This is my 9th story in a series of personal scuba diving adventures since I got my PADI certificates. In my previous post about my scuba diving holiday in Sharm el Sheik I told you how I had to use my rescue training in practice. However that day happened more then just a rough sea, something no diver wants. We where a drift on the Red Sea and our boat didn't see us drifting away. Here is my story...
The weather had been rough in the morning and it only got worse during the day. During our third dive that day the waves where already 6 meters high. This time we would be diving with Victor, me and our guide. Our girlfriends already stopped that morning after the first dive. The guide was already angry all day with the staff of the boat because of what happened at the morning dive (see previous story). After an extensive briefing we all jumped in the water and immediately submerged to avoid the high waves.
The dive itself was beautiful. Near the end of the dive the guide let up the smb (surface marker buoy) to warn the boat where we would surface. After our safety stop we surfaced and noticed immediately the boat wasn't where it was supposed to be. We could see the boat in the distance, they had miscalculated how strong the current was.
Still we weren't worried. We thought to draw their attention by waving our smb and using our whistles. However the crew of the boat was more concerned with having a party and dancing with the girls aboard then keeping a look out for us. After 10 minutes we still hadn't made contact. The strong current was taking us ever further away from the boat.
Looking around we could see land in the distance, but with these high waves and strong current this was way to far to swim. Besides there was a coral reef between us and the land which you don't want to swim over during these kind of rough conditions. We already had to swim away from the reef to avoid being thrown on it.
Then we got some luck. After 15 minutes (which felt way longer) we saw a second boat passing our own and coming toward us. Eventually they came close enough to spot us and for our guide to speak with the staff from this boat. Through the radio they signalled our own boat to come and pick us up.
Our only challenge was then to climb aboard a boat in full diving gear in 6 meter high waves. I can tell you it's quite an awesome sight seeing a boat 6 meters above you. You need to time it just right to avoid the boat landing on your head when it comes crashing down again. We all made it safely back on board. I'm not sure what happened with the crew of the boat afterwards. I do know our guide had steam coming from his ears and we heard him yelling against the captain for almost the whole trip back.
In the 'My Stories' series
1. My very first scuba dive in the Netherlands
2. A first dive without a guide
3. My biggest scuba diving mistake
4. Why I love wreck diving
5. What does scuba diving mean to me
6. Scuba diving in an emerald sea
7. The best wreck dive ever!
8. Using my rescue training in practice