Two inquest reports, one into the death of a rebreather diver in Tasmania and the other that of a British freediver in Greece, have highlighted the potential dangers of diving alone.
Australian scuba diver Eric Fillisch, 49, died on 19 November, 2016, while exploring a cave off Visscher Island in North Bay with a group from Tasmania Scuba Diving Club.
He had decided to continue his dive after his buddy indicated that he was heading back, but had been pushed further into the cave by a swell, said the Coroner. He had lost the mouthpiece of his closed-circuit rebreather after striking his head on a rocky ceiling or wall.
“While Mr Fillisch was a well-prepared and competent diver with properly functioning equipment, he nevertheless made the intentional decision to continue diving after the surfacing of his diving partner in conditions that posed a potential risk to his safety,” said Coroner Olivia McTaggart.
“His death highlights the risks of diving alone, and reinforces the well-known safety principle that divers should start, continue and finish the dive with a buddy.”
Meanwhile an inquest has been held at Westminster Coroner’s Court in London into the death of 19-year-old Henry Byatt (pictured) while using a monofin to freedive off the Greek island of Zakynthos on 6 August, 2017.
The fatality was reported on Divernet, as were the findings of a pre-inquest hearing earlier this year.
Senior Coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox said that although Byatt was a “highly experienced waterman” he had received no formal freediving training.