"Lost" Australian scuba divers come clean


Divers RichardNeely and Allyson Dalton have come forward and told the truth about their19-hour ordeal at sea. Investigators,in a soon-to-be-released report, have backed the version of events by theBritish scuba instructor, 38, and his American girlfriend, 40.

The experienced divers – with2000-plus underwater dives each – survived being lost at sea during a diveexpedition on the Great Barrier Reef, off Airlie Beach, two months ago. They sold their story in amedia bidding war rumoured to be worth up to $250,000 – but faced scathingcriticism as doubts surfaced amid claims they staged their disappearance. Rescuers found Mr Neely and Ms Daltonclinging together for warmth after spending the night in the shark-infestedwaters on May 26. The couple survivedbeing swept 15km out to sea as a strong current dragged them away from theirdive boat, the Pacific Star.They said they were unable to attract the attention of crew and otherpassengers. OzSail issued a stinging rebuke in the days after the rescue,accusing the couple of leaving the agreed dive area and not following safetyinstructions.