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- Scuba dive husband Gabe Watson 'tried to save wife from drowning on honeymoon | Daily Mail Online
- A honeymoon scuba dive ended up being one woman's final trip
- Scuba dive husband Gabe Watson 'tried to save wife from drowning on honeymoon
I saw crew members running over to the side of the boat. Controlled, no-- no panic. You do this often enough, you realize something just wasn't right. And then when I saw Gabe coming up by himself in the rubber raft, I knew we were missing a diver. He was hitting the side of the the inflatable as it was coming back to the boat. I don't know where she is. I couldn't find her.
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I don't know what happened. A few minutes after Gabe surfaced, the veteran diving friends looked across the water at another dive boat that had anchored nearby. And there on its deck they could make out someone giving CPR to a lifeless female diver. It was Tina, the bride of 11 days. We could see her body on the deck of the Jazz II and see the physicians working on her.
I went over and asked him if I could do anything for him. Another tourist on the dive that morning snapped an underwater pic and unwittingly captured an image of Tina Watson, lying on her right side on the ocean bottom, no bubbles coming from the regulator in her mouth. The dive instructor accompanying that photographer realized immediately someone was in serious trouble. He kicked down to feet and recognized that it was one of his guests, Tina, with her eyes open but unresponsive.
He scooped her up and made his way to the surface as fast as he could. But the doctors topside could not resuscitate her. One of the doctors who'd worked on Tina, to no avail, crossed the short distance to the Spoilsport and broke the news to her husband. Gabe just said, "Are you kidding?
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And we just all held each other and just fell down. I mean, we were just in disbelief. Half a world away, in an Alabama suburb, the family of the bride they'd seen off on her honeymoon not two weeks before were hearing news that was, well, simply unbelievable. I answered the cell phone. There's been an accident. I went to my knees. I couldn't even think at the time to ask what happened, you know? In a daze he made his way to the airport and the plane that would take him home to Alabama.
It was his greatest hope at that moment that at least he'd be able to break the awful news to his wife Cindy and daughter Alanda and in person. But Alanda had, by then, already arrived at work. She knew as soon as she walked in something had happened. Everybody was looking at me crazy. And asking me if I was OK. And I was like, "What are y'all talking about? And she went, "Daddy, what happened to Tina? I said, "How did you find out?
And everybody knew but me. We had just found out. Right after finding out myself. But I just couldn't imagine her getting up and finding out by, you know, someone leaving a message on the answering machine. I was up in bed. I was sleeping late. And she came in the room. And I saw, I mean, her face.
Scuba dive husband Gabe Watson 'tried to save wife from drowning on honeymoon | Daily Mail Online
And what went across my mind first was -- because of him traveling -- was something had happened. And she said, "Mama, it's Tina. And she said, "It's Tina. The shock wave was tearing through the Thomas family. Cindy said she told her that she was on her way to the airport at that moment to fly out to Australia. If I'd have been in my right mind, I'd have been thinking, "OK, how would you already have made all your arrangements if you just found out?
They would learn later that Tina had been dead for some 12 hours before they started getting phone calls. Even though we had all these people that knew and even though his mother was on the way to get on a plane, we are still thinking she just died, at least within the last few hours. Husband blames strong currents for wife's death. It was then nearly a full day since Tina had drowned. Father, mother and sister were all on the phone line together.
Cindy started the conversation. And she asked him several times if he was doing OK. If he was all right. Then Gabe told them the information they were desperate for: This, they say, was his story: So he took her hand and headed back to the anchor rope, but halfway there she started sinking. Her hand reached out, knocked his mask loose, and Gabe had to let go of her to adjust it. With the mask in place, he saw his wife, sinking to the bottom faster than he could swim for her, so he surfaced for help.
We've had that picture in our mind for a long time, of him going down after her, and her looking at him with her arms stretched up towards him. And I felt sorry for him, you know, to have to live with that forever. A year-old girl who is on her honeymoon thinking that she's starting her whole life. And then, it's snatched away in an instant. How do you wrap your head around that? Her and Gabe had gotten on the elevator to leave the reception. Her best friend, Amanda, said goodbye to the girl she used to model with, vacation with, dish about boys with. I see her the way she looked when we were just hanging out.
I don't see her in her wedding dress.
A honeymoon scuba dive ended up being one woman's final trip
No make-up, no nothing. Just hanging out with a big smile on her face.
And I asked Glenn if that sounded like what he was told. It was kind of hard to catch it, but it was like these guys are concerned about something, you know? And I just wish they'd tell me. And I couldn't pin him down to anything. He wouldn't really tell me anything at that stage. But there were some people who wanted to talk to Tommy in just the worst way, four people he didn't know, the veteran divers, the two American couples aboard the Spoilsport that week who were so taken by the young honeymooners and that pretty, vivacious bride.
But when they finally did speak Ken, the vacationing diver, and Tommy, the father of the drowned woman, agreed to meet at the end of November , about a month after Tina's death. It was a planned cup of coffee and a brief chat ended up lasting four hours. I said, you know, the thing that just haunts Cindy and I the most is the thought of Tina going to the ocean bottom with her arms stretched up toward Gabe looking at him, and him looking at her, and him turning to leave her, wondering what was going through her mind.
And I said, "Tommy, you can rest assured, that was not her last sight. Because that didn't happen. It was a conversation that took place on the Spoilsport shortly after Gabe had come out of the water without his wife. The men say Gabe told them how Tina had panicked, his dealing with the mask and regulator, that he had lost hold of his wife, her sinking to the bottom, and his apparent inability to catch up to her as she dropped.
I feel terrible about this, but something doesn't smell right here. This story is just not right. Ken Snyder and Doug Milsap are divers with 25 years of experience and both can claim the highest level of certification in their sport: And I had to make a split-second decision whether to assist her or go to the surface and get help. None of his story was plausible, in fact. My blood pressure got up at that point.
And I said, "Gabe, you left her? You better come up with something else. Cause that story didn't happen. Panicked divers don't relax and raise their hands up in the air and look at you placidly saying, "Goodbye. Ten feet is a pittance underwater. It's two fin kicks and you're on top of her. There's absolutely no reason why he couldn't have followed her down.
Diving is a buddy situation. It's not OK to leave your buddy. And then the two said Gabe told them something that, in their experience, seemed inconceivable. Gabe said that Tina was too heavy for him.
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And she was too heavy. And I couldn't hold on to her and I lost my grip on her and she started to sink. I told him it was B. And said, "Well, I had a hold of her and I was kicking and I was trying to pull her toward the surface. And at that point, she was too heavy. And I lost my grip on her and she started to sink. Well, he kind of looked confused and astonished and wanted to know why I felt that way. And when I told him the first time, he changed his story. When I told him the second time, our conversation kind of ended.
And as the Thomas family remembers it, Gabe had said something to them that turned out not to be true. He said that he was right by his wife's side as she lay on the deck of the boat slipping away. He said he was holding her and calling to her while they were trying to resuscitate her. He never went over to her. That would have been a normal male response. He would have jumped over the side of the boat and swam to his wife, just would have went to her.
I mean, if you deserted her once, you wouldn't desert her again. I mean, it was just unbelievable. None of this makes sense and it all indicates that he's not telling the truth about something. Divers from across the world continued to dive the wreck of the Yongala day in and day out, but onshore, Australian authorities were still troubled by the death of the young American honeymooner there months before.
Scuba dive husband Gabe Watson 'tried to save wife from drowning on honeymoon
The police seemed to have an easy set of facts before them: And yet, they could not rule that death accidental. And the question that would not leave the investigators' minds was this: This question police were asking was not much different than the one posed by the dead woman's father back in Alabama. I would like to know exactly what happened. The two of them went in the water together and he came up without her. A lot of this doesn't make sense. And that's how detective Sgt. Brad Flynn of Helena, Ala. The dead woman's father asked for help in understanding what was shaping up as a mysterious drowning on the Great Barrier Reef.
Flynn, who doesn't dive, who'd never been to Australia, was able to quickly get past the Down Under lingo and speak to his counterparts there in the international language of police procedures. And it was after they had spoken with him that they started kind of raising their eyebrows a little bit and saying, "I think we need to look into this a little bit more.
Some things just aren't -- I don't get a good feeling with this. When you learn how to read it, it will tell you critical information, like how deep you are, how many minutes of air you have left. And it does something else: If you went down, say, 60 feet, this thing, the dive computer, will show you exactly that. Gabe's problem was that the story he told of his dive with Tina, didn't match the dive recorded on his computer.
Gabe aborted his first dive that morning with Tina. When he got under, he said, his dive computer started "beep beeping" a malfunction. The two had to surface. This is where red flags start popping up. His statement was that when he got back to the boat, he realized that the batteries were in backwards. I pulled the battery out, swapped it around, hooked it back up…. I've never seen any electrical device that operates whatsoever if the batteries are in backwards.
There would have been no underwater "beeps" and that aborted dive wouldn't have been recorded at all. The information from that dive was downloaded by the Queensland police. So if this dive computer is working, but he tells Tina, "We've got to go back up. That's the million-dollar question. Gabe and Tina were the only two people there. And we're having to backtrack to fill in the pieces here. So now the cops were comparing the statements made by Gabe in his video with the statement made by the dive computer, and they weren't matching up. Started kicking down and I was kicking down but as fast as I was kicking down to go get her, she was But the dive computer said that never happened.
It showed no attempt to sharply descend after Tina. And it also contradicted his account of bursting to the surface after he'd made the decision to go for help ASAP. So from that point, I just I pretty much just turned and pretty much just rocketed to the top and, you know, I'm amazed that I didn't end up with the bends or something.
Seasoned divers say that's a snail's pace. A safe ascent from that depth could be made in 45 seconds to a little over a minute. To say that it's slower than his bubbles were ascending is-- is truly an understatement. It's a pro's skill versus a recreational diver's, but still -- police said when you factored in the guy was after all supposedly getting help for his wife, 45 feet, five deep ends of the swimming pool?
It's been red flag after red flag after red flag. And if he did what he said he did, we should be able to verify that. But every step that we took, we found more differences, more things that we could not explain, that he couldn't explain. I just can't help but think that that the fight against the current is what allowed whatever thing took place that caused her to black out or whatever, and sink. He'd bought a book at the local aquarium, researching the prevailing currents, and he told the police he was now sure that they at least partly explained Tina's drowning.
We still don't know what physical thing happened with her. You know, I keep thinking you know had the current not been there, you know we'd still be out on the boat diving. In his first statement, they ask him, on a scale of one to 10, what was the current like? He says, "a five. Is it possible that he's telling stories that sound nonsensical just because he's in an emotional panic and knowing that, your story's going to get jumbled up.
I can see that, but there are other parts of it that either he's told either the police or other witnesses that draw suspicion, even after the initial shock has worn off. And it should be clear in his mind what happened. And investigators knew that Gabe was certified as something called a "rescue diver. And yet, on that day, he'd opted not to go for his own bride. I saw the people, I went up to them, you know, it was like grabbing a hold of them shaking them. The problem is we've interviewed everybody on the boat. Nobody says they encountered Gabe underwater doing that. And before the authorities there, the Queensland police, could issue a finding of "accidental death," they needed to know more about why the story of the dead woman's dive-buddy, her husband of 11 days, was coming up inconsistent.
They'd taken statements from dozens of people who'd heard the husband Gabe Watson recount how he'd lost his wife that morning, forced to adjust his mask and regulator, only to see her drop helplessly to the ocean floor feet down. How many different versions has he told so far of what happened underwater? With the interviews that I've done and the interviews that the Queensland police have done, approximately The detective from a suburban town in Alabama, Sgt.
Brad Flynn, found himself working in an official capacity with the Australian authorities as they probed the puzzling death of the local bride. In addition to interviewing stateside witnesses who'd been on the dive boat that day, he decided he needed to know more about the couple themselves, Gabe and Tina, the young people who'd met as students at the University of Alabama.
When they started dating. You paint a picture of someone and you paint a picture of the environment they're in. Never met anybody that did not have just the best things to say about her. What's the picture that's coming together of him? Who does Gabe turn out to be to you? Very-- a man that likes to be in control, he knows what he wants and he goes after it. Everybody I've talked to has said that, "You know, Gabe does things one way: He wasn't as outgoing with us as some of her boyfriends had been in the past.
He had been going with her for quite some time, actually, and we had never met them before. I just flat told her. I said, "I've just got a really bad feeling. I don't like him. So, I said, OK, I will try to give him a chance. But we need to get to know him better. I was still trying to keep the peace. Because if this was the guy that Tina was going with, I wanted him to be a part of our family. Normally, with past boyfriends, you know, they were all about impressing me, knowing how close me and Tina were.
But Tina's kid sister, Alanda, got the distinct feeling that this new guy Gabe wanted her out of the picture. He had a problem with Tina being around me. Anytime I would be with her, he would be on the phone, I could hear him on the other end and he was not happy. She had just broken off a relationship and he was there. And she had, you know, all of her friends getting married. She joked quite a bit about being a bridesmaid.
She felt old, which is really absurd. She could just see herself as an old maid with a bunch of cats. That's what she'd always say. But best friend Amanda also remembers Tina began falling for the guy who bought her a Kate Spade handbag. She thought, you know, he was handsome. And, you know, a good guy. Iceland starts selling ready-made Vile murderer who gang-raped beauty queen and nurse, Transgender teen pleads guilty to fatally stabbing her Republican senator blasts Donald Frantic manhunt for gunman, 59, who went on a rampage Mean motorist deliberately drives his van through a Surfing, statistics, solar power and a beach house Four children aged four to 11 are hit by a train and Woman's horror as she watches burglars prowling around Rape victim, 12, dies from her injuries after she and a British backpacker, 26, is left 'scarred for life' after Damning report blasts operators who He witnessed the horror of Belsen, but went on to write Girl, 12, is fighting for life after being mauled by a Comments Share what you think.
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