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Lionfish patrol

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The next morning Luis, my scuba diving instructor, and I were diving in very shallow water when we heard a deafening roar which got increasingly louder. I knew it could only be one thing; a speedboat heading straight for us. Fortunately, my first reaction was to keep breathing through my regulator and to try and get down close to the sea floor. However, my buoyancy prevented me from doing this effectively, so in an instant Luis lay on top of me and flattened me. Within seconds the boat passed over with its propellers missing us by less than a foot. Luis signalled to check I was ok and we swam under water back to the shore with him clutching my hand tightly. Once on the dock he turned to me and asked if I believed in God, before looking skywards and crossing his heart. He then promptly sat on the…

When Tom Owen’s Caye, a one-acre island in the middle of the Caribbean Sea, came into sight it really did look like the set for a Castaway movie. It was an idyllic paradise of tall coconut palms, golden sands and little round cabanas. This was to be my home for two weeks. There were 17 other ‘castaways’ on the boat and a separate boat with a crew of 12. Accommodation was basic, as expected. In each cabana was a raised stone platform with a mattress on, and not much else. Showers were cold rain water and the generator for electricity was switched on at 5pm for a few hours. Most importantly there was absolutely no WIFI nor phone signal. I knew that this was going to be the longest I had ever been disconnected from the outside world. The rest of the group were mainly in their mid-twenties, of all…