Swanage Lifeboat crew launch to another unconscious diver

For the second weekend in a row, the Swanage Lifeboat crew and coastguard rescue helicopter had to be scrambled to help a diver in trouble.

A local dive boat in Swanage Bay had alerted the UK Coastguard via a Mayday distress call that they had an unconscious diver on board following an uncontrolled ascent. The incident happened just after 9 am on Saturday 25th June 2022.

Helicopter and lifeboat rescue
Don Williams
Helicopter and lifeboat rescue
Don Williams

The lifeboat and the dive boat in Swanage Bay

The lifeboat was on the scene in a matter of minutes

The dive boat was making its way back to Swanage Bay, so the lifeboat launched and was alongside in a matter of minutes.

Swanage Lifeboat Station reported:

“Two volunteer crew were put on board with oxygen kit and the casualty was assessed. Coastguard rescue helicopter ‘Rescue 175’ was also scrambled to the incident and arrived around 10 minutes later, by which time the casualty had regained consciousness.

“When ‘Rescue 175’ arrived overhead their paramedic was lowered onto the lifeboat and transferred to the dive vessel.”

Helicopter and lifeboat rescue
J M Alcock
Helicopter and lifeboat rescue
Caroline Abbott

The drama unfolded in the bay early on Saturday morning

Winched from the boat

From there the decision was made to airlift the diver and his dive buddy quickly to hospital, so they were both winched from the boat into the helicopter.

Meanwhile Poole Coastguard were at Whitecliff helicopter landing site preparing for the arrival of the coastguard rescue helicopter.

Helicopter and lifeboat rescue
Don Williams
Coastguard rescue helicopter at Whitecliff helicopter landing site
Poole Coastguard

The coastguard rescue helicopter winched the two divers on board and took them to the landing pad at Whitecliff in Poole, where they were met by specialist medical staff

Specialist unit in Poole

An ambulance and a specialist dive doctor met the helicopter at the landing pad and assessed the two divers before heading towards the NHS diving and hyperbaric medicine unit in Poole.

The unit is only one of seven specialist units in England and treats decompression illness and other diving injuries.

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