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Chilling note was found after couple who were left behind on diving trip vanished without a trace

Chilling note was found after couple who were left behind on diving trip vanished without a trace

The couple resurfaced from diving to find themselves stranded

After a couple were left behind on a diving trip and vanished without a trace, a chilling note was found.

Back on 25 January 1998, Eileen and Tom Lonergan signed up for a day trip exploring the Great Barrier Reef.

It’s said that 28-year-old Eileen was an experienced scuba diver and had convinced her 32-year-old husband to join her in diving the iconic spot.

The Americans joined 24 other passengers on boat Outer Edge in Australia. Manned by skipper Geoffrey ‘Jack’ Nairn, a headcount was conducted on the boat after the dive before returning to the mainland.

But it turns out, when the boat returned to dock, the Lonergans weren’t on board.

You can watch an adaptation of their tragic story in the tense film, Open Water:

A whole two days later, a bag belonging to them was found on vessel, suggesting they must have resurfaced from the final dive to make the terrifying discovery the boat had left them out in the ocean.

Once authorities released this, a wide-spread air and sea search began but they were never found.

A month later, in February, a wetsuit in Eileen’s size washed up with tears to it that experts said would have been due to contact with coral.

Eileen and Tom Lonergan.
QLD Police

And soon after, dive jackets, tanks and one fin showed up.

According to reports, nothing suggested their lives had come to a violent end - even though in Open Water the couple are depicted as victims of a shark attack, something that isn't proven to be true.

But something that did happen in real life is the discovery of the chilling note.

Months later on from their disappearance, a fisherman found a dive slate 160km away with an engraved message.

A chilling note was found after the couple disappeared.
QLD Police

It read: “[Mo]nday Jan 26; 1998 08am. To anyone [who] can help us: We have been abandoned on A[gin]court Reef by MV Outer Edge 25 Jan 98 3pm. Please help us [come] to rescue us before we die. Help!!!"

This is tragic proof that the couple were alive for at least a day after they were stranded in the ocean.

In the end, the Outer Edge skipper was charged with manslaughter.

Nairns tried to explain how he had ordered a crew member to carry out the count, and the numbers had become confused because two passengers jumped into the water halfway through counting.

He was later found not guilty by a jury; however, his company pleaded guilty to negligence and went out of business.

Featured Image Credit: QLD Police/Lionsgate

Topics: Australia, Travel, World News