On 30 August 2019, Connie was seriously injured in a freak accident at the end of his dive.
The graphic images spread like wildfire around the world via social media and a number of false stories around the incident began developing.
While many were shocked by the images, there were those that tried to profit from the accident by using the images to push their products.
However, there are those of us who feel we need to step up and turn this into something positive. First and foremost, to make sure that we can support Connie in covering his medical costs, but also to raise diver safety awareness and to set up a trust fund to help others who might find themselves in a similar situation and without medical coverage.
So please donate whatever you can. Any surplus after supporting Connie, will be placed directly into the trust fund.
We’ll update this page with Connie’s progress as well as details for the support fund.
For the record, these are Connie’s words and his recollection of the event in his own words....
We got into the water just after 7am. The water looked dirtier than the previous day, but it was still early, so it could have just been the sun. The sets also seemed higher than the predicted 2m, but my buddy and I both felt it was manageable.
I managed to get behind backline pretty quickly and when I looked back for my buddy, I saw him walking on the beach. He is often in and out of the water and is always on the beach when I come in, so I was not phased.
The water WAS dirty. about a meter and with the swell, there was a lot of sand, so I had to dive down a few times to only find sand. There was also a very strong current going South North.
I saw a turtle (Pretty stoked) and heard lots of whale activity.
I managed to wrestle with one cray, but it proved tricky with the bad visibility and string current, so decided to head back probably just after 8am.
The water suddenly cleaned up nicely in about 3m of water and I started seeing more crays and sinkers (I collect them for my mate who makes a living selling dive weights). On each occasion I drop my gun next to me (As I have done hundreds of times) and use both hands to stabilize myself and grab what I have seen.
At about 08h25 I was getting something out when a wave crashed on top of me. This is also nothing new and the fact that I have 2 separate fins and not using my original mask is testament to the fact that this something we deal with all the time. But this was different.
At the time I didn't hear it, but on Friday night, everything seemed to slow down and I remember distinctly the sound of my rubber snapping. I have heard it over a thousand times when shooting at fish.
It felt like someone had smashed me inside my head.
As I was coming up, I looked down and saw blood in my mask and realized that the only thing that this could be was my spear. I tried to take my mask off but it was pinned onto my face by my spear.
I started to scream for help. I needed to let people know that I was in trouble. I was about 20m into the water in about 1.5-2m water. I also knew that as long as I was talking, I was alive.
I swam backwards, because of my fins) and the next I knew, someone was helping me out.
I managed to sit down about 4m from the waters' edge (Tide was going into low). I gave my details to someone and asked someone to call my wife, which he did.
Ambulance arrived, drip put up. N2 was cordoned off to allow helicopter to intercept ambulance and I was flown to St Annes Hospital in Pietermaritzburg.
Spear was removed without any serious damage and I was discharged on 1 September 2019.
The only explanation for the gun going off, as it had been loaded for about 20 mins by that stage, is the force of the wave that knocked it against reef.