An Australian scuba diver survived for 8 hours in the shark-filled Indian Ocean after he became separated from his boat. The 46-year-old managed to swim 16 km in the dark to reach the shore.
The incident occurred on Thursday when Gene McClymans and another man were diving between the Big African Reef and Little African Reef off the Geraldton Coast. He was rescued after 8 hours from a nearby coast.
When they resurfaced, the man could not find their boat and lost in the sea. His friend managed to find it and informed the Geraldton Volunteer Marine Rescue Team. He alerted them at around 7pm local time.
A spokesman of Geraldton Volunteer Marine Rescue Team, Ian Beard told the Australian Associated Press that immediately after they got the news, they sent boats to start search. He added that three cray boats and local maritime training college also joined in the search operation but could not locate him as it was dark.
Beard claimed, “He didn’t have a torch or a strobe or any way of signalling. In the dark and in nasty, choppy conditions, it was like trying to find a needle in a haystack.” He added, “The wind was blowing 20 to 25 knots from the south and the water can get very confusing out there.”
The man’s buoyancy jacket had reflective strips but it was not enough to find him at night.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation quoted police as saying that his family members desperately flashing lights to scour the shoreline. McClymans spotted the torch lights and swam towards them.
Police said, he was found at about 3:20 am on a beach 8km south of the Greenough River mouth. Beard stated that he was later taken to hospital as he “would have been close to suffering hypothermia, which can be fatal”.
According to conservation group, every year there are many shark attacks on people off the coast of Western Australia. He was lucky, also brave enough to swam in the dark in the shark-infested water and survived.