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21-Year-Old Dies During Expedition With Us Dive Operator Off Grand Bahama

By DENISE MAYCOCK

Tribune Freeport Reporter

dmaycock@tribunemedia.net

AN American man reportedly drowned while on a dive expedition with a US dive operator off West End, Grand Bahama, making it the second fatal incident this year involving US-registered vessels conducting dives in the Bahamas.

The 21-year-old man was discovered unresponsive in the water around 8pm on Monday. According to police reports, he was among passengers on board a US-registered dive boat, diving off West End.

The victim’s identity was not released yesterday and police are investigating the incident.

The Tribune has learned that the man was not a passenger, but a crew member of the Dolphin Dream, an 85-foot research yacht, out of Lake Park, Florida.

A representative of the company, when contacted yesterday, told The Tribune that they do not know what happened. “He was not a passenger, he was a member of our crew and we know nothing until an autopsy is done,” a woman from the company said.

Dolphin Dream operates “unique Bahamas adventure cruises”, which includes wild dolphin encounters, shark diving, scuba diving and custom trips to The Bahamas.

According to its website, the shark diving trip involves dives with Tiger, Lemon and Reef Sharks. The company conducts most trips for seven days and six nights. West End is a known site for shark diving.

In July, US commercial dive operator Jim Abernethy Scuba Adventures, which is based in Lake Park, Florida, lost a diver off West End during a shark diving expedition.

Dr John Petty, 63, of Texas, was diving with several others from the Shear Water when he disappeared. A three-day search was called off for Petty, who is believed to have been the victim of a fatal shark attack after his camera and shredded dive gear were discovered at the bottom of the ocean. While this latest fatality appears to be a drowning, concerns have been raised by the Bahamas Dive Association regarding dive operations conducted by US dive companies in the Bahamas.

Neal Watson, BDA president, said the association has no control over the activities of US dive operators. Mr Watson has said that the BDA is in discussions with government to establish guidelines and procedures to ensure proper safe diving procedures are followed by foreign-based operators.

Expert Bahamian diver and spear-fisherman David Rose believes that shark diving and feeding is unsafe and should be banned in The Bahamas. Shark diving tourism is a multi-million dollar industry and The Bahamas is considered one of the shark dive capitals of the world.

Comments

aloethree 4 years, 10 months ago

Who regulates the industry>?

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John 4 years, 10 months ago

If this was a Bahamian company the headlines would be screaming.

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duppyVAT 4 years, 10 months ago

White people like the thrill of the sea ...................... black people like the thrill of the street. Thats the way it is ........................ you wont understand if ur on the other side of the beach

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jusscoolin 4 years, 10 months ago

Can a Bahamian Dive company go to the Us without going through 1000 feet of red tape? That's the question!

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Sickened 4 years, 10 months ago

Certainly these dive boats (any boats) have to register and go through customs when entering Bahamian waters. When dive boats from other countries come in they should not be able to clear until our Defense Force/Coast Guard also inspects their boats for adequate safety equipment, dive certifications for instructors and general inspection of their gear. They should also have to provide an itinerary of their dive sites. All of this extra trouble as well as the additional work on our part will cost money which should be passed on to the dive companies. Of course this is a double edged sword because if something goes wrong the dive company will immediately say that the Bahamian authorities inspected the equipment etc. etc. and found nothing wrong. BUT... it is better than a lot of accidents and headlines in the U.S. simply saying "Another diver in the Bahamas died..." and leaving out any mention of it being a U.S. dive operation.

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captjohnr3 2 years, 9 months ago

'Stop Shark Feeding Tours' Published on July 19, 2016

A Bill that would ban SCUBA divers from feeding sharks in U.S. waters introduced in Congress

Some SCUBA diving operators use bait or chum to attract sharks so that their customers can get an up close and personal encounter. A new bill that would make this practice illegal in all U.S. waters has just been introduced into Congress. Section 3 of S. 3099, the “Access for Sportfishing Act of 2016”

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/stop-s...">https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/stop-s...

Stop Shark Feeding Tours

Please contact your US Representatives bit.ly/2ixq2vf and US Senator bit.ly/2ioSEs5 and ask them to vote YES on S.3099 http://bit.ly/2jvKta2">http://bit.ly/2jvKta2 By U.S. Senator Bill Nelson bit.ly/2isEv86

Shark Detective John Russell http://bit.ly/sharkdetective">http://bit.ly/sharkdetective

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/florid...">https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/florid...

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