‘Needle in haystack’ diver found
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.