Cave diving is one of the extreme sports that adventurers want to try. Exploring under the water and caves wouldn’t just give them the best experience but also challenges them. The difficulty and risk before seeing the beautiful scenery are like a reward. You felt victorious after you finished the voyage.
But cave diving isn’t only about adventure. It also speaks about danger and death. Even the most prepared diver died if a sudden accident and changes in current happened. The worst part is, you will drown, lose, and never have the chance to retrieve.
Staying too long deep down the water would give too much pressure to a person causing them to have breathing issues and die. The tendency of waiting too long would make them mummified and preserved by the water temperature. The corpse would eventually turn into adipocere a wax-like substance and float.
It is what precisely happened to the well-known diver called Adipocere Deon Dreyer. Brace yourself, and let us tell you his tragic ending.
Who is Deon Dreyer?
Deon Dreyer was born on August 7, 1974. He is a South African scuba diver who grew up together with Theo and Marie his parents in Vereeniging. Diving was his passion, and he loves exploration. He was thrilled by breathtaking outdoor activities such as hunting, racing, and motorcycling.
He was known to have a record of 200 dives. In 1994, he was invited to the South Africa Cave Diving Association to dive at Bushman’s Hole in South Africa, where he eventually lost his life.
The Thrilling Adventure Turned into Tragedy
The plan was to have a technical, deep dive for approximately 492 ft. As an adventurer and has a pure passion for diving, Deo must be ecstatic. Well, who wouldn’t? The invitation was an opportunity for him to explore and bond again with nature.
Unfortunately, he died in the course of the rehearsal dive. According to his co-divers, he vanished on ascension around 160 ft. from the surface. Allegations such as lost consciousness because of hypercapnia or oxygen toxicity were the reason for his death.
Retrieval of Deon Dreyer
Let’s face it. In some instances, the drowned body cannot quickly recover, and some may never retrieve it. The reason why is that they drowned too deep, and the body couldn’t float because of sucking current and turbulence.
It is what exactly they thought of Deon Dreyer. After he died, his father Theo hired a sub, but the only thing they found was his helmet on a sinkhole. His body is nowhere in sight.
January 8, 2005, David Shaw an Australian cave diver tried to get the remains of Deon. He discovered his body and was compelled to retrieve it. He planned everything and was ready to penetrate the most dangerous zone in diving history.
Death after death
David Shaw’s 333rd dive would be the retrieval of Deon Dreyer. At 892 ft., he makes his final dive. Thanks to his recorded journey, he was seen how he tried his best to retrieve Deon.
David attempted to roll a body bag over the legs of Deon and eventually had a complication when he cut the body from its harness, and it floated. Deo’s body covered by his wetsuit for ten years had reduced to a sudsy adipocere.
By that time, David ran out of time. He died, and together with Deon’s body, they both surfaced. Another tragic ending for a well-known diver.
Adipocere Deon Dreyer
Adipocere is commonly known as ‘grave wax.’ The hydrolysis of triglycerides creates glycerine and free fatty acids due to the decomposition of adipose tissue. It is widely developing into a corpse that is submerged in water for a long time.
Deon Dreyer was the perfect example. Years passed, and the high water temperature accelerated the formation of its adipocere. Also, the location of the corpse where it was buried has a manifestation of adipocere. In places like burial sites or the depth of graves, the adipocere will not form. And because Deon was drowning in the sea’s dark bottomless pit, adipocere formation was 100% sure to create.
Cave diving is a dangerous water sport. Be sure to make preparation and be equipped. There is nothing wrong with having some fun but know the limitations. Also, know your capacity and do not risk your life. We hope that Adipocere Deo Drey’s story inspires you in any possible way.