A scuba diving instructor was drowned while trying to save the life of her student in yet another scuba diving accident in Australia. The incident took place on the Mornington Peninsula.
Leonie Hanson was diving with a 39-year-old male student off Mornington Pier near Schnapper Point Drive. When Hanson realized that her student was drowning, she refused to let go of him and frantically fought to save his life. Locals called police after witnessing the divers struggling in the water at around 12.15 pm. Members of the public also desperately tried to save them. But no one could not save the divers.
Police informed that Leonie Hanson was working with Harbour Dive Australia as an open water diving instructor. , The man, on the other hand, was not very experienced, reported The Age. People who witnessed the scuba diving accident said that they heard Hanson shouting for help.
Herald Sun referred one of the bystanders as “brave”. Rod De Santis, owner of a nearby restaurant did not flinch from jumping into the ice-cold water when he heard Hanson’s voice. He said that Hanson was desperately trying to hold the man who became unconscious during the diving lesson.
He said, “They were about five metres off the pier and she was screaming for assistance. I climbed down the ladder and swam out. She was yelling at me to ‘hold him, hold him’.”
Santis told Channel Nine News, “They had full gear on so it was very hard to hold them, we removed his gear to push the tank off. She was sinking, I had to make the decision to let go of him and help her to the ladder…She was exhausted.”
Santis managed to drag the divers back to the ladder but because of the force of the wave, the rescue efforts failed.
Santis continued, “The waves were just eating us up and down. We kept going under and every time the water would retract I’d tell her ‘breathe now, breathe now’ before we got slammed by the next wave. She was getting tired and I just told her to hold on to the ladder. I had to make the decision to let go of him as it was too late. He was already gone.”
Hanson is held as a hero for her selfless effort to rescue her student at the expense of her own life.