‘Nee­dle in haystack’ diver found

The Myanmar Times - - World -

RES­CUERS yes­ter­day hailed find­ing “a nee­dle in a haystack” af­ter pluck­ing to safety a diver who had drifted more than 30 nau­ti­cal miles (56 kilo­me­tres) from his boat and sur­vived a night in Aus­tralian wa­ters.

Af­ter the 68-year-old failed to re­turn from a solo dive at the Yon­gala wreck on the Great Bar­rier Reef – renowned as one of the best dive sites in the world – a friend raised the alarm.

A sea and air search was launched with his boat found dur­ing the evening, but no sign of the miss­ing man.

He was spot­ted by a he­li­copter some 17 hours later af­ter drift­ing more than 30 nau­ti­cal miles in strong cur­rents.

“Our crew will tell you try­ing to find a hu­man in the ocean is sim­i­lar to find­ing a nee­dle in a haystack,” said RAC Queens­land Res­cue.

Alan Grif­fiths was on the he­li­copter that found the diver and was winched down to get him.

“I said to him, ‘G’day mate, do you want a lift?’” he told the Aus­tralian Broadcasting Cor­po­ra­tion.

The un­named man was taken to hos­pi­tal for as­sess­ment.

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