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Saldals issues statement on diving incident

Norwalk, Connecticut
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Saldals issues statement on diving incident

I' was wondering about this....Glad that they finally issued a statement.

Thursday September 06 2007

Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa has broken its silence on the incident in which two of its guests were inadvertently left at sea during a scuba diving trip last month.

The two men, British nationals vacationing in Antigua with their wives, had been part of an excursion led by a Sandals dive team. The alarm was reportedly raised by the men’s waiting wives when the group returned to the dock without them.

The tale has spread across the Internet, after a dramatic account of the incident was carried by the Cyber Diver News Network. Members of the British press have since picked up on the story, adding to Sandal’s potential exposure to bad publicity.

In its statement on the incident, Sandals International said that it deeply regrets the events of 16 Aug., in which the two guests of Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa who were part of scheduled diving trip “did not return with the rest of the group.”

According to the hotel chain’s account of the incident, the trip was led by four dive team members and the hotel management team reacted quickly when notified that the two guests have been left behind, dispatching Sandals boats as well as air and sea rescue teams immediately to the dive site.

Sandals fired the four members of the dive team immediately following the incident, but it defends the qualifications of its dive staff, stating that “Sandals Dive instructors are trained to the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) international industry standards, which is the most respected and preferred diving accreditation in the world.

“The four (4) members of the dive team who led the dive on August 16th and who breached the company’s and PADI’s standard diving procedure, which requires that all divers be accounted for prior to departing a dive site, are no longer employed at the resort,” the statement continues.

Sandals said that its Antigua management team was deeply compassionate towards the guests’ misfortune and “extended every possible courtesy to them in an effort to ensure that the rest of their vacation was as comforting and pleasurable as possible. In fact, both guests along with their spouses went snorkelling, just days after the occurrence, at the Resort.

“The two couples received a full refund on their vacations. They have also accepted invitations and made bookings to return to the resort, courtesy of Sandals, at their convenience.”

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1. Re: Saldals issues statement on diving incident

Good to know Sandals is making restitution. It's a concern, though, that the sloppy dive operation was allowed to continue for so long. Perhaps we should have voiced our complaints, but we don't like to do that, getting someone in trouble. (better than lost divers, though) I don't remember much of a head/room count at SAT but, as others have mentioned, it's curious that the other divers didn't notice. Maybe it's because some sit above and some sit on the lower deck, people go to the bathroom etc and conceivably a person could be there but out of sight. Other dive boats have just one level, so it's easier to see people. But still...head count!

Does anyone have information about who the "fired" instructors/divemasters were? I'd hate to see Lizzie go. She is fantastic! I can't believe she would have been on this dive.

Sandals is very lucky the 2 couples accepted free trips -- they could have been sued. We'll still dive with Sandals, but will buy extra safety/rescue equipment. This is a wake-up call for anyone who thinks "it won't happen to me".

Interestingly, the October issue of Scuba Diving magazine rates safety sausages, horns/whistles etc. Why buy a special mirror, though, when a "coaster" burned out CD will work? Very reflective.

Peace and sun.


London, UK
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2. Re: Saldals issues statement on diving incident

It seems completely inconceivable to me that there isn't a strict ticking off of names as people come out of the water.

3. Re: Saldals issues statement on diving incident

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