OPEN WATER – Thai style


A young American couple have told an Arizona television channel how they were abandoned in ‘open water’ by a dive boat Captain who motored off to fix a faulty engine.

The couple Jake and Lexa Mendenhall from East Valley, Mesa, Arizona, who were celebrating their first anniversary were among other divers who surfaced in the Andaman Islands off Koh Phi Phi to find themselves deserted.

They eventually flagged down another dive boat.

“The fact that they left was insane,” Jake told Channel KHOU11 News.


He did not say  what action, if any, they took after the incident.

For story and video click here

2 thoughts on “OPEN WATER – Thai style

  1. They were apparently drift diving next to one of the islands in Phi Phi and were freshly qualified and highly inexperienced and probably diving in shallow water or at least a less challenging dive area. Dive instructors were with them, they were not alone, and part of the training is how to swim with the gear in case you surface and there is no boat. They were not in life threatening danger.

    Whilst not "open water" it is a difficult place for a boat as no anchors are allowed. From my dives on Phi Phi I know they keep the engine running and movng about until you surface and then spot the coloured nylon sock that the instructor inflates to close to a pickup.

    If you are having engine trouble, you are in trouble. If that engine stops turning you are going to need a tow sharpish or drop anchor and damage the dive sites.

    It can be very crowded in Phi Phi, no shortage of dive boats at the popular dive sites. I would have recalled the divers and set sail but it looks like they were not abandoned so much as allowed to continue the dive and and another boat asked to take them.

    They waited a very short time in the water, which is no big deal, and then returned home.

    A non-story.

Comments are closed.