On the morning of November 24, 2005 Underwater Admiralty Services lost one of its own. Zak Jones, a member of the Board of Advisors, fellow adventurer and good friend, died during a deep technical dive. At this point in time we are uncertain as to the facts and cause, but Zak is gone. It is a reminder to us all that our time in this life is limited and none of us know when we will be called away. We need to live our lives to the fullest and best possible purpose while we are here. That is something that Zak taught us all by his outstanding example. I know very few people who lived their life with an enthusiasm and brilliance that made the most of living. This enthusiasm positively touched and motivated all those who he came in contact with and called friend.
We are all stunned and deeply affected by his passing. I cannot even begin to imagine the sorrow and loss that his wife Robyn, father, David, and the rest of his family are feeling at this time. As part of the UAS family, we offer them our heartfelt sympathy and condolences and will do whatever we can to help.
I wish that I possessed the wisdom and ability to be able to say the proper words to help sooth the grief and make sense of this loss. But there are no words to adequately express our emotions and futile desires to correct this terrible event. In 1889 Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote “Crossing the Bar” to try to describe passage from this life:
Sunset and evening star
and one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
when I put out to sea.
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep,
turns again home.
Twilight and evening bell,
and after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
when I embark.
For though from out our limit of time and place
the flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
when I have crost the bar.
Zak, my friend, our friend, we will miss you deeply. I smile when I think of you and though I’m smiling through the tears, I’m still smiling because you are an example for all of us in loving life and living with joy, motivation and enthusiasm. We will not see your likes again, but we have learned from you and we are all the richer for having known you and called you friend. You have gone onto the next adventure. When we next meet we look forward to see your smile as you tell us where to get the best latte, which pub has the best microbrews and, of course, show us the best dive sites.
Until then Zak, Godspeed.
Underwater Admiralty Sciences