John Bennett, first scuba diver beyond 1000 ft, lost during salvage dive

John Bennett
John Bennett

Reports from Korea indicate that John Bennett was lost, and is presumed dead, after a 45m trimix salvage dive on a wreck on Monday 15 March.

The following report was received from Joe Keiser, Regional Director SDI/TDI Pacific Rim

We have just received the following report from a very reliable source close to John Bennett (best known for his 308 meter diveon open circuit scuba).

I'm sorry to say, that as of 12.45 Monday the 15th, while doing a salvage dive, John Bennett went missing. His buddy on the dive said they were both at 45m on top of the ship, water temp 7c visibility one to two meters no current.

They were on a 29% helium mix, bottom time 20 minutes total time 73 minutes to the surface. His buddy noticed some unusual behavior from John and gave John the OK sign, to which John returned the OK.

Again his buddy noticed John was acting differently and gave John the up sign. John returned the up sign, so the buddy proceeded to the up line and then noticed John wasn't behind him.

Going back to find John and seeing no sign of him, the buddy went back to the shot line and noticed bubbles. Thinking that John was there, the buddy proceeded to ascend. At his deco stop, the buddy noticed bubbles ascending past him, but then the bubbles stopped.

When the buddy got out the water, he informed the leader of the job what had happened. Searching the surface, they spotted some bubbles a distance from the boat.

The assumption was that John had lost the line until a few minutes later when the bubbles stopped. When John did not surface, another diver proceeded to do a twenty minute search, but there was no sign of John.

A surface search was then performed for hours, but still no sign of John Bennett.


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