The bodies of Australian diver Dave Shaw and South African Deon Dreyer were recovered from the world’s third-deepest freshwater cave, Boesmansgat, in the Northern Cape on Wednesday.
Shaw went missing on Saturday while trying to recover the remains of Dreyer, a diver who blacked out and drowned in the cave while diving there in 1994.
Dreyer’s body had been lying at a depth of 270m at the bottom of the cave.
Police spokesperson Superintendent Ernst Strydom said on Wednesday night that the bodies were brought to the surface shortly after 5pm.
”Police divers, assisted by technical divers, started recovering the ropes and other equipment from the water this morning when they saw Dave Shaw and Deon Dreyer’s bodies at the cliff beneath the water.”
Strydom said the divers were about 20 or 25m deep when they saw the bodies.
There is a possibility that the bodies floated up when the divers pulled up the ropes used during the fatal dive.
He said it appeared that Shaw’s equipment got entangled with Dreyer’s diving gear.
Strydom said the gear from both bodies were tangled together when they surfaced.
”The ropes and equipment got entangled in one coincidental loop.”
Strydom said an autopsy would be conducted on both bodies as part of the legal process.
”Thereafter arrangements will be made for the bodies to be returned to their families.” – Sapa