73-year-old woman drowns while scuba diving off Mie coast


A 73-year-old woman drowned while she was she was scuba diving with a group off the coast of Owase, Mie Prefecture, on Sunday.

According to police and the coast guard, the woman, who lived in Nagoya, was part of a group of five with two diving instructors, Kyodo News reported. They left shore at around 10 a.m. 

One of the diving instructors told police the woman somehow got separated from the rest of the group and she was found on the seabed at a depth of about 22 meters at around 10:25 a.m. The woman was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead just after 12 noon.

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Only 5 people with two instructors and they still manage to lose sight of the victim. I wonder what are the qualifications to become a diving instructor in Japan.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Standards vary tremendously. They often do not use the 'buddy or pair system', but have the divers swimming in a line, even seen them with hands on the tank of the person in front, like a school crocodile. Very reliant on the 'instructors' or dive guides, they even show their air gauge to the 'Instructor', rather than read it themselves and make their own decision. Divers are strongly encouraged to stay together with hand signs, and the group is much closer than in other places. Aa average tank here should last more than 45 minutes at 20-22 metres, maybe something else happened?

RIP Oba-san, at least doing something she enjoyed.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Extremely negligent on the part of the instructors.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Keeping track of snorkelers is easy for one person on the boat. Not so for scuba.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Loosing site of a buddy in low=visibility conditions is easy, Sheesh, even the sea lions get confused: I've had them approaching me kike I'm their buddy until they abruptly realize the mistake.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If the viz was bad they shouldn't have been diving. If it was clear, one intructor should have taken up the rear to watch if any of the 5 fall out. I don't think the former is the case as I have dived in Owase and the water is crystal clear. I tend to hold the instructors responsible knowing they had an elderly diver in the group.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

72 feet of water and found on the seabed, what took them so long to realize she was missing from the group. I would question the instructors?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Do we have any information upon which Dive School was involved ? And the experience of the Divers within the Group (baring the two Instructors - which Profession ?)

I couldn't find the Japanese version of this news story - is there one - maybe it has more details.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I couldn't find the Japanese version of this news story - is there one - maybe it has more details.

A few more details, but not what you were looking for.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Strangerland - thanks.

The news story there suggest 6 people in the group, which 3 a-piece per Instructor would make sense assuming the Diving members of that group had, "Experience", and were "fit"... the latter, is where I think they failed this time. It would not surprise me, if this Woman, was experienced, but simply had some sort of heart failure and slipped unnoticed behind the group for a few moments, the Instructors thinking experience outweighed age in terms of supervisory needs.

As a DM, I love diving, but I too messed up once, however just impacting my own personal record at the time, and not others, though it made me realize, that there were some other, untold truths towards Scuba Diving that are "known" but often overlooked by "Operators" - for obvious reasons.

I think, in the interest of Public Safety, the "Diving School" concerned needs to be named. JT, can you do that please ? Just as in the case of the Hokkaido tour boat operator, we - the Public, need to know.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I've been diving since I was 14, that's almost half a century.

It's easy to tell if "Instructors" know what they're doing.

This is pathetic.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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