A freediver was forced into a terrifying situation yesterday when a boat came dangerously close to his buoy while he was diving at Qarraba Bay, Għajn Tuffieħa’s lesser-known neighbour.
GoPro footage emerged on The Salott yesterday, showing the freediver having to swim down and take cover as a boat rushes past his buoy on top.
“Hope this post will reach the people using boats without any consideration and respect,” the diver told the Facebook forum. “I always put my buoy and am careful about safety, trying to stick next to it as much as I can. When you see a red buoy; please stay away from it, divers are under there. And divers have oxygen, we don’t!”
The microphone from his camera picks up the loud sound of the boat whizzing past… and that’s with a waterproof casing on and 14 metres below surface.
“After panicking, you just have to stay there, hoping the yacht leaves ASAP, because you need to go to the surface to breathe”
According to the Safety at Sea Regulations, boats need to steer at least 100 metres clear from buoys, but it seems that this rule is being ignored by some. In fact, the freediver claims to have been in this situation three times yesterday (by a tender, a jet ski and a rented boat), showing just how widely this rule is being disregarded.
This incident comes after several boat accidents occurred around the Maltese islands yesterday, raising concerns about the safety of our waters.
“I hope you read this,” the post angrily ends, with the diver clearly still traumatised. “You may have your pocket full, but your brain is empty.”
Do you think we need more policing on our waters? Let us know in the comments below