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Diver found and rescued after 7 h after going missing!

Mike Ozburn, a diver who spent almost 8 hours drifting in the Gulf of Mexico, battling rough seas and waves up to a metre high, is very lucky. He summed it all up in one short sentence: “I’m just glad to be alive”. Mike Ozburn, a 27-year-old computer engineer working for the Pensacola Police Department,
Published: June 27, 2019 - 13:34
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 18:21
Diver found and rescued after 7 h after going missing!

Mike Ozburn, a diver who spent almost 8 hours drifting in the Gulf of Mexico, battling rough seas and waves up to a metre high, is very lucky. He summed it all up in one short sentence: “I’m just glad to be alive”.

Mike Ozburn, a 27-year-old computer engineer working for the Pensacola Police Department, started diving late last year. He and a colleague set out on their 35th dive in a chartered vessel, about 16 Mm off the west coast of Florida.

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According to local press reports, Ozburn had minor equipment problems during the dive. As a result, he ended up 150 metres from his boat. Unfortunately for him, a strong current prevented him from returning to his boat and he remained invisible in the rough water. By his own admission, he lost sight of the boat after 10 minutes.

[blockquote style=”2″]”I inflated my buoy, waved my arms and blew my whistle. Unfortunately no one saw or heard me,” – recounted Ozburn [/blockquote].

The boat crew conducted a search throughout and after about an hour alerted the US Coast Guard to the situation. A large-scale search and rescue operation was launched. Helicopters and other dive boats in the vicinity were engaged to assist.

At 7.30pm, shortly before nightfall, he drifted 9 Mm from where he started his dive. It was at this point that he was spotted. The boat ‘Niuhi’ had set off 90 minutes earlier and its captain Andy Ross had calculated the direction in which to search. Ozburn was very lucky that the crew spotted what they had been looking out for all along – . diving buoy.

[blockquote style=”2″]”Getting on that boat was the best feeling of my life,” – said rescued Mike Ozburn in an interview with the press. [/blockquote]

The rescued diver also praised his diving instructor, stressing that he did not expect to be able to put his lessons about being lost at sea to use so quickly.

Source: weartv.com

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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