Jeffe Dute –
Two experienced divers and a 13-year-old making his first open-water trip were rescued by a recreational fishing crew Thursday night after a strong current made it impossible to swim back to their anchored boat.
A family member described details of their harrowing story on condition that the men and boy remain anonymous.
The three, all from Gulf Breeze, Fla., were anchored over a wreck 15 miles south of Orange Beach when they started their dive about 2:30 Thursday afternoon.
They were aware of the strong current and poor visibility in the water, according to the family member, but went ahead with the dive because it was the boy’s first trip.
Upon surfacing, they realized that the current had carried them much farther from the boat than they’d anticipated.
They also quickly found that they could not make any headway against the current to get back to it.
Without a bubble watcher, a diving term given to someone who remains on the boat as a precaution, they had no choice but to drift with current and wait to be found.
The men “dive just about every other day, so they were prepared for anything,” the family member said.
At about the time the three entered the water, the crew of the “Reel Worthless” was busy making preparations to fish the Orange Beach Billfish Classic out of Orange Beach Marina.