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Unique material from the Great Barrier Reef

Diving on the reef, we usually associate with something that does not require great skills or heavily developed equipment. For those who have some experience, e.g. from Egypt, it will be nothing strange, that in order to admire the life of the coral reef, all we need is diving ABC. However, from the perspective of
Published: July 16, 2011 - 15:06
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 07:13
Unique material from the Great Barrier Reef

rek

Diving on the reef, we usually associate with something that does not require great skills or heavily developed equipment. For those who have some experience, e.g. from Egypt, it will be nothing strange, that in order to admire the life of the coral reef, all we need is diving ABC. However, from the perspective of Lance Robb, a diving instructor from Cairns in north-western Australia, things look different.

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Robb, who is a member of Closed Circuit Divers from Kewarra Beach, dives deeper than most visitors to the largest coral reef in the world. His latest dive, took him to a depth of 156m, which set his personal depth record. He was accompanied on his expedition by James Cook, a university researcher who searches for new life on Osprey Reef, a site about 150km from Port Douglas. It is at this location that, coral reefit drops almost from the water’s surface to a depth of 1500m.

For his dives, Lance Robb, uses a rebreather, thanks to which his dives exceed the limits available to the average diver. Another advantage of the rebreather is that it does not release any bubbles of exhaled air and, therefore, does not frighten away the reef inhabitants who would otherwise hide from the lens of his camera.

During their dive, the two men searched for the eggs of nautilus – one of the oldest species to inhabit the Earth. They also managed to observe, never before seen, corals and a mass of sharks.

As he tuned his camera at a depth of 156m, big reef shark it swam straight at him at tremendous speed…

“He swam straight at me, from a distance of about 50-60m, when he was no more than 1m from me, he turned around and just swam away”

Asked what thoughts run through the diver’s head at such a moment, he replied jokingly:

“Nothing flies through the head, mostly everything flies through the suit”

Lance Robb is a 37 year veteran with 6000 dives to his credit. He has explored the depths of Eacham Lake in Queensland, part of the Atherton Tableland, where he encountered giant barramundi fish, reaching just over 1m in length and 50kg in weight! He also took part in a survey of a submarine wreck in the coastal waters of Thailand.

In future dives, they plan to descend to a depth of 170m and further explore Ospray Reef. He and the university staff are fascinated by the site and want to get to know it better.

“I don’t normally get turned on by reef diving, but Ospray is something special. A unique place.”

Source: http://www.cairns.com.au

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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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