FREEDIVERS

Today we stopped in Clarence Town on Long Island.

We wanted to see the famous Dean’s Blue Hole, the deepest hole on the planet so they say. 663’ deep. Evidently there is a competition beginning soon. Curious, we took a taxi ride there only to arrive as something bad was happening. There was a small crowd by the waters edge and as we approached we could see a body in and half out of the water. A Japanese free diver was lying on the beach with two guys kneeling beside her. Not breathing. In the background, the platform where they free dive. Up in the rocks, behind a memorial for 3, there is a large tank with a very long blue hose attached and one guy, a diver, was forcing air into her lungs with the regulator. The other, a bystander like us, was assisting and rolling her on her side to let water pour out. We stood back and watched and held our breaths. Finally she started breathing on her own. Her friends were frantically trying to figure out what to do and how to get her to a hospital. Our driver stepped up but not before Eric brought the 100 pound tank down the rocks and helped get it to the taxi so she would have it just in case.
It was surreal. And of course the question must be asked. Why would anyone do such a thing? Dive without oxygen to a depth so deep that you will either make it, or drown. I don’t get it.
There were no SCUBA safety divers, and the visibility was poor. I had the notion before we left to bring flippers and mask and pretend and take a photo holding onto the rope.
Instead, we climbed up some rocks and jumped off a cliff.
Scary, but safe.
I respect others who take calculated risks.
My whole life I’ve done my fair share and am lucky to still be around. But with age comes wisdom and a greater appreciation for the beautiful thing we call life.

Editors note: We learned when our driver returned that she made it.

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The diving platform at Deans
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Deans Blue Hole
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Chelsea Jumps!

There’s a saying that goes “It’s  better in the Bahamas”.

The water and the sand is – that’s for sure!

 

 

4 thoughts on “FREEDIVERS”

  1. Hi Eric and Annie, this is Brian and Violeta Pucella. My mother is good friends with Kelly, Annie’s sister. We are here on the island and would love the opportunity to meet you while you are her. You already met Vio at the blue hole during your traumatic visit but did not realize it. You can contact us at brianpucella@gmail.com or if you have a cell at 472-1927 or 338-8076. Fairwinds.

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    1. Thank you so much for contracting us! Vio for sure is the hero of this event. Her quick thinking and actions helped save a life. We were glad we were there to help and thank you for giving us some closure. We have contacted Sheldon who helped Vio and he is also grateful to have been there as well as looking forward to hearing from you. I’ve shared his contact with. Dive deep, dive safe!

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  2. Hello- I am the husband of the freediver you wrote about. Scary story but happy ending. She is doing very well thanks to many of those present – particularly your driver and Eric. I would like to thank both of them an maybe share the rest of the story. If you could contact me to share your recollection it would help others who may find themselves in a similar situation. I should point out that this kind of incident is easily preventable but some unfortunate mistakes were made. Freediving is a safe and beautiful experience – we want to ensure our experience will benefit others. Thank you.

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    1. Hi Richard, Very relieved to hear she is doing well!!!!
      and back in my first hometown, Miami.
      We now live on our boat and have a house in San Diego, and were passing through, hoping to see Brian at the hole. Our timing was good, and we were eager to help. But as you know the real hero is Vio and yourself for forcing air and life back into Claire. Sheldon is the name of the young man who helped you and he would probably appreciate hearing from you as well. Sheldon.Rossouw@gmail.com. My personal email is anniegatos@gmail.com so please contact me to keep this private. Happy to share our side of the story with you as I left out many details for the blog. Have been communicating with Brian so he knows. Really really happy you have your wife and would like to learn more. Warm Winds, annie and Eric

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