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Diver surfaces unconscious off Isles of Scilly

By tobymeyjes  |  Posted: August 28, 2013

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The diver was airlifted to hospital after diving off the Isles of Scilly

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A diver was airlifted to hospital this morning after surfacing unconscious while off St Mary’s on the Isles of Scilly.

The diver was airlifted by a search-and-rescue helicopter from RNAS Culdrose to Royal Cornwall Hospital Treliske (RCHT) after his fellow divers called the emergency services at 9.43am.

He was one of two members of the group airlifted from the scene after a second member surfaced too quickly, displaying signs of decompression sickness, commonly known as the bends.

A spokesman for Falmouth Coastguard said the unconscious man was airlifted to hospital at 10.23am but was tasked to return after a second call was made.

He said: “We had a call on a VHF radio this morning saying one of the divers surfaced unconscious.

“The casualty was taken by helicopter to RCHT. Following that there was a second incident on the same diving boat.

“One man, who has resurfaced quickly from 35metres and was showing symptoms of decompression sickness.”

The spokesman added that St Mary’s lifeboat carried the casualty east at high speed while the RNAS Culdrose helicopter returned.

The second diver is currently on his way to the Diving Disease Research Centre in Plymouth to sit in a recompression unit.

St Mary’s Coastguard is waiting at the island’s harbour for the returning dive vessel.

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