Dive into Rescue

We rear entered the warm clear water, our boat just moored alongside the ‘steep n deep’. His position float still in place a few meters out from the side of the boat. Showing where they went down, hardly moving on the still turquoise sea.

Max my dive buddy signals to descend and we make our way over to the guide rope, slowly sinking down. The water so clear, crystal. The sun shining through illuminating the array of fish into a spectacle of colours.

!0, 15 metres down to the weight holding the float in position. No sign of Nick or the couple in view. I pull my wet map out of my net and point north. Trying not to kick up any sand or disturb any sleeping rays.

Making our way over patches of rock, coral formed and teeming alive with life. Sergeant Major fish following Max’s lead, cleaner fish biting at your skin feeding off you, like you’re a late lunch. I kick my fins to keep them off, gliding through the water.

And there she is. Or what is left of her anyway. Just visible parts of the hull left, broken and damaged just lodged on the side of the rocks. Not the most impressive of wrecks, as the coast line here is teemed with them, awashed from the pirates that used to roam these ocean’s.

The coral grown over, making her look deformed in shape, and abnormally large for a boat of its size.

A cave had formed over the galley teaming with life, darting away from us as we make our way in. Dark and deep as we turn on our tank light’s, immediate illuminating something bright and yellow. For a second I thought it was a parrot fish gone astray in the dark, but as we got closer it came into view. A tank, Nick’s tank at that too. Cut loose from it gees. Max signalling empty maybe with his hands as I turn it over and let it back down.

Had they ran out of air? I think. Hmm. I’m not sure. Why would they leave it there unless they were gona pick it up on the way back, maybe I think turning it over in my mind. Then I realise the tap had been positioned up, pointing in the direction. Nick and his clever mind, always thinking ahead. He knew we would come looking. it’s a clue, a trail to follow, I muse as we swim on in the direction scanning the area around for more clues.

We glide over the corals, twisting and turning careful not to disturb the tiers of artwork on display, as we come to a close, a dead end of sorts. Nowhere left to go. I shrug my shoulders at Max, panic in my stomach, a feeling of dread. If they are one tank short now, and have been missing for well over an hour, were the heck are they? They must have come up for air somewhere?

I turn round as Max tugs on my arm. Pointing up to a small opening, no bigger than a porthole. There was no way I was gona fit through there with my tank, and especially not Max with his muscular build.

Max shakes his head, and waves his hand in front of my mask, silently telling me ‘NO’. But my mind was already made up, I had to have a look. I got to be mad, as free diving just isn’t my thing, I think as I unclip my Bcd. Shifting my tank free of my shoulders and taking in big breaths of air. I inflate my Bcd and let it float free, and as Max makes a grab for it I take a deep breath and drop my mouth piece, bubbles billowing out as I quickly swim up through the crack in the rock, Before Max can stop me. I’ve got to have a look just in case he is there, dead or alive, with or without the strange couple.

I catch my shoulder on the coral, the pain ripping through me but still I don’t stop, as I try to calm my mind and concentrate on holding my breathe. As I don’t know how long I can hold it for, I think as suddenly I see him, well legs resting against the coral, blood mixing with the water from scratches and cuts, the coral sharp and jagged.

I push up, pulling myself up as my head breaks through the water as I gasp for air.

“What took you so long?” Nick jokes, his face pushed up against the rocks in the tiny cavity of an air pocket. His hands gripping a shelf all cut and bloodied holding onto the sharp jagged glass cut edge of a shelf.

The End

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