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YONGALA RE-ENACTMENT OF THE DIVE
The Police decided to re-enact the dive on the Yongala. They consulted with Dr Richard Brinkman, an oceangrapher at the Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville, to try to find some dates when the conditions (particularly currents) would be similar to those experienced on 22 October 2003. Dr Brinkman had not made any particular study of the Yongala wreck but he did some analysis of the tides around the wreck.
Brinkman said that there were three things that caused currents in the Great Barrier Reef area, tides, the East Australian Current (EAC) and south-easterly winds. He was apparently not asked to consider currents and the impact they would have on the wreck, only tides!!! I find this very strange as I would have thought that the EAC would be a primary influence on the currents as it is known that the current is generally always from the one direction, that is north or perhaps north-west.
In fact, on page 519 of the Inquest transcript, a document of emails between Kinghorn, Dr Brinkman and Senior Constable Scott Cornish, was tendered to the Inquest that seems in my view to contradict his own views as presented at the Inquest in person (see below). This document stated "the current regime...will be due to the interaction of the wind driven coastal flow and EAC driven southerly flow".
Brinkman also advised in a letter dated 17 January 2008 that at the time of the fatal dive on 22 October 2003, the tidal currents would have been running south to north. This, of course, was almost completely the opposite of the real situation and appears to have been totally ignored.
When Brinkman testified at the Inquest, he advised that he had used tidal data from Stanley Reef which is located 25 miles (40 km) to the east of the Yongala. As far as I can see, Cape Bowling Green is only 12 nautical miles (22 km) to the west and may have also been a possibility [the dive operator I have used to dive the wreck uses Cape Bowling Green tides]. I have checked and Stanley Reef appears to have much higher low and high tides than Cape Bowling Green, by perhaps 0.5 to 0.6 metres, and has many other reefs nearby which would (I think) influence how the tides behave. From when I dived here in November 2014, the operator seemed to use tide times for Cape Bowling Green. The slack water appeared to occur about 2.5 hours after the high tide there.
In any case, Brinkman advised the Police of three "envelopes of time" when he thought the conditions may have been similar. One of these was 20 to 22 September 2006.
On 20 September 2006 when the Police went out to the Yongala there was said to be no current at all [video shows that there was a current, from the south or south-west]. The first dive they did was to identify where Tina was found by Wade Singleton. Wade dived with Constable Ricky Murdoch and put a marker (1) on the location where he found Tina. Wade put another marker under the bow (6) [a big conflict of interest here as Wade was really a possible suspect if a proper investigation was carried out]. Another marker was placed at the end of what Kinghorn called "the stack" (7) but which in reality is a fallen mast. It was 8.7 metres from 1 to 7 and 17.2 metres from 1 to 6 and 16.2 metres from 7 to 6.
|Marker 6 under the bow, note it appears|
to be not straight under the bow
|Kinghorn at the end of Drift 1|
Comment: Note that as of November 2014 the bow section has collapsed a little, the first hold is no longer square and the former vertical sections now rest at an angle of at least 45 degrees.
Note that I believed right from the start that the spatial diagrams produced for the inquest overstated the length of the mast from where it hangs over the starboard side of the wreck. On the diagrams it appears to be about 7 metres long. From the Police video and photos, I believed that it was closer to 4 or perhaps 4.5 metres. This has a big impact on diagrams shown to the Coroner about where Tina ended up and where the re-enactment drift dives ended up. In November 2014 I checked and I think that it is about 4.5 to 5 metres. I also believe that the collapse of the bow has caused the change from what I first thought.
In addition, I believe that the location of marker 1 was possibly not correct. It looks from photos that it was placed about two metres to the south of the bow, rather than directly under it. The problem is that the spatial diagrams, the bearings from one point to another, the distances from one point to another and the GPS co-ordinates for the wreck do not seem to me to compute.
The Police do not seem to have tried to recreate Gary Stempler's photograph to enable them to accurately ascertain the location where Tina landed [I find this incredible - I would have thought that this would be the first and most obvious thing you would do]. It would have easily shown Tina's location.
In November 2014 I attempted to work out where Tina was using the photo as a guide. It was hard to actually do as the visibility on the five dives I did there then was less than the fatal day, so it was hard to get the same view. In addition, the objects in the photo are mostly mobile items (coral, coal? etc) so it is hard to align the view with the photo. However, I think that I was correct that Tina was not the 16 metres off the wreck that the Police claimed. I believe that it was more like 10 metres at the most which is about what most people who saw Tina claimed it was (including Singleton in his original statement).
Other Police dived that day. The only video taken was by Sergeant Adam Reid (OIC of the Dive Squad) and shows Senior Constable Cornish swimming ahead of him down the DAP to the wreck and along the wreck to the masts south of Hold 1. In this video, both Reid and Cornish smash into the coral on the wreck virtually the whole way. As far as I know, they were full-time members of the Queensland Police Dive Squad. If this is the case, then I really have questions about the training and abilities of these divers and their involvement in this re-enactment. Reid's video is out of focus most of the time, his breathing in the first few minutes is about once every four or five seconds [I breathe underwater about once every 12 to 14 seconds] although it later settles down to about once every 10 seconds.
|A drawing of the SS Yongala someone sent me|
GT is where I think Gabe and Tina were when she knocked his mask loose
K is where Kinghorn started his first "drift"
The back blob under K is Hold 1 where Kinghorn ended up
7 is under the mast and 6 under the bow
Created by me based on the evidence at the Inquest
1 is where I thought Tina ended up but I now think it was to the left of 7 and out a little
The next day, 21 September 2006, Kinghorn donned Tina's BCD, regulators and mask. However, he wore his own wetsuit and tank and presumably the weights he would normally use. None of this appears to have been recorded and is very relevant. The weight needed to be carried by a diver (using the same thickness wetsuit) is normally related to the weight v height of a diver. A short overweight diver will need a lot more weight than a skinny tall diver. Kinghorn had a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 28 compared to Tina's 21. Therefore while he was not considered overweight, he would need much more weight to get him to sink compared to Tina. He was taking the role of Tina in the re-enactment.
In the video, Kinghorn appears to be either totally re-enacting an incompetent and novice diver or this is how he normally dives. His arms are waving all over the place and he is moving all over the place and almost crashing into the wreck as he swims along. When he is on the sand he is almost walking in spots. Playing Gabe was Sgt Owen Law.
The first thing they did was to re-enact the "bear-hug" [which of course was never seen by Dr Stutz as the "bear-hug" was his description of Wade Singleton holding Tina as he bought her to the surface - note that I also do not believe Stutz actually saw Gabe and Tina together]. Note that the re-enactment was not a re-enactment of what Stutz said he saw - that is, Diver 2 [Gabe] with hands or arms UNDER the arms of Diver 1 [Tina]. The re-enactment had Law putting his arms around Kinghorn's arms and then doing it from one side and then the other.
|Joshua Kinghorn is obviously nothing|
like Tina in size or weight
|Kinghorn and Law re-enacting what they called the|
"bear hug". Note Law's arms (right) are around Kinghorn
rather than under his arms as Stutz stated he saw
From the video and the subsequent re-enactment, it seems that the current this day was from the south or south-west, rather than the north or north-west on the day Tina died [I base this on the facts that the DAP was running back away from the bow of the wreck, the way their bubbles drift back towards the bow and the fact he drifts in a northerly or north-easterly direction]. Therefore, all this makes the re-enactment totally useless as evidence.
After this, Kinghorn pretended to be unconscious and let all the air out of his BCD so he would sink. This was called the "drift" at the Inquest. Kinghorn started near the southern end of Hold 1, but below the top of the wreck.
Kinghorn actually travelled north from the starting point and fell onto the deck adjacent to the front starboard side of Hold 1. This spot was 16.7 metres from where Tina was thought to have been (marker 1) [hence the 16 metres that appears to have being later used, especially by the media, to say how far off the wreck Tina was found].
The problem with this re-enactment is the starting point. Based on the description given at the Inquest [c pg 538] and now from viewing the re-enactment video, it confirms my view that he started above Hold 1, just forward of three mast remains [stacks as Kinghorn called them]. This is, by my calculations, 20 metres from the bow. Again, there is a problem with this in that Gabe said in his interview of 24 April 2007 conducted in Alabama [probably the best description of where he was when he and Tina parted] that he was above the highest point of the wreck and over the deck of the wreck when this all happened. He also said he was about 25 feet (8 metres) from the "anchor rope". Gabe also said the current was coming across the wreck at an angle of less than 45°.
Comment: From my reading of Gabe's two statements, he indicated that they only went about a maximum of 30 feet (9 metres) [note that his first statement of 22 October 2003 said 30 yards but he meant feet] from the DAP/bow and they were about 20 feet (6 metres) [25 feet in 2007 interview] from it when Tina fell away. This is further confirmed by his statement that he ascended at 45° and arrived at the five metre buoy mark [that is, he went up about 11 metres and must have gone a similar distance horizontally]. He also said that he did not see anything of the superstructure, thus showing he did not go as far as the masts behind Hold 1 and probably not even as far as the start of Hold 1.
Therefore, the re-enactment was carried out about 10 metres too far from the bow and too close to the port railing. This would have an impact on how a body would fall as the bow area would be under more influence from a current from the north or north-west. This is because the wreck is higher near Hold 1 compared to the bow area.
The second re-enactment (drift dive 2) was from an almost similar position, perhaps one metre forward. The same thing happened.
The same day Ricky Murdoch re-enacted an ascent [it is not clear if it was meant to be Gabe's ascent]. However, he started from the sand at 27 metres rather than from about 15 metres on the wreck. In addition, he had a slight current behind him rather than a current into his face. He also appears to have had no air in his BCD as he does not attempt to expel any air from his BCD till he reaches above 10 metres and even then nothing seems to come out. Again, this makes this re-enactment suspect as evidence as it is not clear what it was meant to replicate.
On 22 September 2006 they went out again. This day there was a current from the north or north-west, which is similar to the day Tina died. In the videos, it can clearly be seen that the current was stronger the further away you get from the wreck, thus showing it was probably from the north-west or north-north-west (assuming the wreck faces north). This time more re-enactments were done. The first one was when Kinghorn started at the bow (drift dive 3).
The bow "drift" ended up about 8 metres off the wreck and 8 metres to the south of the bow. Therefore, Kinghorn travelled at about 45° to the wreck. Personally, I believe that if this "drift" was started above the middle of the bow section (about 8 metres from the bow), Kinghorn would have ended up in a location very close to where I think Tina's body was found.
The next re-enactment (drift dive 4) was to test a theory that the Police had come up with. This was that Gabe had taken Tina out off the wreck, perpendicular to the bow. Their theory was that once out of sight of the wreck, he turned off her air and once she was dead, let her drift [it is not clear how the Police reconcile this view with their view that Dr Stutz witnessed the incident - both cannot be correct]. This time Kinghorn ended up about 20 metres along the wreck and 12 metres off the wreck, just past Hold 1 and near the end of the mast. However [and I am getting sick of having to say this], from watching the video, it seems to me that Kinghorn did not actually start from a location off the bow and was already some distance south of the perpendicular when he started dropping. My guess is that he was at least five metres off the perpendicular.
Thus, the only thing to be gained from all this work was that if drift dive 3 was started where Gabe said he was, then Kinghorn would have ended up near the location where I believe Tina really was found.
In terms of the Re-enactment Protocol/Concept, only point 4 was met by the Police re-enactments.
Note that the re-enactments were found by Judge Tommy Nail at the Alabama trial to be so compromised he would not let them be used as evidence.
We know that Tina had 20 lb of lead in her BCD and BCD weight pockets from the Police forensic report. I believe that a properly weighted person of her height and weight and using a 3 mm wetsuit and aluminium tank should have used about 6 to 9 lbs. My wife Kelly, who is not as tall and is heavier, only uses 6 to 9 lb. I would use about 3 lb, but I have a short length wetsuit. Again, I am taller than Tina and much heavier.
As inexperienced divers generally need a little more weight, I believe that Tina was at least 9 lb overweighted and probably 12 lb.
NOTE: Despite some claims made at the inquest and in some people's statements, there is absolutely no evidence that Tina added more weight to her pockets after the aborted first dive. In addition, the comments by the Judge who sentenced Gabe in Brisbane were totally wrong when he said she was not overweighted.
On 11 January 2012, Kelly and I both overweighted ourselves by 9 and 12 lbs to ascertain the results. We were a little deeper than Tina was at 18 metres. With even 9 lbs, I could not swim without air in my BCD. I only made about two metres at a go before crashing back to the bottom. It took considerable time to inflate my BCD to enable me to become neutrally buoyant (I will attempt to time how long it takes to inflate my BCD to overcome such weight as this is also relevant). My air consumption during this dive (which also had a moderate current) was about 17.5 litres per minute compared to my normal 11.5 litres (see following section for relevance). This was averaged over the 41 minutes of the dive but I only had the additional weight on for perhaps 10 minutes.
Kelly had even more problems than me. Her BCD could only just lift her and she has a very good tech BCD, albeit she has pulled in the wings a bit for steamlining reasons, thus reducing its lift capacity.
Air consumption is an important indicator that can be used after a dive to show not only if there was a current, but also the state of anxiety of a diver.
|A photo of Tina's tank clearly showing it is a 10.3 litre tank - that is, an 80 cubic foot tank, not 63 cf like the Police claim|
In scuba diving, because you use more air the deeper you go, air consumption of an individual is normally adjusted to be as if you were breathing on the surface. This is referred to as Respiratory Minute Volume (RMV) but is also sometimes called Surface Air Consumption (SAC). It is measured in litres per
minute (at least in every country apart from the USA). For example, at 10 metres your lungs require twice as much air to inflate them as fully as on the
surface. At 20 metres it is three times as much. Thus, a diver constantly at 20 metres will use 50% more air than one at 10 metres. To measure the air
consumption, the amount of air used is converted back to a surface equivalent. If I used 26 litres in one minute at 10 metres, then my RMV would be 13 litres
My normal air consumption when diving in Sydney is about 11.5 to 12 litres RMV. If I do a deep wreck (over 45 metres), it increases to about 13.5 litres RMV. This increase is due to more gear (creating increased friction) and possibly nitrogen narcosis and also the fact there is nearly always some current present here. Both these rates are quite low. A rate of 15 litres per minute in Sydney would be considered normal. Less air is normally used in warmer waters as your body does not need to create heat and you normally would have thinner wetsuits meaning less physical constriction. I use about 10.5 litres per minute on the Great Barrier Reef. However, currents mean you use more air. I have recorded an average of 17 litres per minute on a deep wreck in a strong current.
I have found information that on the surface, normal resting RMV is 5 to 8 litres, light exercise is 12 litres and moderate 40 to 60 litres. I have also found a web site that says:
I think the above diving figures are a bit high for an experienced diver, but it gives you an idea. I think that an experienced diver's spot consumption can reach as high as 30 or more litres per minute, in fact I have recorded 20 litres for a minute or two in very strong currents. We know that inexperienced divers can empty a tank in less than 10 or 15 metres, even when shallow.
Tina's Air Consumption
We know that Tina used a 10.3 litre (80 cubic feet tank) from the photograph of her tank [not an 8 litre tank - 63 cf - as Police claimed]. This had an water capacity (internal volume) of 10.3 litres. It was filled probably to at least 3,000 psi (207 bar) which means it had 2,132 litres of air (volume x bar). At 10 metres this would let me stay down for about 100 minutes and 67 minutes at 20 metres (with no reserve at all). An inexperienced diver with an RMV of 20 litres would only be able to stay for 55 and 35 minutes respectively.
NOTE: Gabe said in his interview of 27 October 2003 that before the first dive he had about 3,500 psi and he thought that Tina had about 3,200 or maybe 3,100 psi. This makes the figures below very conservative if the tanks were refilled to this same pressure after the aborted first dive.
Therefore, I have used 3,000 psi as the starting figure. We also know that when Tina was retrieved, her tank had 2,200 psi (151 bar) in it (1,555 litres). This means that at least 577 litres of air was used.
I have calculated Tina's RMV based on known facts (her depth for the first five minutes of the dive), as well as her presumed death after this (although I have used 50% for the next minute as by then I have assumed that she is dead or at least not breathing) and Wade's ascent to the surface with Tina. The ascent is important, as although Tina was probably dead, Wade used air from her tank as he inflated her BCD and also purged her regulator on the way to the surface. Originally I had no idea if he purged her regulator constantly or once every few seconds, but after his evidence at the Alabama trial, I know that he only purged it for a second or so every now and then. I think my calculations are still conservative.
The following table details my calculations:
at end of min
|Av Depth (m)||3.3||7.8||10.8||13.1||14.3||15.0||24.0||27.0||22.5||10.5|
ATA = Atmospheres
RMV = Respiratory Minute Volume (litres per minute) - my guess at this
NOTE: Only 1/2 of a minute assumed in the 6th minute as Tina falls away.
Therefore, the air use I have calculated at 578 litres is identical to the actual 577 litres used from her tank. This means that while she was alive, Tina used up to 60 litres a minute, a huge amount. She averaged over 43 litres per minute while she was conscious and except for the first two minutes, she averaged over 58 litres per minute. This either indicates a 2 knot current [which we know was not present] or a lot of panic.
Therefore we can safely assume that she was panicking big time.
Tina's Air Consumption if She was Murdered
One of the most telling things that proves Gabe could not have killed Tina is to look at how much air was used and then make this fit into the time that Tina would have had to have been alive. We know that for the first three minutes Gabe and Tina were descending from the surface and swimming over to the wreck. This is known from Gabe's dive computer profile. As it would have been impossible for Gabe to have turned Tina's air off before this point as he could not have got her to the wreck without been seen by the divers who were only a few metres behind him when they descended.
The only time that Gabe could have turned off her tank was at three minutes. As we know (from dive medicine expert Dr Carl Edmonds) that a minimum of two minutes and more like three to four minutes is needed to kill someone at this depth, then the three to five minute mark before Gabe started his ascent is the only possible time for this to have happened.
If this did occur, then I have worked out the air consumption as per the following table. Remember, Tina's tank had 577 litres as a minimum used.
at end of min
|Av Depth (m)||3.3||7.8||10.8||13.1||14.3||15.0||24.0||27.0||22.5||10.5|
ATA = Atmospheres
RMV = Respiratory Minute Volume (litres per minute) - my guess at this
Therefore, the air use I have calculated at 577 litres is identical to the actual 577 litres used from her tank. This means that while she was alive, Tina would have had to have used up to 110 litres per minute, with an average of over 98 litres per minute for the three minutes. This is plainly an impossible figure, as someone cannot breathe that much air. In addition, if Gabe had decided to dump air out of her tank to make it look like she had used this much [and there is no reason why he would want to as it would be counterproductive], the resulting spa like boiling burst of bubbles on the surface would have been immediately visible to the lookouts on Spoilsport and Jazz II. They did not report any such event.
Therefore, it is certain that Tina did not have her air turned off at the three minute mark as I assume the Police were trying to insinuate.
Gabe's Air Consumption
Until 30 January 2012 I did not think I had any data to calculate Gabe's air consumption as it does not appear anyone checked his air pressure at the end of the dive. I would have expected his computer (which is air integrated) to show the amount of air consumed on not only the computer log book screen but also when downloaded to a personal computer.
The downloads from Gabe's computer that I had been using (the imperial measurement ones) do not show an air consumption. A mention was made at the Inquest that Gabe's computer had recorded the maximum breathing rate possible at least once during the dive. However, I have now noticed that the metric version of the printout shows an ending pressure of 156.5 bar. This is 2,270 psi. At the moment I am not sure what size tank Gabe was using, but I have assumed at this stage that it was a 10.3 litre (80 cubic foot tank) like Tina used. I will update this if I find out anything different.
Therefore, if Gabe's tank was 3,000 psi at the start and we know it was 2,270 psi at the end, then Gabe used 525 litres of air.
The following table details my calculations for Gabe:
at end of min
|Av Depth (m)||3.3||7.8||10.8||13.1||14.3||10.5||3.0|
ATA = Atmospheres
RMV = Respiratory Minute Volume (litres per minute) - my guess at this
NOTE: Only 3/4 of a minute assumed in the 7th minute as Gabe surfaced at 6 minutes and 45 seconds into the dive.
Therefore, the calculated usage of 522 litres is almost identical to the actual usage of 525 litres. This averages out to be just under 40.0 litres per minute. While this is almost identical to Tina's it must be remembered that Gabe is a lot larger and therefore had larger lungs and also would have needed more air anyway. Again, this is a huge amount to use and one that shows Gabe must have been panicking AND swimming very fast during his ascent.
On 15 September 2003 Gabe dived with Tina at Blue Water Quarry. This was dive 56 on his log book. The printout from his dive computer showed that he ended the dive with 100.5 bar (about 1,457 psi). Presuming he started with 3,000 psi and had an 80 cubic foot tank, this means he used 1,102 litres.
I have attempted to work out his air consumption, however, it is a bit difficult, as there is little data to use to work out his depth for each minute. In the first minute he dropped to 26 feet (8 metres) and then he came back up through 20 feet (6 metres). He stayed between 10 feet and 20 feet till 31 minutes when he went up through 10 feet. The dive computer does not give any more accurate information than this. At 31 minutes he then went up to 4 feet, back to 10 feet and back to the surface, finishing after a little over 33 minutes.
If he averaged 12 feet for the period 1 to 31 minutes, then his RMV was 24.7 litres per minute. If he averaged 15 feet, then it was 23.4 litres and if it was 18 feet it was 22.1 litres. This air consumption is higher than what I would consider for an average diver, but probably reasonable for someone who had not dived for 16 months and did not dive all that often.
Gabe has stated (to me via his lawyer and now personally) that he normally only got a fill of 2,600 psi to 2,800 psi on dives prior to diving off Spoilsport. This is a very low fill. When I dived at Blue Water Quarry on 22 February 2012, my hire tank was only filled to 2,800 psi. If he got only 2,800 psi on the 15 September 2003 dive, then his consumption was 958 litres which works out at: 12 feet - 21.3 litres, 15 feet - 20.2 litres and 18 feet - 19.2 litres. This would be a much more normal consumption for a diver of his experience.
An Inquest into the death of Tina Watson was held at the Townsville Coroner's Court starting 19 November 2007. It was presided over by Coroner, David Robert Glasgow. It ran till 30 November 2007 and then from 21 January 2008 to 1 February 2008. 31 January was all taken up with legal argument about what was permissible as evidence and 1 February was similar, although it only sat for a short time. It seems the findings were to be handed down on 23 and 24 April 2008 but this did not happen. On 19 June 2008 final submissions were received and the Findings were delivered on 20 June 2008. Note that the report of the Inquest that is available on the internet has incorrect dates including 23 and 24 April 2008 and that the findings were handed down on 24 April 2008.
Much of the information/evidence I have mentioned above was presented at this inquest.
To be honest, when reading the inquest transcript it seems that it was very unorganised, with phone and video links failing, statements not available, reports/graphs of the dive computers being referred to in feet when the witness only had copies of the documents in metres and more. In addition, the order of the witnesses seems illogical to me, with experts testifying about things (like computers, dive gear) before the Coroner heard about the dive itself. Even the order of the divers was not logical. The counsel assisting the Coroner made numerous errors in referring to people by the wrong name (for example Tina's father, Tommy Thomas was called Mr Watson more than once and Mr Johnson another time).
The transcript also has many errors that if read by a person without dive knowledge would have trouble understanding it all. For example, referring to BCD as VC, unrated instead of underweighted and more.
The presentation by Det Sgt Gary Campbell which opened the Inquest contained, in my opinion, so many errors and possibly incorrect statements that it had to have prejudiced the Inquest and the thoughts of the Coroner and the counsel assisting the Coroner right from the start.
Constable Ricky Murdoch was treated as an expert on virtually everything, photos, diving, computers, medical situations and more. However, in my opinion he was not qualified to be considered as an expert on anything related to scuba diving. For example, he claimed that lungs would expand by half when ascending from 10 metres when in fact they will double. Other witnesses were also asked questions that were obviously outside their responsibility or expertise.
Incorrect Claims Made at the Inquest But Accepted as Fact
During the inquest many things were stated by people, mostly Police, that are (in my view) patently incorrect and which appear to have been accepted by all as being facts and truth. Some of these are as follows:
Other Very Questionable Actions by Police
QUESTIONS ABOUT EXPERT EVIDENCE
An unanswered question is why Coxon, White and others failed to notice and point out in their statements to Police the significance of the fact that Gabe's dive computer was set to "016112" to receive a signal from the corresponding transmitter and the impact this would have on their testing. White did acknowledge at the inquest that the computer was set to receive a signal from a transmitter.
EVIDENCE OF DR DAVID GRIFFITHS
Doctor David Griffiths is a medical doctor and was Director of the Townsville Hyperbaric Medical Unit at the Townsville Hospital (he left there in about 2006). Dr Griffiths not only provided a statement to Police, he was involved in some testing of dive computers, particularly Gabe's, and he appeared twice at the Inquest.
In his statement dated 18 February 2005 he stated that:
As mentioned, at the Inquest he appeared twice. The first time was on 23 November 2007. It was apparent [pg 384] that Dr Griffiths did not understand how Gabe's computer worked as he believed that it recorded into memory the depth every "few seconds, 10 seconds or so" [remember it only recorded when the
computer passed through each 10 foot level]. He should never have been asked any questions about testing the computers (which he witnessed) in the hyperbaric
chamber, other than ones related to what he saw happen.
Dr Griffiths also spoke about gas embolisms but said the presence of gas in Tina's body can be discounted as having an influence on her death as it occurred
as a result of her rescue and attempted resuscitation. He also said:
Dr Griffiths returned to give more evidence on 22 January 2008 and said:
DIVING AND SUBAQUATIC MEDICINE
Authors: Third Edition by Carl Edmonds, Christopher Lowry and John Pennefather, 1992 reprinted 1995. This is available free on line at http://www.divingmedicine.info and is now called Diving Medicine for SCUBA Divers.
As mentioned above, this book was referred to a number of times by Professor Griffiths. This book, first published in 1976 (second edition 1981) is considered the "bible" relating to diving medicine. It is primarily written for doctors and paramedics, but I know many divers (like me) who have a copy. As mentioned above, there is now a free copy available on line.
Some relevant sections of this text and comments follow:
Chapter 8 - Why divers die: the facts and figures - pages 81 to 94
Chapter 32 - Unconsciousness - pages 423 to 430
Although this chapter was referred to the Coroner by Dr Griffiths, there does not really seem to me to be much that is relevant as the factors relating to scuba diving do not appear to apply to this case.
Note:Dr Carl Edmonds was consulted by the defence and he had imput into the questions asked of State witnesses at the Alabama trial. He travelled to Alabama and was also going to appear as a witness.
ERRORS AND ASSUMPTIONS MADE BY POLICE AND CORONER
It seems that early on in the second Police investigation, the Police decided (whether high up or at the ground level) that Gabe was guilty of murder and all investigations proceeded along this line of inquiry. This was denied by Detective Seargeant Gary Campbell at the Alabama trial, but it seems obvious that this is what happened as they no longer looked at any alternatives. The following conclusions or assumptions were made to justify the investigation into this matter and that these were then used as fact, despite evidence to the contrary:
DR STUTZ'S EVIDENCE OVER THE YEARS
Dr Stanley Stutz was the only person who said that he witnessed any interaction between Gabe and Tina. Click here to read a table that attempts to summarise Dr Stanley Stutz's evidence on the five occasions that he has been asked about this matter.
|A photo of Dr Stanley Stutz taken when he was showing Campbell and Knowles how Gabe was holding Tina|
PROBLEMS WITH STUTZ'S EVIDENCE
Although I believe that Dr Stanley Stutz is sincere in believing what he saw was Gabe and Tina, his various statements and evidence have to be questioned for the following reasons:
WHAT DID DR STUTZ SEE?
I think that what Dr Stutz saw at the start of his dive was Wade Singleton and his group. The diver who swam ahead of the group was Wade heading to Tina on the seafloor. The female diver was Dawn Asano who was swimming vertically with her arms out [photo shows and endorses this] and probably using her arms to steady herself - thus giving the impression of someone flailing about. The larger diver who he observed putting his arms under the arms of the female diver was Gary Stempler when taking the photo of his wife and in a direct line with Stutz's vision - Stempler would have had his elbows sticking out and his hands out of view holding the camera.
If the two divers were so close that Diver 2 had his hands/arms under Diver 1's arms, then the eyes and face of Diver 1 would not be visible to a diver high up and off at an angle
The diver swimming down was Jarrod Fisher going down to tell Robert Webster that he could not descend further.
The diver seen leaving the bottom was either Wade starting up with Tina or perhaps Jarrod heading back up again.
ALLEGED INCONSISTENCIES AND LIES IN GABE'S STORY
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