​Snorkeling Man Left Behind by Tour Boat in Paradise

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August 31, 2013

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Snorkeling Man Left Behind By Tour Boat. A boat that gives a grand tour underwater by offering snorkeling services left one man behind. He is now pushing for improvements to safety procedures.

Ian Cole, 28, swam to another vessel when the Passions of Paradise guide took off without him. He was stranded off the coast of Cairns. Cole said the company had put an inexperienced worker in charge of ensuring all passengers were aboard the vessel so that another snorkeling man left behind by tour boat episode doesn’t happen to anyone else.

“I mean, the guy lost his job as a result of it, and obviously he takes the brunt of the blame, but he was put in a system that allowed him to make that mistake,” he said. “So obviously the system needs to be changed that could prevent an oversight such as that.”

Cole, of Michigan, said he was snorkeling on Saturday when he lifted his head out of the water and realized his tour vessel, the Passions of Paradise, was nowhere in sight. This was after the man had looked around the waters in disbelief.

“The adrenalin hit in and I had a moment of panic, which was the worst thing I could have done at that point,” Cole told The Cairns Post. “I was able to calm myself just a little bit because there was another boat still out there and I made my way to that vessel. Lucky it was there because otherwise I may have drowned. I did not handle the situation well and I was tired.”

Col McKenzie of the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators said Cole was in no danger during the incident.