There has been a mention in the Clareville Alliman thread about popular Mosman Whaler spearo Steve Wayne being hit by a vessel so I thought I would put out a brief run down, basically to further enforce to you all out there just how careful you must be in the water. People ask me about shark shields all the time, my reply these days is, “forget the shark shield spend the money on as big as float and flag as is practical, you have far more chance of being struck by a vessel as you do being hit by a shark. Especially along the East Coasts temperate waters.
Steve will be in hospital the doctors have said for at least two and a half weeks, he suffered many injuries, amongst them is a shattered hip. He has a severe laceration(s) around that buttock/hip/leg area as well. He was operated on yesterday and again tomorrow, he is currently ‘knocked out’. He will be out of action for some time to come.
Steve was competing in a round of the Alliman shield and was diving at South Head when he was struck by a large rigid hull inflatable (I am told it had three outboards on it) which runs commercial sight seeing charters, the boat had many patrons aboard at the time. Steve had a brand new Rob Allen float and Flag in the water with him, the other divers in the water also had flags flying clearly on their floats Steves 565 Haines also had an extremely large Dive flag flying from the boat, there was also a qualified boatie steering Steves boat.
From my understanding the charter boat has gone through the divers and collected Steve. There were at least 4 Dive flags visible in the immediate area. There are still to many unknowns so I will not elaborate further, however there were four witnesses atop the cliffs that witnessed the accident and at least one has given a solid statement.
My point to everyone is – PLEASE tow a highly visible float and have a flag attached. Some may say “a lot of good it does you” however with this at least Steve’s boat has fulfilled his waterway obligation and will not be liable himself
Please keep alert in the water for watercraft and make sure you are highly visible, for your family’s sake at least
Ensure in your boat you carry towels, this was an invaluable device to stem the blood loss for Steve.
This incident is mentioned here: http://www.propellersafety.com/2011-propeller-accidents/
Australian Spearfishing Safety Initiative: http://spearsafe.webs.com/