(Photo of lobster diver rescue courtesy of St. John Rescue.)
Eric Lambert, an island resident and contractor, was lost at sea several hours this week after diving alone for lobsters. He later told the Virgin Islands Daily News, "There is nothing I would do differently."
With nearly 40 years experience diving, Lambert was always confident he would be found, "I was never nervous or scared," he said. "I know my dive buddy. We're respectful of the ocean. We never have pushed it."
He was rescued by the US Coast Guard, with assistance from St. John Rescue and the V.I. National Park.
Lambert had been dropped off by a boat on the south shore, for a solo dive off Chocolate Hole. Friends aboard the Swordmaster III intended to pick him up after half an hour but when they went to find him, Lambert was nowhere to be seen. Swordmaster called the Coast Guard.
A search helicopter was dispatched from Puerto Rico, and a Coast Guard rescue boat located Lambert in the water off Klein Bay.
Lambert said he was "very grateful" to the Coast Guard and told the St. John Source he intends to make a donation to St. John Rescue.
He described how he was treading water waiting for Swordmaster to rendezvous with him as planned, when "“They went roaring by about 30 feet away." The current began taking him away and his legs cramped, he said. It was about three hours later he was pulled from the water.
The Coast Guard offered this advice: "Never dive by yourself."
Yes, Lambert did catch some lobsters, according to the Virgin Islands Daily News. Two of them. However, after hours in the water, he became weak and the bag of lobsters fell to the ocean floor.
10 thoughts on “Lost diver wouldn’t do anything differently”
well apparently he should be doing something different…
$25K in jet fuel and wages for the helicopter crew.
$200 wetsuit worn by the diver.
$100 in poor lobsters sitting on the bottom of the ocean in a net.
$50 brains of the crew e went out with.
Summary: Torturing two lobsters, spending huge federal gov’t money. All because his pals weren’t too bright.
Only in America. Priceless.
Wouldn’t do anything different? How about he pays the bill this time and then there won’t be a next time.
So horribly selfish. Stories such as these bug me. We (tax payers) are supposed to foot the bill for idiots who think it’s just fine to do stupid things like diving alone or hiking up mountains alone or ice fish on thin ice (happens here in Wisconsin A LOT, on the lake we live on) whatever, because there are services available to rescue them.
Wouldn’t do anything differently? Next time, pretend you don’t have a “safety net” and then make your decision.
He’d be left for dead anywhere but the U.S. He’s lucky we live in a place that can send a helicopter to look for him. $500 Billion for the Iraq war. Totally wasted. I would rather spend that money rescuing people and hiring teachers and police officers. It’s just that our country is bankrupt by fighting the world’s wars and to spend anything foolishly at this point is wasteful. This diver should be ashamed of himself.
You got that right!
well apparently he should be doing something different…..
As a PADI professional, I can tell you, no one should ever dive solo. It is stupid. Even Jacques Cousteau didn’t.
First of all, the crew of Swordmaster 111 should be billed by the U.S. Coast Guard for the ENTIRE cost of the rescue operation. Possibly a suspension of their license should be in order also. “My dive buddy wouldn’t let me down”. Your dive buddy let you down the second he left you to dive alone. Maybe something good will come to this after all, like PADI revoking this idiot’s diving certification.
I read this and couldn’t believe that he said he would nothing different. What a fool. You never dive alone, first rule. Then we have to pay for his stupidity. How pathetic.