Despite repeated police warnings about the dangers of the illegal hookah diving technique, the problem still hasn’t gone away.
The death of a man in Fonoi in Ha’apai on January 25 was the latest case of fatal hookah diver decompression.
Police have now issued yet another public safety warning.
Hookah diving involves using a boat engine to pump compressed air to a diver below the surface.
Both hookah and scupper diving are prohibited under Tonga’s Fisheries Act as they require proper training and a high level of skill.
Tonga’s Fisheries Division has broadcast radio and television programmes highlighting the risks of these techniques.
Some people continue to use them as it’s the only way they can maintain their income from fishing.
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