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Tourist left on reef spurs investigation

SYDNEY (AP) -- Australian officials said Wednesday they were investigating a dive boat company that accidentally left behind a U.S. tourist snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef, forcing the panicked man to swim to another boat for help.

A spokesman for the company denied Ian Cole was ever in danger. But it drew immediate comparisons to the infamous case of Americans Tom and Eileen Lonergan, who died in 1998 after their tour boat left while they were scuba diving on the reef.

Cole, 28, of Michigan, said he was snorkeling Saturday when he lifted his head out of the water and realized his tour boat, the Passions of Paradise, was nowhere in sight.

A Passions staff member who conducted a head count before the voyage was fired.


Personal flag unveiled for Prince William

OTTAWA (AP) -- Canada's prime minister unveiled Wednesday a personal flag for Prince William for use during his upcoming visit.

It will be flown for the first time when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive today for a nine-day tour of his future realm.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the flag design was approved by Queen Elizabeth II and William.

The flag will be flown from any building or vehicle he is in during his stay and on all vehicles. It is the first flag to be created by Canada for a member of the royal family since 1962, when the queen adopted a personal flag for her own use in Canada.

The queen also approved the design and creation of a personal flag for William's father, Prince Charles. The queen is the head of state in Canada, a member of the British Commonwealth of former colonies.

Harper is the most pro-monarchy Canadian leader since the 1950s.

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