Diving fatality in the Blue Hole, Dahab: Barbara Dillinger

Various videos on the web show a badly decomposed body lying somewhere on the sloping floor of the Blue Hole, and people believe this to be Barbara Dillinger (RIP 1974-1998), an Argentenian woman. After watching an interview by the staff of a dive centre in the documentary "The Sacred Truth: The Blue Hole of Dahab" by Elena Konstantinou, I wanted to try and set the record straight.

According to the interview, she died as a result of a burst lung from rapid ascent in the Blue Hole of Dahab. During her dive she must have panicked, probably due to a combination of nitrogen narcosis and made worse by the eerie atmosphere created by the arch and the Blue Hole itself, and she subsequently attempted to swim up to the surface too fast, failing to exhale properly. This caused the lungs to over-expand due to the dropping water pressure as she went up towards the surface.

She was taken to a dive centre in Dahab, where the staff sent her to Sharm El Sheikh via ambulance. She was let down by luck; the oxygen tanks in the ambulance were almost empty, and the vehicle would also run out of fuel on the way.

She passed away whilst her rescuers were waiting for fuel to arrive.

Moral of the story - don't dive beyond your training, and don't dive in an overhead environment and/or conditions which you haven't developed the correct awareness for.



Dozens of people die every year in the Blue Hole, the true figures have never been revealed by the Egyptian authorities. Many dive centres are willing to guide inexperienced people through the arch which opens up from about 55m down inside the Blue Hole. 55m is very close to the limit set by most diver training agenices as the maximum recommended depth for diving air. Air contains a high percentage of Nitrogen (79%), which has narcotic effects on the body when breathed at high pressure. The effect of narcosis on the diver depends on their state of mind during the dive. The onset of nitrogen narcosis and it's effects are somewhat unpredictable, it can sometimes produce a feeling of euphoria, at other times sheer panic. Many inexperienced divers seem to succumb to panic under narcosis in the Blue Hole when swimming under the arch, as it can be dark and gloomy environment. With it's sheer overwhelming scale and the roof of the arch blocking the route to the surface, it can be a scary place to push one's luck!

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Автор Elena Konstantinou (4 года)
hugboxx : What a bullshit, I know 7 people by now who PLANNED VERY
ACCURATELY and still ended up at the bottom. when YOU SAY "PLAN
ACCURATELY..." what do you mean?

Автор stussyboys (4 года)
the truth is these people running these dives centres havnet a fuckin clue
what they are doing they are all trying to live the dream and fuck the
consequences ive worked in a few dive centres trust me if u knew how easy
it was to become a dive master u would be shocked not only that from my own
experiance most people genuinly suck at diving and are extremely careless
and thats the instructors themselves

Автор stussyboys (4 года)
people do a few dives a year and think they are all that, what they dont
realise is that unless u dive consistantly and i mean weekly lik i used to
u are just not ready for doing dives such as the blue hole it amazes me
when people go onb holiday and suggest doing dives like that u need at
least a good month of prior diving leading up to such a dive get real

Автор Elena Konstantinou (6 лет)
Thanks a lot, Jonny!

Автор Norris James (1 год)
hi elena , m from malaysia and i just started diving last april i would
like to watch the dvd and hoping u could assist how and where to get those
ya...thank you

Автор iphonel2 (6 лет)
some1 pls take this story to making a film..i'll wait to see 'em all

Автор murkydiver (5 лет)
It is an extremely technical dive. One needs mixed gas and a deco plan to
attempt this dive. Those divers without this training or expertise are just
committing suicide. You think the trail of grave markers would wake people
up...sad and tragic. It makes diving look dangerous and it is not when done

Автор CamelToeHo (5 лет)
It's called a hookah. clown

Автор thegirl44 (4 года)
So, have they ever identified who the body that appears in many videos on
this site is?

Автор twrl2007 (5 лет)
he has a bong lol

Автор Elena Konstantinou (4 года)
@thegirl44 I assume that's Steve, no proof though

Автор Elena Konstantinou (4 года)
@thegirl44 In fact it's very unusual for a family not to look for a body,
even if it's really deep like 250 m they can use ROVs. But the accidents I
was talking about in the film took place long time ago, there were less
tech divers to dive 100m+ to recover the bodies.

Автор MudRat02 (3 года)
"Dozens of people die every year in the Blue Hole"...uh, yeah that's a big
exaggeration. Its more like two or three, from silly things like
inexperienced divers trying to go through on a tank or poor preparation.

Автор stussyboys (4 года)
People who are susceptible to panic attacks should not dive period.

Автор Elena Konstantinou (6 лет)
Lovely video, it's good to know the truth. Thank you for sharing.

Guau... hace bastante que sabia sobre el blue hole y de la muerte de
barbara. Y ahora me vengo a enterar que es argentina... que bajon:(

Автор Elena Konstantinou (4 года)
ASSEMblerEX: More likely Steve (watch the episode 2 of my documentary)

Автор thegirl44 (4 года)
@overseasmedia I wondered if it was Steve after I noticed that you or your
sister had commented on a video that it was likely a diver that
"disappeared on a night dive".

Автор Goodness250 (3 года)
I can't understand half of what this guy is saying... Is it just me?

Автор thegirl44 (4 года)
@overseasmedia I understand that the families sometimes opt to leave the
body in the body of water but is it not unusual for family not to come
looking for a missing loved one? Or, did the family perhaps come looking
and the story just got lost along the way?

Автор vidmaster75 (6 лет)
nice work!

Автор thegirl44 (5 лет)
Contact Elena, the creator of this film, her youtube account is

Автор Øyvind Snibsøer (6 лет)
The lungs usually don't suffer any major damage in the case of a "burst
lung", and quickly reheal themselves, but in the most dangerous case air in
the lungs enters the blood stream and may end up blocking arteries in the
brain, blocking off oxygen supply. Hyperbaric treatment compresses the
bubbles so that they can move further, into smaller veins, where they cause
less damage. Eventually the bubbles will disappear, but there are no
guarantees of a full recovery

Автор Elena Konstantinou (6 лет)
bogomolov:И вам огромное спасибо, за отзыв, Вы даже не представляете себе,
как для меня это важно! Фильм уже перевели на русский язык, надеюсь, что в
сентябре его покажут в России. Спасибо еще раз, Елена

Автор TomTIGER69 (5 лет)
very strange when two go in and only one comes back like song timothy the

Автор Roland Keil (1 год)
@diverjonny: The guy you mention at the end of the vid is Steve? As
mentioned on this video: watch?v=9kcRJXw_Tig I´m so sorry for the people
who died at this place. I'm always thinking about their motivation to go
there!? In my view it's just the kick. The kick for the deep. I never would
go or dive there just to see great and spectacular riffs. It just can be
the challenge of going deep and deeper. Sometimes for all costs and risks.
But in my view it isn't worth that...

Автор diverjonny (6 лет)
Hi Elena, I was about to email you about this! :)

Автор alinardelean (4 года)
@ASSEMblerEX Davy Jones it's there mate...

Автор oasis4ever92 (4 года)
if you type in "fatal dive accidents in blue hole, Dahab episode (1,2,3 or
6)" it will tell u about the man described at the end of this video

Si? Che y que onda, que mas sabes de barbara, por que desde que supe la
historia siempre quise saber de ella, de su vida tambien quisiera saber
como era. De donde sacaste ese dato? muchas gracias por responder, y si
sabes algo por si o no me gustaira q me contestes saludos.

Автор Elena Konstantinou (4 года)
Stumpy109: That's what they talk about in the film. How she "died" , she
died of DCS on the surface

Автор thegirl44 (4 года)
Does anyone in the dive comminity know if it's more common for a body to be
left or for it to be recovered? Does anyone keep facts and figures relating
to this?

Автор Elena Konstantinou (6 лет)
cesnitry: Hi there, I can send you the DVD when I am back to USA ( in the
end of August)

Автор davidthmovies (1 год)
The ambulance ran out of fuel? Wtf.

Автор bogomolov (6 лет)
Елена, спасибо вам большое за вашу работу. И за это эпизод - тоже.

Автор ASSEMblergames.com (4 года)
So who is at the bottom of blue hole?????

Автор firefoxsteve (1 год)
been skoking that pipe thtas why

Автор TomTIGER69 (5 лет)
You might be just looking in a mirror Get over it . I never dove there. So
i keep my mind open to all possibilities. Might be just a great place to
get rid of someone you don't like anymore. You are observing people die
because life in a body Appears terminal . People plan perfectly and they
die. I was trained for Viet Nam in a place called Tigerland .i am well
aware of demented dimensional shifts & can handle them well. Thanks for
bringing me back here

Автор thegirl44 (4 года)
@overseasmedia Thanks, Elena. It's nice to know that we can get the facts
from a knowledgable source such as yourself. Completely unrelated comment,
amazing how well preserved the gear stays down there after such a long time.

Автор saipoc100 (4 года)
si es argentina, se gano un viaje en el programa sumergidos, pobre mina

Автор a6km (2 года)
I dont give a fuck about people who die there just because of their

Автор TomTIGER69 (5 лет)
wow!! That is absolutely a real mystery. I have dove shipwrecks alone, did
stupid things and been ok but 100 divers. Yes you could say simple
mistakes, but sounds like dimensional shifts, other events OUT of the

Автор nuno32181 (6 лет)
Very well documented and very tragic....

Автор Elena Konstantinou (6 лет)
cesnitry, I can get you the video (dvd) in September!

Автор Gerardo Ochoa-Vargas (4 года)
Yet another proof of how overrated the buddy system is. If a buddy is a
fool, it is more dangerous to be with him/her that alone

Автор thegirl44 (6 лет)
If they had managed to get her to hospital would she have survived once
they gave her decompression treatment or were the lungs too badly damaged?

Автор MrsPoodle78 (5 лет)
Nice Hooka, real subtle !

Автор hugboxx (5 лет)
You fucking idiot. People die there because they don't plan accurately;
it's a dangerous place and they come like you with zapped brains, talking
about vibrations and dimensional shifts, thinking that the sea is a big
blue comforter with lovely anthropomorphic fishies in it. You fucking clown.

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