Royal Navy sailors from Portsmouth answer mayday call to rescue adrift diver

EAGLE-EYED sailors from a Royal Navy warship have been praised for helping to save a diver’s life off the south coast.

Tuesday, 28th April 2020, 11:29 am
Updated Wednesday, 29th April 2020, 4:49 pm
Royal Navy sailors from HMS Tyne helped rescue a stranded diver. Photo: Royal Navy

Portsmouth-based HMS Tyne was called into action when it responded to a mayday call for the help during a routine maritime security patrols in home waters.

The coastguard’s alert saw the offshore patrol vessel 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.

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The rescue operation involved the RNLI, coastguard and Royal Navy

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, Tyne’s executive officer, said the rescue proved how versatile navy patrol ships and their crew could be.

He added: ‘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 diver had been adrift for two hours and floated three miles from his last reported location.

He surfaced safely but had lost sight of his dive vessel after his line became detached.

The RNLI said the man did not need any medical attention.

Roger Jackson, Exmouth RNLI deputy coxswain, praised Tyne’s crew for it help and 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.

‘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.’

Tyne has since returned to her normal maritime patrol duties.