Cape Town - Something happened to drowned US tourist Chris Tallman that incapacitated him, preventing his opportunity to escape from a capsized shark cage diving boat.
This was according to expert evidence heard in the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday in a multimillion-rand damages case. The lawsuit was instituted by Tallman’s widow Sarah, who is claiming $2.2 million (about R24m) for loss of support.
At this stage of the case, however, the court is set to determine only whether the three defendants – the vessel, Shark Team; the skipper Grant Tuckett, and shark cage diving business White Shark Projects – are liable for damages.
Shark Team capsized on April 13, 2008, after being hit by a wave off the coast of Kleinbaai. Tallman was one of three people who died, along with his best friend Casey Lajeunesse and Norwegian Kenneth Rogue.
Michael Tipton, a professor of human and applied physiology at the University of Portsmouth in the UK, concluded that it was probable that Tallman drowned within the first two to three minutes of submersion, and that rescuers wouldn’t have been able to resuscitate him after 10 to 15 minutes of submersion.