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as all threads point to saftey at sea when new owners post about buying a boat,the article below will make you think twice on skipping the saftey issues.

2007 Darwin Award Nominee



(Broome, Australia) When you work as a diver on a pearl farm, there are many ways to "buy the farm." Mitchell Ether was my head diver for a couple of years. Known as Sharky, he was a can-do guy, not afraid to take risks to get the job done. He was a loose gun in a company of cowboys, and he seemed destined to make an original exit.

One example happened in Roebuck Bay. He miscalculated the amount of fuel needed for the air compressor, which pumps air to the divers below. Instead of following standard procedure, bringing everyone up and refuelling during a surface interval, he surfaced alone mid-dive to top up the fuel tank while the compressor was still running.

The deck was unsteady, and naturally he spilled some petrol. The compressor had been running for hours. Its red-hot exhaust ignited the spilled fuel, and the flames followed the fuel into the half-filled tank.

The dive boat was brand-new, and worth $200,000 fully kitted out for the pearl farm, including an oxygen bottle for resuscitations. The resulting mushroom cloud explosion from the oxy bottle startled observers all the way back in town, 5 kilometers away.

Luckily Sharky jumped back into the water before the big explosion, and he and his crew were picked up by another dive boat.

Despite this incident, Sharky was promoted to skipper of one of the larger vessels. He still found excuses to don the old dive gear, however. One such excuse was when a mooring rope tangled around the boat's propellor. Instead of asking an outfitted diver's assistance, Sharky chucked on his dive gear, started the compressor, clipped on his dive hose, and jumped off the back of the boat. But he neglected to take the boat out of gear...

The spinning prop soon entangled his dive hose and started reeling him in. His "lifeline" pulled him through the prop, and he died on the way to hospital. Sharky didn't have any children (that he knew of) but he did have a wicked sense of humour. I hope he fortives me for submitting him for a Darwin Award! He died doing what he always did... having a go. :) :)
 
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