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California woman, friend left drifting off Australian reef

Sacramento businesswoman and scuba diver Allyson Dalton and her boyfriend, Richard Neely, were diving off Australia's Great Barrier Reef on Friday when they popped above the surface, only to discover that their dive charter boat had disappeared.

With the swells at 10 feet and the current strong, they were being pulled further and further out to sea, into shark-infested waters. With water temperatures dropping and two storms battering them, they bobbed along the ocean's surface. They could hear the rescue helicopters — 10 miles away.

The fate of American tourists Tom and Eileen Lonergan, left behind by their dive boat on the Great Barrier Reef in 1998, weren't far from their minds. The Lonergans are believed to have drowned or been eaten by sharks. When would help come?

Read the full story at sacbee.com.

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