Monty Halls And...

Series 1 - Monty Halls And The Divers' Graveyard

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Monty Halls and his team travel to Egypt to investigate why so many divers have lost their lives to the deadly beauty of the Blue Hole, said to be the most dangerous dive site on earth. The Blue Hole is situated on the Red Sea coast, a few kilometres north of the Egyptian resort of Dahab. 'It is thought to have claimed over 100 lives. There is something that is killing healthy, active, fit young men,' says Monty of the abyss that reaches a depth of 330 feet.

In Dahab, Monty talks to Tarek Omar who has been diving the Blue Hole for decades. Tarek tells the story of an ancient legend surrounding the curse, a young woman called Shaheen who committed suicide there rather than marry a man she did not love. Her soul is said to reside in the depths, drawing young men to their deaths.

Following a group of novice divers, Monty witnesses one of them experience a mild panic attack induced by the vertigo the hole produces. This happens at a relatively shallow depth, but if the diver had been 30 or 40 metres further down, it could have been fatal.

Monty then watches footage of a young diver who died while filming in the Blue Hole, which proves harrowing viewing. Tarek was asked by the victim’s family to recover the body and this footage. The maximum safe limit for recreational divers is 40 metres, but at this point in the Blue Hole there is a temptation – the sight of an underwater arch at 50 metres which draws many divers deeper. This arch leads from the hole to the open water of the Gulf of Aqaba and a faint glow of sunlight streams through it. But at 50 metres the amount of nitrogen getting into divers’ bloodstreams can affect their decision-making processes; many do not realise that they are in danger before it is too late.

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Comments (26)

  • andy

    1 month ago

    andy

    stick to cathedral arch at st abbs! a tad cooler but just as awesome!!!!!

  • Asil Purcell

    4 months ago

    Asil Purcell

    Lived and worked in a Dive centre in Dahab way back when in 92. Not that many folk knew about the hole and it was so unspoilt in those days (as was Dahab) The guy who trained me there was ex Military, I still know him. As a group of instructors and diver masters working together in Dahab, we knew all too well the risks of the hole but we all wanted to dive it. Rather than rush into it we did proper preparation and dived for many weeks gradually diving deeper to try and get a bit more tolerance to narcosis. Many dives later (including the small and the large canyons down the coast a good few times) we decided we were ready. Proper preparation, as they say in the forces, prevents poor performance. Couple that with understanding the science of diving and having a VERY LARGE amount of respect for nature will go a long way to making this dive much more safe but the risks re always there. We did the hole and the arch several times over the following weeks (1st dive just went down to look at the silhouette of the arch, and no more, to try to understand it a bit more, get used to the view and be calm about the whole experience). I can honestly say, for me at least, these were the most special moments of my life (I'm sure that sounds funny to some folk). I will never forget the blue hole for as long as I live but Monty's programme rightly highlights the very real risks of this particular dive site. Loved the programme, the memories came flooding back. RIP to those who lost their lives. Safe diving to the rest of you tat dive.

  • Asil Purcell

    4 months ago

    Asil Purcell

    Lived and worked in a Dive centre in Dahab way back when in 92. Not that many folk knew about the hole and it was so unspoilt in those days (as was Dahab) The guy who trained me there was ex Military, I still know him. As a group of instructors and diver masters working together in Dahab, we knew all too well the risks of the hole but we all wanted to dive it. Rather than rush into it we did proper preparation and dived for many weeks gradually diving deeper to try and get a bit more tolerance to narcosis. Many dives later (including the small and the large canyons down the coast a good few times) we decided we were ready. We did the hole and the arch several times over the following weeks (1st dive just went down to look at the silhouette of the arch out to understand it a bit more). I can honestly say, for me at least, it was the most special moment of my life (I'm sure that sounds funny to some folk). I will never forget the blue hole for as long as I live but Monty's programme rightly highlights the very real risks of this particular dive site. Loved the programme, the memories came flooding back.

  • lilocto22

    4 months ago

    lilocto22

    I've dived the Blue Hole once and it was great except one guy had a panic attack going through the arch but was ok.

  • Stevie W

    4 months ago

    Stevie W

    When you're narked you lose all reason. I remember once at ascent time looking at my depth gauge and reckoning that because the reading was 25m - in order to go up the numbers on the gauge had to rise also.. 26m..27m... up obviously! I was convinced the mad crowd I was diving with were going the wrong way! I followed them fearing for their safety and a few meters up (down?) the confusion disappeared. Great series - educational rather than sensational. Thanks.

  • Lesley

    4 months ago

    Lesley

    Fantastic program and I watched it with my heart in my mouth as a very good friend (diving instructor) Ahmed died with two others at the Blue Hole. Glad it's been shown so that hopefully divers will think again before heading through the arch!

  • Katharine

    4 months ago

    Katharine

    why does the 5 player constantly crash can watch the whole thing through :(

  • Ged Chadwick

    4 months ago

    Ged Chadwick

    Fantastic insight into a divers worst nightmare, where wrong seems so right! This should be a training video at all clubs. Great series, great presenter, keep up the fantastic work Monty. Memories of my dry dive at Wirral chamber :-)

  • TC

    4 months ago

    TC

    good programe crap app and channel 5 get a grip with your shoddy viewer experience

  • TonyC

    5 months ago

    TonyC

    Brilliant series so far. A well explained reasoning for the "right tool" for the job. Defined objectives and good execution.

  • Buddha

    5 months ago

    Buddha

    Demand5 player is just a piece of junk. I have never been able to play a whole programme on it. You can guarantee the adverts will play and that's all. I never have problems with BBC iPlayer. Channel5 are just a bunch of rip-off amateur cowboys. You are ripping off the people who pay to advertise with you because all you are doing is making me hate them and their products because of your pathetic player.

  • Cathy Jones

    5 months ago

    Cathy Jones

    I was at the Blue Hole when this was being shot. I was advised only to dive a few metres and now I know why! Really interesting programme but feel that there should have been mention of the free divers which I saw a few going down. Some of these crazies have plaques on the wall!

  • Dan Slattery

    5 months ago

    Dan Slattery

    I have dived the Blue Hole many times and guided clients also. The dive is a fantastic and safe dive as long as you dive within your limts. Great series....

  • Kevin Hopton

    5 months ago

    Kevin Hopton

    A great, if narrowing, illustration of the effects of deeper diving on the body as taught in basic theory at entry-level diver training. If you're interested in learing how to dive, don't watch this until you've 'got the bug' first, and had some lessons. This prog shows the attractions of exploration and the attendant dangers that go along with that, for the unwary or foolhardy. Open water instructor

  • Helen H

    5 months ago

    Helen H

    Coo - trip down memory lane - very good to watch, especially with diving/nature keen son. Heart goes out to - those lost souls and their families, I dived the 'Blue Hole' in 1998, and was born in 1974 - the same dates as Barbara, the only female to die in it - I too felt exuberant (aka narked!) and attracted to the arch - we made it, timed with extra tanks, and with a very trusted boyfriend, be perhaps the story could have been so different...so my heart especially goes to Barbara's parents and to my old boyfriend, Nico Forest who died after years of brilliant diving in Eygpt by being electrocuted on a dogely wired dive boat - one thing that is much worse than nature, and that's humans who cut corners....Well done Monty though to show that diving is a wonderful thing, if only done properly and with the right training, equipment and people.

  • Jason

    5 months ago

    Jason

    Good programme, shame the 5 website makes it so hard to watch. Constantly crashing, watched the beginning adverts 6 times now as it doesn't remember that you've already been viewing the programme.. very frustrating.

  • 1uke

    5 months ago

    1uke

    Loved the program and what a amazing place but..... My dream was always to do some deep scuba diving but this has certainly put me of I didn't realise how dangerous it is.

  • ken moth

    5 months ago

    ken moth

    Dosnt work

  • Phil B

    5 months ago

    Phil B

    Interesting programme, well presented, but why do the editors/producers or whoever keep reminding us what's going on every 10 minutes!? Seems like a cheap way to fill time. Very annoying.

  • Mark Slater

    5 months ago

    Mark Slater

    Brilliant program, and I feel putting across valid points. Clearly more on technicial diving and mistakes made and poor judgement. How ever wouldn't put me off trying technical diving, and highlighting many interesting places to dive.

  • Lpatta

    5 months ago

    Lpatta

    Accidents happen due to lack of training and expirence Scuba diving under correct instruction is a way if exploring a new world . Monty please make sure this comes across. Train before you leave the UK with your local BSAC scub club ( Pisces Barnet Copthall Pool) . Safety first, know your limits then you can explore.

  • Jim Cripps

    5 months ago

    Jim Cripps

    Some years ago whilst Hitch Hiking around Saudi. I stopped at some deep springs called Layla Lakes and went "Free Swimming" there. I dove down to about thirty feet in the crystal clear blue water and discovered that I was sinking fast, due I suppose to relative densities and displacement of water and all that Archimedian jazz. A panic induced vigorous upward motion of my limbs propelled me to the surface where I once again thanked my Big Buddy who lives in the sky. Phew! Ok not as dodgy as your dives but pretty scary for me as I don't do Danger! By the Way I enjoyed your escapades.

  • MarwanAldahmani

    5 months ago

    MarwanAldahmani

    i like dive in Blue Hole

  • lianne

    5 months ago

    lianne

    i have been to dahab twice and the bul hole is an amazing dive and snorkelling site ant wait to go back our friend gary committed suicide at the blue hole when his battle with cancer came back and to this day they have never retrieved his body rip gary

  • Shaun

    5 months ago

    Shaun

    Have been looking forward to this series.

  • john claxton

    5 months ago

    john claxton

    brilliant programme,looks an exciting series.

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