Desperate search for missing diver lost in sea near Bibby Stockholm migrant barge


A desperate search is underway to find a missing diver near Weymouth, close to where the Bibby Stockholm migrant barge is moored.

Diving companies, the Coastguard and RNLI have joined forces to find the missing person as part of a huge rescue operation off Portland Bill, the southernmost tip of the Isle of Portland in Dorset.

At 10.05 on Monday, the Coastguard requested help from the RNLI to help with the search.

Weymouth Lifeboat posted on Facebook: "Shout in progress: Ernest & Mabel (17-32) launched.

"Request at 10:05 to assist Coastguard search for a driver (Updated 14:29 now understood to be one diver), approximately 2nm SE of Portland Bill, who’ve not reported in as expected.

"Search still in progress."

A member of staff from a Portland scuba shop, Underwater Explorers, told that boats owned by the various diving businesses at Portland Marina are also involved in the search.

He said: "When I look at marine traffic, I can literally see that they've been on a search pattern for five or six hours now."

A Devon air ambulance has also landed in Portland although it is unclear whether this is connected to the search.

Portland Bill is five miles from Portland Port where the Bibby Stockholm, a migrant barge with a capacity of 500, is docked.

The spot attracts divers from across the country as it is home to many historical wrecks, caused by wars and storms over the years. The water here has a depth of 11.6 metres at its deepest parts alongside the berth.

The Coastguard told "HM Coastguard has been responding to reports of a missing person off Portland today (28 August).

"Alerted at around 10 am, Coastguard helicopters and lifeboats from Weymouth, Exmouth and Swanage have been sent to conduct searches of the area. Vessels in the vicinity of the area have also been assisting with the search."


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