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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/30/2011 (4 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Ian Cole is lucky to survive being abandoned 30 miles offshore.

An American tourist, snorkeling in Australia, was abandoned by a tour boat while still 30 miles offshore. Michigan resident, Ian Cole, 28, was on a snorkeling vacation to see Australia's Great Barrier Reef when he was accidentally left behind to see more of it than he bargained for. 

The expanse of the Great Barrier Reef where American, Ian Cole, 28, was abandoned.

The expanse of the Great Barrier Reef where American, Ian Cole, 28, was abandoned.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/30/2011 (4 years ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: tourist, abandoned, Australia


LOS ANGELES (Catholic Online) - According to local reports, the dive boat left after a mistaken headcount was taken and dive operators believed they had everyone aboard. This is not the first occurrence of such a mistake. In 1998, Tom and Eileen Lonergan, a US couple, were believed to have been killed by sharks after being left behind on the Great Barrier Reef. The film, "Open Water" is based on what is believed to have happened to them.
 
Cole told reporters that he feared the worst when he saw he was alone on the reef. At first he suspected he had swam in the wrong direction and strayed too far from the boat. His second thought was panic. Cole then reported taking water through his snorkel, as he feared the worst. It was shortly afterwards that he spotted another tour boat and began swimming towards it. It took an additional 15 minutes, but he managed to get aboard and was then told that his tour boat had left him behind. He initially thought they were joking.

Although he was exhausted and nearly drowned, Cole told reporters that he did not intend to sue, but rather sought an apology and an assurance that it would never happen again. According to Cole, the skipper of the boat has since called and offered a personal apology.


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