ands or buts about it."

http://www.cdnn.info/news/safety/s080918a.html
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Re: Davy Jones Locker dive trip ends in disaster as boat sinks

Post Number:#2  Postby Quero » Wed Sep 24, 2008 9:41 pm

I absolutely DESPISE cdnn reporting. It's sensationalist. It gives incorrect or exaggerated information.

This boat DID sink. Mistakes WERE made. There may even be liability. But cdnn 'Editor Lamar Bennington' (not his real name) is far from well-regarded among dive professionals, so when he sets himself up as judge and jury in his blood-soaked cyber-rag, I find it beyond disgusting!

Take anything you read in cdnn with not just a grain of salt, but all the salt dissolved in the waters of our oceans!
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Re: Davy Jones Locker dive trip ends in disaster as boat sinks

Post Number:#3  Postby jgshuwei » Wed Sep 24, 2008 9:54 pm

Quero wrote:I absolutely DESPISE cdnn reporting. It's sensationalist. It gives incorrect or exaggerated information.

This boat DID sink. Mistakes WERE made. There may even be liability. But cdnn 'Editor Lamar Bennington' (not his real name) is far from well-regarded among dive professionals, so when he sets himself up as judge and jury in his blood-soaked cyber-rag, I find it beyond disgusting!

Take anything you read in cdnn with not just a grain of salt, but all the salt dissolved in the waters of our oceans!



Q, please tell us more about this incident if you know.

The reason I posted here is to check if anyone know better about this issue. To trust the source or not is up to individual.

Thanks!
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Re: Davy Jones Locker dive trip ends in disaster as boat sinks

Post Number:#4  Postby Quero » Thu Sep 25, 2008 2:25 pm

There are three aspects that are notable, at least to me.

First, as is true in other areas of the world, the tech community in Thailand is populated by highly trained and often equally highly opinionated people. There are personalities in our tech community who are engaged in a constant war of one-upmanship; if one techie tries something and encounters difficulty, another is always there to claim it wouldn't have happened to him! A lot of the discussion (might I even say gossip?) surrounding this event is exactly that--20-20 hindsight, with the added element of malice. I've even seen board postings relating to this incident where some techie competitors called the leaders of this failed trip "muppets," with intentional disrespect. The article cited takes exactly this tone.

Second, the essential facts: the boat was a converted wooden fishing vessel of which there are many around--it was fitted out and registered as a dive boat; the destination was the shipwreck Pangan; there was weather and the boat took on water, eventually sinking about 28 nautical miles from Koh Tao; everyone had time to safely board an RIB. Some reports say they reached the wreck and were on their way back, while others say they were still trying to get to the wreck. I'm not supporting any "side" but am happy that there were no casualties.

Third, it may be up to individual readers to decide what information sources they find credible, but among most serious divers and dive professionals, this particular source is regarded as something akin to a supermarket tabloid. The fact that the report cited offers absolutely no substantiated quotes, and in fact names only one source who was nowhere near the scene of the accident, attests that this is not a highly reliable news source. This kind of reporting is commonly termed yellow journalism.  
Last edited by Quero on Thu Sep 25, 2008 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Davy Jones Locker dive trip ends in disaster as boat sinks

Post Number:#5  Postby Scorpenesub » Fri Sep 26, 2008 7:46 am

Quero is absolutely right. Better to get the facts straight before forming an opinion or commenting on an accident that no one here knows the full facts....

Still can't help felling sorry for the harrowing experience the divers must have gone through.

And more importantly, this event illustrates the importance of divers having DAN and other insurances for protection of life and property...
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