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.
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.”
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.
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.