Sunday, February 18, 2018

Diver goes missing while inspecting ship

Missing: Chevonne Bartholomew

AERIAL and sea searches are being made for missing diver Chevonne Bartholomew who disappeared during a diving job in the waters off Chaguaramas on Monday.

Bartholomew disappeared at around 8 a.m. and 12 hours of searching by privately hired and coast guard divers, as well as his friends have been unsuccessful.

Bartholomew was contracted by Trindive Underwater Services Limited to inspect the hull of a vessel near Gasparee Islands when there was a “mishap”, his wife, Pete-Ann Bartholomew told the Express.

She was told that her husband was the junior of two divers on the job, and the depth of the water was approximately 60 feet and that visibility was poor.

His wife said that she was told that coast guard divers continued the search this morning and would be joined by aerial searches by a National Operations Centre helicopter at 10 a.m.

“I got the first phone call at 10.38 a.m. yesterday. The diver who was with him surfaced and they (the company) sent two sets of divers afterwards. After the initial search when they didn't find him they called me and the coast guard”, said Pete-Ann Bartholomew.

“The information the company gave me was that he got 'disconnected'. I wanted to speak to the other diver to find out what that meant, if they were attached to something and a cord got severed. He said they were not doing that kind of diving.

The depth was approximately 60  feet and visibility was extremely poor. So they weren't really seeing each other; they would have had lights on their helmets”, she said. “He (the senior diver) said he looked back and saw him and they continued. When he looked back again he just didn't see him”.

Pete-Ann Bartholomew said she prayed with her husband before he left their home at 4 a.m. to go to work.

The couple lives at Valencia and are the parents of two children – 11 and six years old.

They would be married 14 years in June.

The wife said that her husband had been a contract diver for the past years.

He previously worked as a Petroleum Engineer worked with Baker Hughes and was stationed in the People's Republic of Congo until 2015.

She said after he later trained as an air diver in Scotland.

Sherron Manswell, Public Relations Officer of Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard said that searches conducted yesterday and today have not been successful.

Manswell said that TTCG had received a report from the company which contracted Bartholomew.

Police have also interviewed the company officials and the diver which accompanied Bartholomew on the dive.