CDNN :: Mike Ball lashes out at 'stupid' scuba divers
by LUTHER MONROE @ CDNN - CYBER DIVER News Network
CAIRNS, Australia (7 Feb 2009) — According to Spoilsport owner Mike Ball, the two "yankee" tourists who disappeared while scuba diving off Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef failed to follow the dive plan.
Hey! It's Mike Ball, America's favorite liveaboard dive boat operator in Australia thanks to a two-tier pricing system that overcharged American divers by up to 40 percent. According to Ball and his sidekick, Col McKenzie, the two "yankee" tourists who had to be rescued "should be held accountable for their own actions and stupidity".
Ball accused the two Americans of deliberately ignoring dive safety procedures when they separated from other divers in the group.
"On the way down, one of the divers let go of the rope and didn't follow the directions to the reef, but let himself drift along with the current in deeper water than planned," Ball said.
Ball said divers are trained to plan their dive and dive the plan "but that's not what happened."
A massive rescue effort, which involved three boats, a fixed wing aircraft and at least four helicopters cost more than $50,000.
The divers paid a personal injury insurance fee of only $16 as part of the $4,500 Spoilsport liveaboard package, which was resold by Lancaster Scuba Center in America