Archive for 09/01/2011

3News –

On the 15th of July two men lost their lives while diving in Lake Pupuke on Auckland’s North Shore.

One of them was 33-year-old father of two Daniel Stoneham. His family stood at the shores of the lake for two days until police recovered his body.

It has now been six weeks since Daniel’s death, and his family say the pain hasn’t eased one bit.

It was the last day of a 15 week training course, and he and four other learner divers were to complete a 35 metre dive. It was their first time diving at Lake Pupuke, but soon after they entered the water something went wrong.

His family say they have no idea what happened on that day.

“We know nothing at the moment about what happened, except that he called some of us up on that day, to say “I’ll call you back when I get back”, and the phone call never came,” Daniel’s father Cliff Stoneham said.

The body of 37-year-old Tyrone North was found by divers the same day, and a third man was also taken to hospital.

But Daniel’s family had to endure two days waiting by the shores of Lake Pupuke until his body was recovered from the murky water at a depth of 53 metres – 18 metres deeper than he had planned to dive.

“I was expecting someone to share some light for us, but no they haven’t not to me anyway. I have had a discussion with a couple of divers, that went down with them that day – but it really didn’t tell me anything they just told me that they knew something was going wrong and that’s all I know,” Cliff said.

Daniel’s family is desperate for answers but say they will wait patiently if it means they’re given a detailed account of what happened and why.

Full story…

Maritime Journal –

A group of veteran seafarers are encouraging youngsters to consider what has become an important but ‘forgotten profession’ as the UK prepares to celebrate Merchant Navy Day on Saturday 3 September.

Residents at the Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society, a Surrey based home which provides dedicated accommodation and care to former seafarers and their dependants, said there is not enough awareness of the important role the Merchant Navy plays in our society among the younger generation.

The Merchant Navy has kept citizens in the UK fed, clothed and equipped for over 200 years, not to mention being a lynchpin of the economy, delivering overseas sales to every corner of the world. Today, 95% of UK imports and 75% of UK exports still travel by ship, with a fast growing need for energy imports by sea set to increase in coming years.

Yet, despite this, interest in this important industry as a career is surprisingly lacking, with a quarter of children believing the film character Captain Jack Sparrow to be Britain’s most famous seaman while a third of adults did not know that the Merchant Navy transports cargo and passengers to and from the UK.

Captain Roy Davis, a resident at the Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society, worked in the Merchant Navy for 45 years and had some of the best experiences of his life traveling the world from Russia to South America, transporting all manner of goods from sheep to missiles.

He said, “I rather think it’s a forgotten profession. When I went to sea the British Merchant Navy was the biggest in the world and in every single village there was at least a couple of people that went to sea. The opportunities are not broadcast as they used to be and young people are missing out on the travel, broadening their outlook and seeing how people in other parts of the world live.”

Full story…

ChesterFirst –

The ‘Discover Scuba’ challenge, organised by the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign to raise funds to fight muscle disease, is aimed at diving beginners and takes place at the Blue Planet Aquarium in Cheshire Oaks.
Those brave enough to swim with a variety of sharks, stingrays and conger eels are being asked to raise a minimum amount of sponsorship at the next available session, which is to be held on Saturday, November 26.
Volunteer fundraising manager Charles Horton said: “Diving with sharks is a great way to raise funds to help the work of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign.
“It also offers a unique opportunity to be part of an amazing underwater safari where you can come face-to-face with one of nature’s most feared creatures of the deep.”
Participants learn the basics of scuba diving among one of Europe’s largest collection of sharks, including 10-foot sand tiger sharks, as well as hundreds of other fish.
About 8,000 children and adults in the North West are directly affected by muscle disease, a condition which causes muscles to progressively waste and weaken. Muscle disease is life-limiting, and there are no cures.
The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign has pioneered the search for treatments and cures for more than 50 years.