Search and rescue teams are looking for two scuba divers who disappeared near Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef.Officials told CDNN the missing man and woman are both American tourists in their 40s who were scuba diving off the Spoilsport dive boat.
According to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority Search and Rescue (AusSAR), a plane and helicopter are conducting aerial searches and a Coastguard boat is enroute to the search area.
Coastguard spokesperson Helen Greaves said the divers failed to return from a dive at Ribbon Reef No. 10 near Lizard Island.
Controversial dive operator
The Spoilsport liveaboard dive boat is owned and operated by controversial Australian businessman Mike Ball of Mike Ball Dive Expeditions.
Ball was forced to stop two-tier pricing that discriminated against Americans and Japanese with 20% to 40% higher fees after CDNN exposed the scam in 2001.
In 2003, the company was in the news again after a fatal accident that killed American Tina Watson on her honeymoon while she was scuba diving off the Spoilsport with her husband, Gabe.
Initial reports indicated Watson's death stemmed from Ball's failure to adhere to dive industry guidelines that restrict novice divers to specified depth limits.
Subsequently, Watson's husband, Gabe, came under suspicion after inconsistencies in the information he gave to police about the accident.
Australian authorities now believe Gabe killed his wife and are trying to extradite him to Australia for trial on murder charges.