Diving fatality in the Blue Hole, Dahab: Barbara Dillinger

by administrator on October 30, 2010


Various videos on the web show a badly decomposed body lying somewhere on the sloping floor of the Blue Hole, and people believe this to be Barbara Dillinger (RIP 1974-1998), an Argentenian woman. After watching an interview by a dive centre staff in the documentary "The Sacred Truth: The Blue Hole of Dahab" by Elena Konstantinou, I wanted to set the record straight. According to the interview, died as a result of a burst lung from rapid ascent in the Blue Hole of Dahab. During her dive she must have panicked probably due to a combination of nitrogen narcosis and the eerie atmosphere created by the arch and the Blue Hole itself, and she swam up to the surface too quickly without exhaling properly, which causes the lungs to over-expand due to the dropping water pressure as you go up towards the surface. She was taken to staff at a dive centre and then put on an ambulance to Dahab, where her she was let down by luck; the oxygen tanks were almost empty, and the ambulance would also ran out of fuel on the way. She passed away whilst her rescuers were waiting for fuel to arrive. ----- Background Dozens of people die every year in the Blue Hole, the true figures have never been revealed by the Egyptian authorities. Many dive centres are willing to guide inexperienced people through the arch which opens up from about 55m down inside the Blue Hole. 55m is very close to the limit set by most diver training agenices as the maximum recommended depth for diving air, which contains a ...