Off-the-hook Mauritius operator opts for safety system

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archive – Diving NewsOff-the-hook Mauritius operator opts for safety system

A dive operator initially held responsible for four clients and a guide going missing for nearly five hours in the Indian Ocean in June has had its licence restored by the Mauritius Scuba Diving Association (MSDA).

DiveSail Travel has also elected to start using an ENOS (Electronic Rescue and Location System) on its dive-boats, although the system’s German maker Seareq says that this was not a condition of restoration of the licence.

Three British and a German diver were left drifting with French dive-guide Christophe Nadaud after losing contact with their boat in stormy conditions off northern Mauritius (Divernet, 6 September).

The operator alerted the Coastguard and a search operation involving 22 boats, two helicopters and an aircraft was launched. Eventually the divers were spotted from a private fishing-boat and recovered by helicopter.

The MSDA, which regulates diving on the island, initially declared DiveSail Travel negligent along with boat-skipper Jean Bernard Brasse and Nadaud, and suspended the operator’s licence indefinitely.

That decision has now been overturned, the association laying the blame squarely on Brasse for being inattentive and Nadaud for his decision to swim away from the shelter of an island into stronger currents, and failing to use his SMB, which he had reportedly lent to a client.

DiveSail Travel is the first Mauritius operator to opt to use ENOS. The company’s owner Stephane de Senneville can be seen discussing the incident and the rescue system here

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