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    Tina Watson Death - Part 4 - Gabe's Stories as Related by Him and Others


    Click here for the previous part of this article.


    After the dive, it has been alleged by a number of people, mostly the Queensland Police, that Gabe gave many different versions of what happened. They claimed that he gave 16 different versions! However, the evidence in statements made to Police and the inquest do not support this claim. The Police have never actually provided any evidence to support their claims. In addition, the Coroner never asked this question.

    Comment: I believe that all the stories told by Gabe and as recorded or later related by people he spoke to are sufficiently similar (at least those told when in Australia) to show that he told the same story, just that the memory and re-interpretation of the story is not 100 percent correct. From my reading of the transcript of the inquest, they are all almost identical, with only very minor differences that are really irrelevant. In addition, remember the game Chinese Whispers where person A tells a short story to person B who then tells person C who tells D etc and when D repeats what they heard it inevitably bears little resemblance to the original story. Well, the differences between what Gabe told the Police in his two interviews and what each person he spoke to later reported to the Police and at the inquest about the incident seems to me to fall into this. The unreliability of human recollection, especially during times of duress, is quite high.

    An example is where Tommy Thomas (Tina's Dad) and his daughter Alanda, both listened to the same phone call from Gabe where he explained what had happened. Both their recollections of this are almost identical, with one exception. While Tommy said that Tina used her thumb to give "thumbs up" signal to Gabe when on the wreck, Alanda said she used her thumb to indicate to go back to the descent/ascent line. This just shows how the same conversation can be interpreted or reported by different people.

    The following table summarises what Gabe told each person as reported by them in statements to the Police or given at the Inquest. It also summarises each of the statements Gabe gave to Police.

    PersonGabe WatsonGabe WatsonGabe WatsonWade SingletonWade SingletonStanley StutzStanley StutzUzi BarnaiDavid LemsingPaul CrocombeAlana McMahonCraig HaslettLouise Johnstone-ForsterCraig StephenTina GravesPaula SnyderKen SnyderDoug MilsapTom JacksonAmanda PhillipsTommy ThomasAlanda ThomasKevin MooreCraig Youngblood
    Date of record22-Oct-0322-Oct-0327/10/200327/10/200321/11/200718/04/200722/10/200320/11/200722/11/200725/11/200728/11/200330/11/200730/11/200721/01/200822/01/200823/01/200823/01/200823/01/200824/01/200825/01/200825/01/200825/01/200825/01/200830/01/2008
    When RecordedVerbal StatementPolice StatementRecorded StatementAs related by Campbell at inquest pg 62InquestWhat he claims he saw - Recorded by Flynn US CopStatement to D/S Ian TaylorInquestInquestInquestInquestInquestInquest also 21/1/08InquestInquestStatement not given to QLD till 24/4/07 but gave one to Flynn 3/8/06 InquestInquestInquestInquestInquestInquestInquestInquestInquest
    When told to themOn SpoilsportOn Spoilsportin waterin waterOn SpoilsportOn SpoilsportOn SpoilsportOn SpoilsportHotelOn SpoilsportOn Spoilsport and Police stationOn SpoilsportOn SpoilsportAt funeral homeBy phone from AustraliaBy phone from Australiasame time as her DadAt gabe's parents placeBy phone from Australia
    ComputerStarted beeping at about 5 feet"Started beeping at a couple of feet "gas alarm""Said he had problem with computerhad trouble with computer - thought he said battery was flat"said computer did not work, reckons he saw screen and it was blank"Issues with computerSomething went wrong with equipment so got out
    BatteriesOpened battery compartment and swapped it around - but then says hooked transmitter part back to reg"Asked Uzi for coin to open battery compartment took it out turned it around - had to wait till tanks filled to test, held computer next to it registered psi (shows he is referring to transmitter)"Said he knew what it was but did not say batteries
    CurrentStrong currentA lot stronger than we feel comfortableWas strongReally strongStronger than expected
    Descent"Tina first, went to 40 feet left line, went slow pointing at things""weren't in a hurry, looking at fish, bubbles hitting his face, at about 25-28 ft (maybe) went across"Went down to about 45 feet and went across to wreckWent to 45 feetgo down 45 feetdown about 40 feet
    On WreckWent out 30 yards (which he later said he meant feet) Went out 20 feetWent to wreck and swam alonghad not gone too farSwam along wreck about 40 to 50 feet30 feet from line (but was related as if 30 feet down)realised current was very strongmoved away from anchor - maybe 40 feet
    Tina WorriedUsed thumb to indicate wanted to go back to ropeUsed thumb to indicate wanted to go back to ropeTina signalled wanted to turn aroundTina signalled she wanted to turn aroundTina was significantly in distress before Gabe came back to her but his initial statement does not say thisStatement was very basic with little detailTina panickedTina signalled she wasn't comfortableShe sort of panickedTina panicked because she was overweighted - Tina panickedagreed to turn back to lineTina panickedTina motioned to him thumbs up but later said it was thumbs back to anchor"Tina motioned wanted to go up, back to the ropes"Tina signalled to go back up and then panicked
    Tina BCD"Took her hand, she quit swimming and sinking - let go of hand also indicated to Tina to inflate, appeared to""Took her hand, she was vertical, she was dropping - let go of hand also indicated to Tina to inflate, appeared to"Gabe grabbed her hamdtook her handDemonstrated to Tina to inflate BCDTried to get her to inflate but she was sinkinggrabbed hold of BCDas reaching to grab hold she knocked him - must have had her handstarted back
    Still sinkingGrabbed BCD and kept swimming to line - she was not swimmingI went down ah and grabbed a hold of her BC and started swimming to lineTried to swim back against current to lineGabe held hand as they swam backI tried to hold her but she got so heavyShe was too heavy"She was too heavy and lost grip on her, tried to lift her to the surface"was not getting anywhere and turned back to help20 feet from anchor she was sinking - showed her to squeeze inflator and she did samegrabbed her hand and started back
    People on lineCould see peopleCould see line
    MaskHand came across face pulled mask back and it filledher hand hit my mask um it knocked my mask sideways Tried to grab reg and maskShe relaxed and then tried to grab reg and maskWrestled with herShe tried to grab reg and he grabbed it back then she grabbed maskTina reached out to him and knocked his mask off and regulator out - he later says it was knocked skew-whiffKnocked off his mask"reached for his mask and reg and removed it, second time latched them out - third time says during the panic I could not control her and she started flailing - she knocked "knocked mask loose and regulatorshe knocked his mask offknocked off his mask while she tried to grab his regshe reached up and knocked his mask loose and it filled with watershe started grabbing at him and when he turned she knocked his mask offshe had knocked his mask and reg off Knocked his mask off
    FixingLet go of her to fixLet go of her to fixLet go to fixBy the time he cleared he could not see herCleared and saw Tina falling backwardsPushed her awaygot reg back in mouth and cleared and then maskfixedLet go of hand to fixLet go of her to fixlet go to fixlet go to fixcleared mask
    Regulator"Then realised reg missing, grabbed Air 2,""Then realised reg missing, grabbed Air 2,"Used OckyShe grabbed my regulatorTried to grab his regknocked mask loose and regulatordid not mentionfixed
    OrderMask then RegMask then RegNot mentionedMask then ockyReg then maskmask then reg
    Tina sinking"Turned back, Tina was sinking, eyes open, was not moving at all ""turned back around and at this point she was going down um, I don't know if ah if she was still kicking or not ah but she was looking up had both her arms out you know reached, stretched up almost like looking at me reaching her arms up to grab "She sankOne minute she was there and then she went down"She was too heavy, she's gone straight to the bottom""She's gone, she's gone""Did not say he pushed her away, she wrote that in diary as how she felt"Saw her sinking away was not sure if she was breathing and eyes openby the time he fixed she was descending 10 feet belowShe sank - order as given at inquest appears to be included with sinkingshe was being pushed down and he was pushed upShe had sunk 30 feetShe was about 10 feet below him and sinkingby the time he fixed she was below him and sinking too fastshe had drifted awayshe pulled away by current
    What Gabe didSwam down a bitI upended myself you know head first - she was she was out of arms reach I could not help herMade decision to ascend to get helpSplit second descision to get helpAscendedDo I go after her or to the surfaceDecided to go to surfaceSplit decision to go uptried to swim down to help but ears hurtsurfaced to get help
    Ascent"Ascended, saw some people at 20 feet, tried to tell them""I probably never swam so fast in my life, saw people went to them shouting at them but no reaction"I went upCame out of the waterImmediately surfacedGo straight to surfaceRuptured ear drumRushed up as fast as he couldRipping off gear as he wentRipping off gear as he went
    EarsTold his Mum on phone while she was there and then told herSaid ruptured ear drumbusted or ruptured or some type of pain so could not get to hertold he hurt ears but did not explain

    As you can see, virtually each of the stories Gabe told (as related by others) is identical to each other. The only differences are generally minor and inconsequential. The prime difference is that Gabe did not mention hurting his ears in his statements and his story to Tina's family about ripping off his gear as he ascended.

    Click here for the next part of this article.

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