Diver missing off Lyme Regis

Massive air and sea search after diver fails to surface

THE search for a missing diver resumed off Lyme Regis today (Friday).

Portland Coastguard received a call from dive boat Blue Turtle, which was three nautical miles from the resort at around 5.30pm yesterday.

They reported that a diver had failed to surface after a 20 metre dive. His buddy had made a rapid ascent and was recovered to the dive support vessel before being put on oxygen.

The cause of the incident is unclear at this time, however it is known that one diver made a rapid ascent and the other was last sighted below the surface of the sea.

The Coastguard helicopter `Rescue 106` from Portland was immediately sent to the scene to take the buddy of the missing diver back to the Poole hypobaric chamber for medical treatment.

Sidmouth Independent Lifeboat, Lyme Regis and Weymouth RNLI Lifeboats and the Coastguard helicopter from Lee-on-Solent `Rescue 104` was sent to search for the missing diver whilst Poole Coastguard Rescue Team went to secure the helicopter landing site. The Lyme Regis Harbour Launch, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Gold Rover and vessels Scrumpy and Bardsey Island also joined the search. Once the Lee-on-Solent Rescue Helicopter had completed their search, they were relieved by the Portland Coastguard Rescue Helicopter to continue the tasking. Despite an extensive and lengthy search by multiple rescue units the missing diver has not been located and the search was suspended at around 9.30am due to the onset of darkness.

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The crew of the Lyme RNLI lifeboat, Pearl of Dorset, which was at sea for some three and a half hours, was Tim Edwards, Martin Croad and Jon Broome.