A freediver has uploaded a heartfelt post to mourn the loss of his fellow comrade while also issuing a humbling warning to those who partake in the dangerous underwater sport.
“Just heard the sad news. A good friend (James) and self-thought freediver took his last breath diving the Santa Maria caves,” Luke Cassar said on a Facebook post.
A 42-year-old swimmer passed away last weekend while swimming near the Santa Maria Caves in Comino.
Police reports indicate that he ran into trouble while diving at around 3pm.
“The caves are a maze, not to be taken lightly even for someone who knows them inside out. Sometimes you go inside a tunnel and behind you would be dark, this means that you can not go back, you can only move towards the light,” Cassar said.
James was given first aid on site before being transferred to Mġarr where he received further attention from the Gozo General Hospital. He was pronounced dead on the spot.
“His body was found floating later, this indicates that he probably made it out and blacked out on the surface. This is because we are lowest on oxygen when we surface, then we exhale and lower our oxygen further, after which it takes around 15 seconds for the new oxygen to travel to the brain to prevent a blackout,” the experienced freediver said.
Unfortunately, there have been a number of diving accidents across the Maltese islands over the past few weeks as people gravitate towards seaside recreational activities in order to beat the summer heat.
“Rest in peace dear James. If you are an overconfident freediver, I hope this humbles you, I hope you live a long life,” Cassar ended.