Becoming increasingly disturbed at not finding Anna, I tried to get hold of Humphrey, who was swimming out in front. No luck there either. He was going too fast. How was I going to get his attention? Again I tried and failed; so once more I looked for Anna. Humphrey was now even further away. Somehow I really did need to get hold of him if Anna was to have any hope.
Somehow, with a wild swing, I managed to clip the ends of his fins. He turned in surprise and stared questioningly at me. The raising of my shoulders and the open outstretched palms of my hands told him everything. Gesturing that I should stay where I was and keep a lookout, he swam to the surface. I felt very lonely and unhappy: being left on your own was breaking an important rule of diving.
With a heavy heart and light on air I finally surfaced, and there in our motorised dingy, sat Anna. For some reason she had gone up like an express elevator, she explained later, when her composure had returned. And where did she end up? In a weird little blind spot high above my head, much like you get with the side mirror of your motor car. She had been waving frantically at me, watching me in a state down below.
Every diver needs to carry a weight-belt to keep their buoyancy right. Up till now we’d been using steel tanks and aluminium tanks, while much the same weight when full, are much lighter empty. As Anna used her air up, she became too light for the normal weight she carried, and try as she did to stop it—up she came! It’s an awful feeling. Her regulator had also exploded from her mouth. She had broken the no.1 cardinal rule of diving: NEVER hold your breath on the way up. The expanding air in your lungs can potentially cause terrible injury.
Always know your equipment. We were lucky, and were able to dive again another day.