"Shark Attack Survivors News Archive"

12/19/2007 Wayne Francis Johanning (British V.I.) **Fatal**

Shark Attack Survivors News Archive for Shark Attacks in 2007.
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Re: 12/19/2007 Wayne Francis Johanning (British V.I.) **Fatal**

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Body of Fort Myers diver who went missing in Virgin Islands found

By JULIO OCHOA (Contact)
Originally published 2:05 p.m., Thursday, December 20, 2007
Updated 10:05 p.m., Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wayne Johanning died doing what he loved.

The 53-year-old Fort Myers Beach man went missing Wednesday while scuba diving on vacation in the British Virgin Islands.

After a 24-hour search, rescuers found his body Thursday on the ocean floor near where he was last seen.

Johanning apparently drowned some time after surfacing with one of his sons, said Phil Aspinall, coordinator for Virgin Islands Search and Rescue. The two came up together, but his son went back under to look for the third diver with them. Johanning was gone when the others resurfaced.

Eight boats along with a U.S. Coast Guard cutter and helicopter searched for Johanning, covering 273 square miles along the shore of the surrounding islands. “We threw everything we had at it,” Aspinall said.

Authorities believe Johanning had to swim against a strong current through choppy water to reach a dingy that the men took to the dive site. One theory is that he went back under to avoid the rough water and couldn’t make it back up.

“We know he drowned, but not whether it was a heart attack, stroke or swallowed too much water,” Aspinall said. Virgin Islands police will investigate.

Johanning had brought his wife, two grown sons and a friend to the Caribbean for a sailing vacation aboard a 41-foot catamaran. Though he was considered an experienced diver, enjoying the sport since his late teens, it may have been several years since his last dive.

He had lived in the Fort Myers area for five years, working for three years as a book keeper at the Lani Kai hotel on Fort Myers Beach.

He from Kokomo, Ind., to Fort Myers because that’s where his wife, Julie Campbell, lived when he met her.

“He enjoyed his work and everything about living in Fort Myers,” said brother Dale Johanning. “He was great with people.”

Friends and coworkers at the Lani Kai remember him as a cheerful, outgoing man who loved the outdoors.

“He was a super nice guy,” said Ken Conidaris, a manager at the hotel and good friend to Johanning. “Happy-go-lucky to no end.”

Johanning owned a vintage two-seater plane that he loved to fly, and also loved kayaking, boating and sailing.

His mother, two older brothers and two sons still live in Kokomo, where a civic center that the family sold to the county at a charitable price bears their name.

http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2007/dec ... itish-vir/

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Re: 12/19/2007 Wayne Francis Johanning (British V.I.) **Fatal**

Post by sharkbait »

BVI rescue volunteers recover body of missing Florida diver
Friday, December 21st 2007

ST. THOMAS - A Florida tourist who went missing while scuba diving in the British Virgin Islands was found dead Thursday morning after an extensive search.

British Virgin Islands Search and Rescue volunteer divers discovered 53-year-old Wayne Johanning's body submerged in the waters between Little Jost Van Dyke and Green Cay sometime after 10 a.m., according to Search and Rescue president Phil Aspinall, who coordinated rescue efforts.

The cause of death had not been established by presstime on Thursday.

U.S. Coast Guard personnel in Puerto Rico monitoring an international distress frequency picked up a radio broadcast regarding the missing diver at 2:50 p.m. Wednesday, according to Coast Guard spokesman Ricardo Castrodad.

By the time of the distress call, the diver had been missing about 90 minutes, according to Castrodad.

The Coast Guard contacted BVI Search and Rescue, which had its volunteer teams searching the waters by 3:05 p.m. for the Fort Myers man, Aspinall said.

The Coast Guard contributed a helicopter and cutter to the search, Castrodad said, adding that crews conducted eight searches spanning hundreds of nautical miles.

The BVI Search and Rescue team worked closely with the Coast Guard. Three other vessels and a private airplane also assisted rescuers on Thursday, Aspinall said.

By the time rescuers retrieved Johanning's body on Thursday morning, it had been mauled by sharks.

The shark attack happened after the body was first spotted, Aspinall said, and had nothing to do with the diver's death.

Aspinall said a five-person party set off on Wednesday in a 41-foot chartered catamaran. Johanning, his son, and another diver left the catamaran in a dingy, which they tied to a mooring buoy before beginning their dive, Aspinall said.

After surfacing, the three began snorkeling back to the dingy. Only the son and the third diver arrived at the boat, they told rescuers.

The son could not find his father after realizing he was missing, he said.

Johanning's body was found the next day not far from where the divers had surfaced after their dive, Aspinall said.

- Correspondent Angela Burns Piper contributed to this report. Contact Joseph Tsidulko at 774-8772 ext. 332 or e-mail jtsidulko@dailynews.vi.

http://www.virginislandsdailynews.com/i ... d=17618656

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12/19/2007 Wayne Francis Johanning (British V.I.) **Fatal**

Post by sharkbait »

Inquest: Sharks ate scuba diving tourist near British Virgin Islands shark feeding site

Powered by CDNN - CYBER DIVER News Network
by LUTHER MONROE - CDNN Safety News Editor

BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS (2 Apr 2008) — A coroner's inquest into the death of an American tourist who disappeared in December 2007 while scuba diving heard testimony that searchers found the victim's partly eaten body parts surrounded by tiger sharks.

The victim, Wayne Francis Johanning, 53, disappeared on December 19, 2007 while scuba diving off Green Bay, Jost Van Dyke with his wife, two sons and a friend.

After the group called for help, BVI Search and Rescue and the U.S. Coast Guard launched a massive air and sea search spanning 373 nautical miles that included at least one helicopter, a cutter, a private airplane and several smaller vessels.

The day after Johanning went missing, BVI Search and Rescue divers found the victim's body parts near the dive site where he was last seen.

Sharks ate scuba diver

A five-member jury heard testimony from three sea rescue volunteers of VISAR indicating that tiger sharks were eating the diver when they found the body.

The jury also heard the results of an autopsy performed on the victim's remains on December 24, 2007.

Shark feeding is legal in the British Virgin Islands unlike Florida, Bonaire, the Cayman Islands and other popular holiday destinations where authorities banned fish feeding to enhance public safety and protect marine wildlife from dive industry profiteers.

The inquest has been adjourned "to facilitate testimony of overseas witnesses."

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