A scuba diver exploring the WW1 wreck of the St Dunstan off the Dorset coast yesterday (23 April) had to be rescued by Coastguard helicopter.
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The man had surfaced unconscious from his 28m dive at around 2pm and an emergency call went out to the Coastguard. The Portland-based dive-boat Skin Deeper was about 10 miles from Lyme Regis off West Bexington, so the unnamed casualty was winched aboard the helicopter and rushed to the hyperbaric chamber in Poole for treatment. His condition is not known.
The casualty's dive-buddy, named as 67-year-old Jeff Everett from Warlingham, Surrey, was picked up by the Lyme Regis lifeboat and taken back to its station, where he was passed fit to return home by paramedics.
Everett told the Dorset Echo that the divers had been tethered together at maximum depth when the other man signalled that he had a problem, so they had commenced a controlled ascent. But from about 10m the man had gone into a rapid ascent, and at the surface Everett had inflated both their BCs and signalled to Skin Deeper for help.
”This was the first time I had been in any difficulty while diving,” said Everett, a diver with 40 years’ experience. “I have supported the RNLI for many years and I am very grateful for their help.”
The St Dunstan, a 60m-long bucket-dredger built in 1894, sank in Lyme Bay in 1917 after striking a mine.