Thoughts on the Welland River scuba diving accident...
Wolfmaan - Rescue Diver / Adventurer
January 9, 2007 at 11:47:41
I have made dozens of dives in the Welland River also known as Chippawa Creek.
It is a standard drift-dive where you enter the water and do your prep work close to shore, then descend to about 10m and the current grabs you and washes you down river for a while.
The waterway is frequently used by divers all year round unless you get heavy ice flows. It's a fairly popular spot.
There are two separate dives you can do. Start near where the river begins near the Niagara River and drift to the boat dock about 1km up river, and start at the boat dock and drift down to the Stanley Avenue bridge and get out there.]
There are some signs around the river that state do not enter the water, but most divers ignore them.
The fatalities occurred because the divers did not enter the river at the correct point. According to the Ontario Underwater Council, the divers entered the Niagara River and started the drift with the hopes to get sucked into the Chippawa Creek (Welland River). That day the flow of the river was reversed for whatever reason and the divers could not get sucked into the flow of the smaller river, and continued on along the Niagara River just above the falls where a few of them were rescued and the others sucked into the intakes of the big hydro-electric facility there.