Scuba diver rescued from Dorset coast after falling unconscious while exploring St Dunstan shipwreck

Jeff Everett (pictured) was diving off the St Dunstan wreck when his friend got into difficulty. Credit: BPM Media

A scuba diver was rescued off the Dorset coast after he fell unconscious while exploring a shipwreck.

RNLI and the coastguard rushed to the scene at around 2pm on Sunday 23 April, shortly after the diver and his friend surfaced 10 miles from Lyme Regis. Poole Coastguard helped clear the landing site and set up a cordon for the safety of the public and everyone involved.

The diver was winched from the RNLI Portland-based dive boat, Skin Deeper, to a coastguard helicopter and taken to Poole for treatment.

Meanwhile, his companion Jeff Everett, 67, was taken to Lyme Regis aboard the lifeboat and assessed by an ambulance crew at the lifeboat station and later allowed home.

Mr Everett, from Warlingham in Surrey, and his colleague were diving on the wreck of World War Two ship, St Dunstan.

He said: “We dived to 28 metres and my colleague, to whom I was tethered, gave me a signal that he was not okay so we started to ascend.

"Things seemed alright until we rose to about 10 metres when he did a rapid ascent and then I knew he was unwell.

"When we surfaced, I inflated our lifejackets and we floated on our backs and signalled for help to our dive boat."Mr Everett, an accountant, has been diving for 40 years and added: "This was the first time I had been in any difficulty while diving.

"I have supported the RNLI for many years, and I am very grateful for their help."

It is understood Mr Everett’s colleague was taken to a diving chamber in Poole and later to Poole General Hospital where he was said to be recovering.A spokesman for Poole Coastguard added: "Coastguard Rescue Helicopter R187 from St Athans had a Scuba diver onboard that had suffered a decompression injury from diving off a vessel in the West Bay area.

"Once on scene, we cleared the landing site and set up a cordon for the safety of the public and everyone involved."We awaited the arrival of the Coastguard Helicopter, the diving doctor from the decompression chamber in Poole and also an ambulance from South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust.

"Once the helicopter had landed, the casualty was transferred into the care of the ambulance."They then departed the scene. Once the coastguard helicopter crew were content. The cordon was re-established, they then departed to return to their base.

"The Poole team carried out a small debrief, were then stood down with thanks and returned to our station."

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