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HMS Tyne finds missing diver in Lyme Bay

25 April 2020
Eagle-eyed sailors from HMS Tyne today helped save a diver’s life off the south coast of the UK.

The Offshore Patrol Vessel responded to a mayday call for the missing diver while on routine maritime security patrols in home waters. 

The alert from Her Majesty’s Coastguard saw Tyne assist RNLI lifeboats from Exmouth and Lyme Regis, as well as two Coastguard helicopters, a dive boat and four local fishing vessels.

Tyne arrived in the area in Lyme Bay – around four miles off the coast of Seatown, Dorset – within 45 minutes of the alarm being raised.

The warship took up station in the last known position of the diver and sailors were called on to carry out a visual search.

After 20 minutes, Sub Lieutenant Andrew Boyle, a young officer under training on Tyne, spotted the diver. 

Tyne then radioed the location through to the Exmouth lifeboat, who were in the best location to recover him. 

The diver was found well and taken to safety by the lifeboat.

Lieutenant Nick Ward, the Executive Officer of HMS Tyne, said: “This incident is a great example of how versatile the vessels of the Offshore Patrol Squadron are.

“The ship’s company quickly adapted to a changing situation and worked to support the Coastguard, the RNLI and local mariners in carrying out the search. 

“We are always concerned for the safety of our fellow mariners at sea, thankfully SLt Boyle spotted the diver and we were able to play a key part in recovering him quickly.”

The ship’s company quickly adapted to a changing situation and worked to support the Coastguard, the RNLI and local mariners in carrying out the search.

Lieutenant Nick Ward

An RNLI statement said: “[The diver] had been diving without a buddy and adrift for two hours in which time he floated three miles from his last reported location. He had surfaced safely but lost sight of the dive vessel after his line became detached. He did not require medical attention.”

Exmouth RNLI Deputy Coxswain, Roger Jackson, said, “The diver was very fortunate to have been located safe and well so quickly and, although there was an easterly swell, visibility was good and there were a number of vessels in the locality who came to help in the search. 

“We are grateful for the invaluable assistance of our RNLI colleagues from Lyme Regis, the crew of HMS Tyne, Lyme Regis Coastguard Rescue Team, the HM Coastguard helicopter and other vessels in the area that came together in a coordinated effort that led to this successful rescue. The diver was very lucky indeed and although I’m very pleased the outcome was good, I would urge everyone to please heed the latest government Coronavirus instructions.”

Having successfully found the diver, Tyne has now returned to conducting maritime security operations.

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