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Rob Holbrook

Mark Longstreath
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Died 11th August, 2009

Aged 56, Ex RN and very experienced diver. Working from the Swiber barge 'Glorious' 70 miles off Vung Tau. Wet bell, surface supplied mixed gas bounce dive, night shift. 160' excursion from the wet bell to attach a surface line to previously installed webbing strops around a pipeline. Initial reports indicate they moved the barge to follow him way past the intended location (webbing strops had actually been removed by the day shift which is why he did not locate them) and that as he returned to the bell his umbilical became snagged on a seabed obstruction behind him at the same time as the barge was moving back. Lost gas, went onto bailout, reported he could see the wet bell then lost comms. Surface deployed standby found diver back a wet bell (unconscious?), bell recovered to surface but on the way up the diver was ripped out of the bell at 80' and fell back to the seabed (Not secured in bell, umbilical still snagged on seabed), bell sent back down and diver recovered, diver clipped in, bell recovered to surface but on the way up the diver was ripped out of the bell at 80' and again fell back to the seabed (umbilical still snagged on seabed, ripped 'D' ring off his stab jacket). Eventually brought to the surface on the third attempt by which time the diver had been in the water 60 minutes, the standby diver 40 minutes. Apparently both diver and standby were put into the DDC (No in-water decompression stops). The diver was pronounced dead by barge medic (it is likely that the diver had died before being brought to the surface) The above comes from personal communications, official reports to follow, TC. His Funeral was reported publicly in the Bournemouth Daily Echo. Inquest recorded a verdict of accidental death in 2010


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