Text by Andrew Burmon
In 1911, the 150-passenger steamer Yongala sank for unknown reasons near the Great Barrier Reef. In 2003, an American honeymooner named Tina Watson inexplicably blacked out and drowned while diving the wreck. Now one of this shipwreck’s mysteries may be solved.
On June 20, Queensland Police issued a warrant for the arrest of David "Gabe" Watson, a diver from Helene, Alabama, Watson stands accused of murdering his wife Tina while the pair dove the Yongala.
After stuttering his way through interviews with Townsville and Helene, Alabama police officers, Watson had raised more than a few red flags (and not dive flags mind you). Australian police theorized that Watson, a rescue certified diver, turned off his wife’s air supply and held her underwater. Their suspicions were strengthened after Watson’s in-laws revealed that Tina had increased her life insurance policy and made her husband the sole beneficiary just before their wedding. Read more coverage from ABC News of the investigation.
As Watson faces the possibility of free trip back to Australia courtesy of the 1974 U.S. Australian Extradition Treaty, the grim honeymoon story has served as a reminder to dive enthusiasts everywhere that dive buddies should be chosen carefully. To help you find a perfect—or at least non-homicidal—SCUBA partner, we’ve compiled a guide to the five best dive-buddy matchmaking websites.
Of course Facebook has a dive buddy application! With the most thorough diver profiles, the easiest interface, and probably the largest number of users, the Facebook Dive Buddy Application is the online place for divers to see and be stalked by people they don’t know.
A social networking site for the amphibiously inclined. Allows users to check out each other’s experience levels, specialties, and, of course, relationship status.
While slightly less streamlined than DiveBuddy and a little bit (water)buggy, ScubaMatch does an excellent job of documenting its users’ credentials and experience.
- Nat Geo Expeditions
A small but well-organized networking site that reads sort of like the neoprene personal pages.
Not so much a networking site as a list of divers from various areas, the ScubaYellowPages include the contact information for around 100 divers in England, the United States, and beyond.