Thursday, 30 June 2011

American Tourist Stranded on Great Barrier Reef

Michaelmas Cay
Another tourist has been left stranded on The Great Barrier Reef in Queensland Australia.  Ian Cole, aged 28, was on holidays from America and went on a snorkeling trip to Michaelmas Cay with the boat "Passions of Paradise". When he surfaced he found that his boat had left boat without him. Apparently the person doing the head count, a requirement for tour boat operators, had not done it correctly. Fortunately for Ian Cole, another boat operated by the same company was in the area. After initial panic Ian swam to them, and they radioed the Passions of Paradise who turned around and came back and picked him up.

The Great Barrier Reef
Ian said "I lifted my head up and I saw the boat had gone - it had left me. The adrenalin hit in and I had a moment of panic, which was the worst thing I could have done at that point. I was able to calm myself just a little bit because there was another boat still out there and I made my way to that vessel. Lucky it was there because otherwise I may have drowned, I did not handle the situation well and I was tired."

The Great Barrier Reef
This incident brought back memories of 1998 when the American couple Tom and Eileen Lonergan where left behind on a diving trip on The Great Barrier Reef near Port Douglas. It took two days before anyone noticed them missing, and it  is presumed they were taken by sharks or drowned. A movie “Open Water” was made of this incident.

These are very isolated incidents, and shouldn’t deter people enjoying holidays to The Great Barrier Reef. Thousands of tourists from around the world flock to The Great Barrier Reef off Queensland each year to enjoy snorkelling and diving. The Great Barrier Reef has over 3000 individual reef systems and coral cays, hundreds of picturesque tropical islands, and some of the worlds most beautiful sun-soaked, golden beaches. It is 2,600 kms (1,600 mi) long and covers an area of 344,400 sq kms (133,000 sq mi). It is larger than the Great Wall of China and the only living thing on earth visible from space. There are various websites which provide information on the natural wonders of this World Heritage site. Consider it for your next holiday, anytime of the year.

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