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5 Unusual Aquatic Deaths


4
Fatal Excursions
Americans Tom and Eileen Lonergan were dropped off by their drive boat operator and never picked up. They are presumed to have drowned in the ocean.
Americans Tom and Eileen Lonergan were dropped off by their drive boat operator and never picked up. They are presumed to have drowned in the ocean.
Stephen Frink/Getty Images

"Three-hour tour," plane crashes on idyllic islands and luxury yacht adventures all play out on the TV and big screen with the loss of a few heroes and heroines and usually a big rescue scene to tidy up the story line. In real life, however, very unusual deaths occur without any kind of happy ending. One true and tragic series of events in 1998 made such a splash that it inspired the film "Open Water."

Americans Tom and Eileen Lonergan were an adventurous couple, travelling the world, serving in the Peace Corps and finally, sharing a scenic dive with a charter tour in the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. Sadly, the pair was dropped off at their ocean dive site, but was never picked up. By the time the charter crew discovered their remaining gear on board and noted they had missed a head count, the couple was long gone; their bodies never found. Although some clothing and items believed to be theirs washed ashore, the Lonergans didn't make it back to shore [source: Fickling].

In 2011, two American couples started an adventure of their own with a yacht and a plan to sail around the world together. Their plans were thwarted by a band of pirates who overtook their vessel off the coast of Somalia, Africa. All four of the adventurers were killed despite attempts by the United States military to negotiate with the pirates [source: Capaccio]. Piracy on the high seas is increasing, and in a chilling statement, the pirate leader in this fatal attack was quoted as saying "I lost the money I invested and my comrades. No forgiveness for the Americans. Revenge. Our business will go on" [source: NBC]. Maybe this type of death at sea will be less unusual in the future.


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