Great Yarmouth and Gorleston with Lowestoft RNLI Lifeboats search for diver
A scuba diver who went missing after diving on a wreck off the Great Yarmouth coast triggered a search involving three lifeboats and two helicopters.
The Great Yarmouth & Gorleston RNLI all weather lifeboat ‘Samarbeta’ was launched to begin the search just after 6pm on Monday 28th August 2017 followed shortly after by Lowestoft relief lifeboat ‘Reg’ at 6.24pm. They were later joined by Caister Independent lifeboat and two Coastguard rescue helicopters from Lydd and Humberside.
In calm weather and with good visibility as daylight faded the search crews covered the area around the wreck site in a methodical way – then as night set in searchlights were used to continue to search the area 15 miles east of Great Yarmouth.
Gorleston’s ALB returned to station to change crew and refuel with Caister lifeboat also doing the same slightly later. Lowestoft’s crew was changed on scene so they could remain searching whilst the other two assets temporarily stood down. Once the operation to crew change and refuel was complete, Gorleston, Lowestoft and Caister continued their search for a total duration of fourteen and a half hours - until UK Coastguard suspended the search.
A spokesman for UK Coastguard confirmed they called off their search at 7.30am on Tuesday (29th August) after the overnight air and sea search had failed to find the missing man. The diving vessel from Lowestoft remained in the area and the coastguard continued putting out mayday calls to other ships in the area.
A statement from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency stated 'Following a 14 hour extensive search, for a missing diver, overnight and into this morning by Coastguard helicopters from Lydd and Humberside, RNLI Lifeboats from Gorleston and Lowestoft, Caister Independent Lifeboat and a number of commercial vessels. HM Coastguard have now suspended the search pending further information. All vessels passing through the area will continue to be asked to assist throughout today and broadcast action will continue. Formal searches may be resumed upon the receipt of any new information'.
The crew’s thoughts are with the diver’s family.
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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.
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