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Man dies exploring wreckage of ship off Greece

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Man dies exploring wreckage of ship off Greece

Δημοσίευση  lkarapa Την / Το Δευ Μαϊος 25, 2009 12:26 pm

Man dies exploring wreckage of ship off Greece
By DEMETRIS NELLAS – 12 hours ago

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — A member of a National Geographic team exploring the wreckage of Britannic, the Titanic's sister ship, in the Aegean Sea died of decompression sickness Sunday, the Merchant Marine Ministry said.

Carl Spencer, 37, was rushed to the Athens Naval Hospital in the afternoon after diving to film the wreckage of the Britannic, four miles (6 kilometers) off the island of Kea, southeast of Athens, the ministry said.

Spencer, who showed symptoms of the illness, widely known as "the bends," was placed aboard the Belgian-owned research vessel CDT Fourcault and rushed from there to a hospital where he was unconscious upon arrival.

His team was to spend nine days doing an internal and external analysis of the wreckage.

Spencer had led a similar expedition to the Britannic in 2003.

The technical diver also had taken part in an exploration of the Titanic wreckage as part of a Discovery Channel expedition led by filmmaker James Cameron, who directed the 1997 blockbuster "Titanic."

Following the sinking of the Titanic in April 1912, the hull of the 53,000-ton Britannic was redesigned and it was launched on Feb. 26, 1914.

It was never used as a commercial trans-Atlantic liner because of World War I. It was requisitioned as a hospital ship in November 1915 and sent to the Middle East and Aegean fronts.

On its sixth trip, taking wounded soldiers from the disastrous Gallipoli campaign, it was sunk on Nov. 21, 1916. Of the 1,066 passengers aboard, 30 died.

For years, the cause of Britannic's sinking — whether by a torpedo or a mine — was unclear.

Spencer's 2003 expedition provided conclusive evidence of a single mine blast.

Copyright ©️ 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5j1DPR-iPxJfzDwsXftIFg8tqx4tAD98CRT200
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lkarapa
elite diver

Αριθμός μηνυμάτων : 1933
Ηλικία : 47
Τόπος : Άγιοι Ανάργυροι
Registration date : 22/11/2008

Επισκόπηση του προφίλ των χρηστών http://www.diverscorner.gr

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Scuba diving accident kills National Geographic diver

Δημοσίευση  lkarapa Την / Το Δευ Μαϊος 25, 2009 12:30 pm

ATHENS, Greece (24 May 2009) — A National Geographic diver died while scuba diving in Greece.

Authorities in Greece told CDNN that British father-of-two, Carl Spencer, 37, of Burton-on-Trent, Staffs, was fatally injured while scuba diving off Kea, a small island about 150 nautical miles south-east of Athens.

A helicopter airlifted Spencer to Athens Naval Hospital but he never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead at the military medical facility.

Spencer was an experienced diver who was leading a 17-member National Geographic team on a project to film the Britannic, the sister ship of the Titanic.

According to unconfirmed reports, Spencer was diving with an Inspiration rebreather manufactured by Ambient Pressure Diving when he started convulsing at depth while filming the bow of the Britannic.

Witnesses confirmed that Spencer made a rapid emergency ascent that likely killed him as he missed required decompression stops.

Authorities investigating the fatal accident told CDNN they are certain Spencer died from decompression sickness (the bends).

A post-morten exam has been scheduled and Spencer's equipment will be examined to determine if it failed.

Dead on arrival

According to Greek Ministry of Merchant Marine spokeswoman, Aspa Papadopoulou, Spencer was found "unconscious with decompression sickness symptoms".

"Everything was done to save his life," Papadopoulou said. "A fully-equipped military Super Puma helicopter was rushed in to take him to the best possible hospital in Athens and even in flight every possible method of artificial respiration was tried to resuscitate him.

"The helicopter landed at the military airport of Katechaki, on the outskirts of Athens, after which he was rushed to the Athens Naval Hospital because there is a decompression chamber there, she added. "But (Spencer) never regained consciousness."

National Geographic did not return CDNN's calls and has not released a statement about Spencer's death.

Spate of fatal rebreather accidents

If reports that Spencer was scuba diving with a rebreather are correct, his death was the third fatal rebreather accident in a week.

On May 18, CDNN reported that Paul Blanchette, 49, disappeared while diving with a rebreather off Gloucester, Massachusetts. Two days later his body was recovered.

On May 16, CDNN reported that Gene White, 42, was severely injured while scuba diving with a rebreather and airlifted to hospital where he later died.


Despite the increasing rate of fatalities among scuba divers who dive with rebreathers, Ambient Pressure Diving in the UK and other rebreather manufacturers have been aggressively marketing high-profit margin closed circuit rebreathers as "safer" than conventional "open circuit" scuba diving equipment.

Underwater tourist attraction

The Britannic is owned by a British businessman, Simon Mills, who plans to transform the wreck into an underwater tourist attraction.

Mills said he will use mini submarines to take tourists down to view the wreck.

The Britannic was a British World War I hospital ship that sank off the island of Kea in 1916 after hitting a mine.


http://www.cdnn.info/news/safety/s090524.html
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lkarapa
elite diver

Αριθμός μηνυμάτων : 1933
Ηλικία : 47
Τόπος : Άγιοι Ανάργυροι
Registration date : 22/11/2008

Επισκόπηση του προφίλ των χρηστών http://www.diverscorner.gr

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