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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Thursday, July 22, 2004

Kaua'i diving accident under investigation

By Curtis Lum
Advertiser Staff Writer

The Coast Guard is continuing to investigate a diving accident off Barking Sands on Kaua'i that seriously injured two men, including one who lost a leg.

Both men were from the dive boat Blue Dolphin and were diving about three miles southwest of Nohili Point at Barking Sands Tuesday afternoon. Coast Guard spokeswoman Petty Officer Cat Wedge said the two were injured when they surfaced under the 54-foot passenger vessel Spirit of Kaua'i.

One man was a dive instructor and the other a passenger, Wedge said. She said one of the men had an arm cut off, but doctors were able to reattach the limb. But the accident severed the other man's leg and doctors were unable to reattach it, she said.

Both men were taken to the cruise ship Pride of Aloha, which was in the area, Wedge said. The ship's crew provided medical attention until the two could be airlifted to Kaua'i.

Because of the distance involved, the Coast Guard on O'ahu asked the Navy to dispatch a helicopter from the Pacific Missile Range at Barking Sands on Kaua'i to airlift the two men. A UH-3H helicopter picked up the two men late Tuesday afternoon and flew them to the Lihu'e Airport, where an ambulance transported them to Wilcox Memorial Hospital.

Reach Curtis Lum at 525-8025 or culum@honoluluadvertiser.com.