Up close, he could see that Deon's tanks and dive harness, snugged around a black-and-tan wetsuit, appeared to be intact. Deon's air tanks and the battery pack for his light appeared to be firmly embedded in the mud underneath him, and Shaw was starting to pant from exertion. Shaw quickly tied the cave reel to Deon's tanks, so the body could be found again, and returned to the shot line to start his ascent.
Shaw knew immediately who it was: Deon Dreyer, a 20-year-old South African who had blacked out deep in Bushman's ten years earlier and disappeared.
Divers compare narcosis to drinking martinis on an empty stomach, and, depending on the gas mix you're using, at 800-plus feet you can feel like you've downed at least four or five of them all at once.
Helium is no better; it can send you into nervous, twitching fits.
Thinking he should try to bring Deon back to the surface, Shaw wrapped his arms around the corpse and tried to lift. After Shirley checked that Shaw was OK and retrieved some spare gas cylinders hanging on the shot line below, Shaw showed him an underwater slate on which he had written 270m, found body.
Shirley's eyebrows shot up inside his mask, and he reached out to shake his friend's hand.