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Seahouses RNLI involved in multi-agency operation to locate a diver

Lifeboats News Release

At 12:19pm on Sunday 2 April 2017, UK Coastguard requested the immediate launch of Seahouses lifeboat, following a report of a missing female diver.

She had been diving from a local dive charter boat operating out of Seahouses. Both Seahouses lifeboats were launched, despite being low tide, and made their way to the scene. Local boats also joined the search, co-ordinated by the Seahouses All-weather lifeboat.

After an initial search and nothing found, further assistance was requested and Berwick-upon-Tweed All-weather Lifeboat and Craster Inshore lifeboats were launched to assist. Coastguard Rescue Helicopter 999 from Prestwick also attended to assist as the search area was widened. Local Coastguard Rescue Officers were also in attendance on the shore.

Approximately two hours into the incident, a local passenger vessel sighted and recovered the body of the diver near where she was last seen, near Longstone Island. The casualty was transferred to Seahouses All-weather lifeboat, which brought her back to Seahouses, where ambulance crews and the air ambulance were waiting. Sadly, she was pronounced deceased.

Northumbria Police then took over the enquiry on behalf of HM Coroner. All rescue resources were then stood down, and returned to station.

RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Ian Clayton added, 'We are unsure how this tragedy occurred, but our thoughts are very much with the deceased lady’s partner, friends and dive colleagues. She had been with a party of divers from Ormskirk. Northumbria Police are now conducting enquiries, which will be referred to the coroner. This was a very harrowing incident for all concerned.'

RNLI Media contacts

For more information please contact Ian Clayton, Volunteer RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer on: 07981 069177.

Key facts about the RNLI

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.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland

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