Diver films the moment his boat capsizes in shark-infested waters in the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland
A terrified diver remained stranded in shark-infested waters for more than three hours after his boat capsized, and was rescued only after diving down to retrieve his wonderfully undamaged radio beacon.
Cody Love, 24, was anchored on the Great Barrier Reef off the Queensland coast for what he had hoped would be a half-day dive trip.
But tragedy struck just 20 minutes into the trip when his boat capsized, leaving him stuck in the water.
Mr. Love had dived a number of times with friends at the same spot where the boat had capsized and saw six enormous four-meter tiger sharks.
Cody Love, 24, said he and his friends had seen six tiger sharks over four meters long where the boat capsized on previous trips.
Mr. Love made numerous underwater journeys to recover his belongings after the boat capsized
Some of his safety features failed when they went underwater, but he ducked down to get what he could
“At the specific spot where the boat capsized, we had seen more than six large tiger sharks up to four meters long in the weeks leading up to this trip,” he said.
The boat had capsized after the anchor rope had become entangled around the propeller and turned it backwards.
Before Mr Love could do anything, the boat was inundated with waves and capsized.
“Before I could do anything, the boat was inundated with waves and started leaning to one side as it filled with water,” he explained.
Mr Love was stranded next to his capsized boat for three hours – knowing there were killer sharks lurking nearby
“When I fell sideways, the Esky (the name of his boat) came sliding down too and the next moment I remember the boat was upside down and I was under water to find out what had just happened.”
It all happened in seconds and took me by surprise. At that point I was still wearing all my scuba gear. ‘
Stuff from the boat started to flow into the open water as Mr. Love frantically tried to collect his stuff.
After several inspection dives around the boat, Mr. Love realized that his safety equipment including a box of safety torches was still attached to the front of the boat.
After a while, Mr. Love realized that the box of torches was still in the front of the boats
Mr Love used two torches and a tarpaulin covering the tip of the boat to seek help, but it was an EPIRB – a kind of radio beacon – calling the rescue workers
Despite finding the safety torches, Mr Love’s situation deteriorated.
“At this stage the anchor rope had come loose from the propeller and I found myself and the boat soon at the mercy of the ocean – and drifting north with the tide,” he explained.
He lit two torches, but neither had managed to lure boats on the horizon, he then used an orange tarp to cover the tip of the boat to attract nearby planes.
Fortunately, Mr Love is a highly experienced diver who has completed over 5,000 dives, is a certified PADI rescue diver and admitted to being at home in the water.
“Not much in the ocean scares me because I spent so much time on the water and underwater,” he said.
Mr. Love admitted that he was more concerned about losing or damaging the boat than his own safety as an experienced diver
This is the EPIRB – a kind of radio beacon – that called the rescuers to his location and ultimately saved his life
He even admitted that his own safety was not even his top priority.
“I was actually more concerned about losing or damaging the boat.”
Another hour and a half passed before Mr. Love said he saw a red helicopter flying in his direction and, assuming it was a rescue flight, tried to knock it down.
‘I took off one of my green flippers and stuck it on the end of my gun to get their attention, but unfortunately a person in the water is like a needle in a haystack when you’re in a helicopter,’ he said .
“The helicopter got closer and closer before it turned and headed the other way.”
Mr. Love said he and his friends had seen six tiger sharks where the boat capsized
“Seeing that helicopter gave me so much hope that help would come, and then all that hope was taken away when it turned and flew away.”
As two more hours passed, Mr. Love said he finally turned off an emergency position indicator from the radio beacon and “hoped for the best.”
Not long after, the Q-air rescue helicopter became visible in an instant, Mr Love described as ‘beautiful’.
Mr Love attributed his wealth of diving experience to his survival, the capsized boat can be seen drifting behind him
“I let go of the boat, swam up to me, and sat under the helicopter as they sent their rescue diver down,” he said.
Mr. Love was given fluids and checked by the rescue team, where he was found to be in good health.
He attributed his experience in the water to his survival, but said he learned a valuable lesson.
“I should say my first piece of advice is never go diving alone,” he said.
“You can be the best diver in the world, but accidents do happen and I was very grateful to get out of this alive because it could have turned out much worse.”
The boat was seriously damaged after it capsized after the anchor rope was tangled around the propeller