Scuba Divers Survive Two Days Adrift Off Colombia

Practically torn from the pages of the 2003 American horror film Open Water, two scuba divers off the coast of Colombia survived more than 48 hours stranded in shark infested waters. 

The two divers were part of a group of five who drifted away from the island of Malpelo, a popular Colombian diving attraction, only to find that the currents were too strong to return to shore. The pair survived through two nights floating on the surface as sharks circled around them and jellyfish attacked their flesh. 

Two of the other divers in the group have not been located while the fifth was found on the following day. Jorge Ivan Morales told El Tiempo in Colombia he wasn’t sure what went wrong, saying they tried to swim to the island but couldn’t make it. The first he said was one of the most difficult moments of his life.

“We wanted to return to our homes, but gradually we realized that we would spend the night at sea,” he told the newspaper following the rescue. “We did not know what was going to happen, but we never lost hope that we would return.”

To make it through the night, which Morales called eternal, the two huddled together and urinated to stay warm. And although hammerhead sharks were circling them at one point, Morales said he wasn’t worried. More troublesome were the jellyfish, which attacked them in droves. 

Sleeping was almost impossible as they could barely shut their eyes for two minutes without swallowing water. With thirst setting in, the two prayed for rain that did not come. Their only hope would come from the skies.

Finally on Friday morning, an aircraft spotted them some 39 nautical miles from the island where they began.

Photo credit: Wikimedia