Twin Rescues Part 1, Coogee Beach, Fremantle, Western Australia.
Jeff had called me to ask if I could dive under his boat in Coogee Marina and recover a sentimental gold bracelet he’d lost after he’d caught it on a cleat on the side of his boat as he was getting off. A few days had gone by since the loss as his son is a professional diver and he’d had a go at locating it but had had to give up due to the zero visibility down there.
Now this is a bit embarassing but when I got half way to meeting Jeff I realised my BCD (Boyancy vest) wasn’t in the car! I pulled over thinking I must call Jeff and see if I could arrange the dive for the next day. I also thought well I’m half way there I may as well meet him and have a look first hand at the loss site.
By the time I got to the marina I had thought through how I might still achieve the result Jeff needed albeit rather unconventionally! Jeff’s bracelet was last seen by him disappearing into the murky water between his boat and the jetty. I dropped a weighted line into the water approximately where the bracelet had dropped into the water then I tied a rope around my dive tank and had Jeff lower it to me in the water. I then dived down with it and lay on it on the bottom.
The bottom was not solid but varying thicknesses of silt and mud so the tank made a nice bed in this and allowed me to search ahead of the tank with my hand held scubatector. Each time I detected half a meter or so in front of me I would slide the bottle forward a length and detect again. When I turned to come back I was able to clearly feel the rut the tank
had left behind out to the right of me even though I could not see my hand in front of my mask! This meant I was coming back perfectly parallel to my first search line. Who would have thought a mistake in leaving my BCD behind would lead to a novel new search technique! As usual I waved my detector over a hole I’d just made to retrieve yet another beer can and heard another fainter signal. I felt around the hole and squeezed the mud until I felt somthing solid, and flexible… and HEAVY. I swished my hand at arm’s length from me in the water to clean most of the mud from my hand before pulling my hand right up close to my mask and boom.. there was Jeff’s gold bracelet, bright as anything in the near total dark! Everything appears about 1/3 bigger underwater than it really is so it’s an amazing feeling when gold just appears before your eye’s in this way, even more so when it’s the gold you are searching for… needless to say Jeff nearly fell of the jetty when I appeared after only 8 mins with his shiny precious dangling from my hand. His smile pic says it all.. one very happy man..
15 minutes later… Part 2!