Archive for 02/22/2012

Tuck Thompson – 

Gabe Watson’s diving buddy Michael Moore told a jury today he and Watson practised rescuing distressed and unconscious divers as part of their rescue certification course.

Mr Moore said he and Watson did open water dives in Florida and Mexico together, where they made drift dives in brisk current, dove to a depth of 50 metres and stuggled with visibility of less than a metre.

Watson, a 34-year-old bubble wrap salesman, is accused of murdering his bride of 11 days, Tina Thomas, during a Townsville wreck dive in 2003.

Watson’s lawyer, Brett Bloomston, claims Watson wasn’t experienced enough to cope when his wife panicked.

Prosecutors say Tina was killed in a scheme hatched in Alabama to collect a small fortune in life and travel insurance.

Mr Moore’s testimony didn’t help the credibility of his childhood friend: Jurors have heard an interview where Watson told Queensland Police he had not been trained to bring anyone to the surface in his rescue course.

Watson had obtained four diving certifications – open water, advanced, rescue and specialty spearfishing – about four years before Tina’s fatal dive on the SS Yongala.

Mr Moore said he and Watson did an accelerated course over a full Saturday with dive instructor Tom Jackson in an Alabama quarry learning how to search for missing divers and how to rescue them.

“Tom played the part of a distressed diver, moving his hands panicking and we assisted him,” he said.

“We had to go and get a diver sitting on the bottom and inflate their BC (bouyancy vest) to get them. Gabe and I did it to each other.”

Full story…


Paul Fraser Collectibles –

We need hardly remind readers of the constant draw of the Ferrari brand – especially with a Ferrari 250 GTO selling for $31.6m earlier this month, making it the second most expensive car ever sold.

However, the vehicle which has just been announced as being a part of an upcoming Monaco auction, (May 11-12) whilst legendary, is a little different.

The remarkable consignment is the famous Hydroplane racing boat, ARNO XI, which comes complete with a Ferrari engine.

A unique piece of history, ARNO XI was first conceived of by Achille Castoldi, who wanted to set a water-speed world record. In the years of 1952-3, Castoldi convinced Enzo Ferrari to assist, and a 12-cylinder, 4,500 cc V-12 Ferrari engine (identical to that used to ensure Ferrari’s first ever Grand Prix victory in 1951) was installed, assisted by twin superchargers.

In 1953 it set a world speed record for an 800kg boat on Lake Iseo in northern Italy (241.70 km/h or 150.19 mph ) – in fact so triumphant was the boat’s performance that the record still stands.

Nando dell’Orto then used it for racing, with great success.

Full story…