Throughout our filming we faced two potentially fatal dangers: fast-moving ships and blinding fog. In fact, the pea-soup fog that descended on the Strait of Gibraltar one morning during our filming was so thick that you could hardly see the person standing next to you. Suddenly, the fog lifted as quickly as it had descended, so that we could set out to film. We moved quickly because we didn't want to lose a day, but as soon as we jumped into the water to start filming, the fog returned. Within a few minutes we were able to see only a few yards ahead of us. Behind the billowing white sheet lay invisible the ferries and container ships. With irritating regularity, we heard the sharp drone of their fog horns. Just as I stuck my head above water to calculate the position of our diving boat, I saw our skipper gesticulating wildly at us: Get out of the water! But Gerd was filming 12 meters below me. It would take at least a 30 seconds for him to reach the surface. Only now was I able to give him the sign to come up. Meanwhile, Herwarth Voigtmann was racing toward us with the tube boat, shouting for us to get in. We had just enough time to throw the camera into the boat and secure ourselves, as Herwarth revved the motor up to take off. At this moment, a gigantic Atlantic tanker broke through the wall of fog. The ship's captain sounded the foghorn as the side of the ship toward over our tiny boat like a skyscraper.
© Bernd Nies
Thanks to his alacrity, Herwarth saved our lives. The huge ship passed over the very spot where we had surfaced just a few seconds earlier. We would certainly have been run over or sucked into the churning current of the ship’s motors. Now, the fog had become so thick, that the journey back to shore became an adventure in itself. As we approached the shore we suddenly found ourselves staring at two anglers on the shore who looked horrified, because we were within ten meters of crashing into them.