Coronavirus: Lyme Bay divers fined after major rescue

Two divers have been fined for breaking coronavirus lockdown restrictions after sparking a major search and rescue mission off the Dorset and Devon coast.

A Royal Navy ship, lifeboats, helicopters, fishing vessels and coastguards joined the search for one of the divers off Lyme Bay on Saturday, according to the BBC.

The diver, who was reported overdue shortly before 15:30 BST, was found safe just after 17:00.

Coastguards said he had surfaced but lost sight of the dive vessel.

The man had been diving without a buddy and had become detached from his line, HM Coastguard said.

They said both men on board the vessel had been diving as a leisure activity and were fined by police after being brought back to shore.

According to the Coastguard’s report, RNLI Lifeboats from Lyme Regis and Exmouth were scrambled, along with Coastguard helicopters from St Athan and Newquay.

The Navy patrol ship, HMS Tyne, and two fishing vessels also joined in the search.

The man had been reported missing by his friend on board the vessel who dialled 999.

Exmouth RNLI deputy coxswain, Roger Jackson, said, “The diver was very lucky indeed. Although I’m very pleased the outcome was good, I would urge everyone to please heed the latest government Coronavirus instructions.”

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