Archive for 02/15/2012

Jennifer Cooke – 

Eight years after a fairytale wedding to his princess bride, Tina, Alabama packaging company salesman Gabe Watson will go on trial for her murder next week.  *

An extraordinary saga has led to this point. Set against a backdrop of animosity between the families of the couple, the case has sharply divided friends, neighbours and legal teams.

Allegations of murder against Watson are based on a theory originally put forward by the Townsville police, who investigated Tina’s death after she drowned while scuba diving on her honeymoon.

Tina Thomas, 26, had suffered from regular heart palpitations until a curative surgical procedure two years before her October 2003 wedding.

She died in what Queensland police and Tina’s family believe were sinister circumstances.

Gabe Watson’s defence lawyers in Australia and the United States maintain he made a bad decision to leave her and seek help when she panicked and got into difficulty about 15 metres under water, instead of using his rescue diving certification training to save her.

Whether Tina drowned in a tragic accident or whether the burly, 192-centimetre-tall Watson planned his crime in Alabama and then travelled across the world to carry out the murder of his bride on their Great Barrier Reef honeymoon 11 days later, as alleged, is what a jury will have to decide.

At the heart of the saga is this question: Why did Tina Thomas drown five minutes into her first ocean dive above a wreck with her regulator in place, plenty of air in her tank and her dive equipment working perfectly ?

Full story…

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Adelaide Now –

A German couple and their child drowned in a tourist submarine accident overnight off Egypt’s Red Sea resort town of Hurghada, security officials told AFP.

The victims were a German man, his wife and child, they said.

Thirteen other tourists of different nationalities were rescued.

Egyptian state television said a preliminary tourism police investigation found that the submarine had collided with a coral reef, shattering a glass partition and filling the vessel with water.

Four of the rescued tourists were taken to hospital, state television reported.

Millions of tourists visit Egypt’s Red Sea resorts, especially Sharm el-Sheikh, for its beaches and rich underwater life.

But in December 2010, a mysterious spate of shark attacks killed one tourist and injured four others, forcing the closure of Sharm el-Sheikh’s beaches for several weeks.

Nick Squires – 

The child’s father told rescuers that the little boy had been unable to sleep since the disaster and desperately missed his toy.

He wrote to islanders who had given shelter to him and his son after they were brought ashore when the 950ft long vessel ran aground on the Italian island of Giglio on the night of Jan 13.

Islanders passed the letter to the island’s mayor, Sergio Ortelli, who in turn gave it to rescue divers, who entered the hull on a special mission, finding the cabin where the boy had been staying and retrieving the soft toy – bedraggled but intact.

Bad weather has repeatedly forced divers to suspend their operations in the hull of the crippled ship but they took advantage of a break in the weather earlier this week to go back in – a welcome break from the grim task of looking for bodies.

They found the bear hidden in a tangle of debris – overturned tables, chairs, mattresses and scattered luggage.

Full story…