Divers saved after 20 hours adrift

Pair pulled alive from shark-infested waters around Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

    The pair were rescued after spending 20 hours in
    shark-infested waters [Reuters] 
    'Lucky people'
     
    "If I was them I'd be getting out the $30m dollar lotto ticket tonight," Philip Dowler, a RACQ Rescue helicopter spokesman, said.
     
    "They were very lucky people," The pair had used their weight belts to strap themselves together and wait for rescue.
     
    "The divers made some very good decisions throughout the evening," Shane Chelepy, of the Queensland water police, said.
     
    The incident had echoes of the disappearance in 1998 of Tom and Eileen Lonergan, an American couple, on a diving trip to the Great Barrier Reef, that formed the basis for the Australian film Open Water in 2004.
     
    Two days passed before dive operators raised the alarm and no sign of the couple was ever found except for a shredded piece of Eileen Lonergan's wetsuit.
     
    A coroner's inquiry concluded they drowned or were killed by sharks and the skipper of the dive boat was charged with manslaughter and later acquitted.
     
    The case resulted in stricter safety controls on the reef's dive operators, including more regular head counts of divers.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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