Lyme and Exmouth lifeboat crews help rescue missing diver

PUBLISHED: 15:36 26 April 2020 | UPDATED: 15:36 26 April 2020

Exmouth Lifeboat crew transfer the diver to Lyme Regis Lifeboat. Picture: Andy Butterfield, Lyme Regis RNLI

Exmouth Lifeboat crew transfer the diver to Lyme Regis Lifeboat. Picture: Andy Butterfield, Lyme Regis RNLI

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Lifeboats from Lyme and Exmouth and a Royal Navy ship were involved in the hunt for a missing diver five miles off Lyme Regis yesterday afternoon (Saturday, April 26)

HMS Tyne and the  coastguard rescue  helicopter. Picture: Andy Butterfield, Lyme Regis RNLIHMS Tyne and the coastguard rescue helicopter. Picture: Andy Butterfield, Lyme Regis RNLI

Two fishermen, one from Cornwall and the other from Edinburgh who were both staying in Bridport, were diving for scallops when one of them became detached from his surface buoy/marker.

He had been diving without a buddy.

The marker buoy was discovered by the other man aboard the boat with no diver attached, and he then contacted the coastguard.

Lyme Regis lifeboat, Exmouth lifeboat and HM Coastguard search and rescue helicopters from St Athan and Newquay were scrambled to search for the diver.

At least four other fishing vessels joined the hunt along with the Royal Navy Offshore Patrol Vessel HMS Tyne.

After some considerable time searching for the missing man, Sub Lieutenant Boyle, from HMS Tyne, spotted the diver and Exmouth Lifeboat was able to recover him from the water safe and well.

He was transferred to Lyme Regis lifeboat, The Spirit of Loch Fyne, and the crew brought him back to the safety of the Cobb harbour.

The diver, who did not want to be named, told Lyme Regis RNLI officials: “I came up to the surface with my bag of scallops and was shouting at the guy in the boat but the swell had picked up, the waves were bigger and he was up wind so he couldn’t hear me.

“I saw the helicopter fly over and some of the other boats searching. “I was very relieved when the lifeboat crew arrived and pulled me out of the water.

“Thank you to everyone involved.”

Lyme Regis coastguard team and police attended the incident, and the two fishermen were issued with a fine for breaching the Covid-19 lockdown regulations.

Lyme Regis lifeboat operations manager Nick Marks said: “We are glad that the diver is safe and well however the RNLI is recommending that you should not go in or near the water during this lockdown.”


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