View Full Version : Twelve rescued as dive boat sinks

Davie Tait
12th July 2009, 16:55

Twelve people have been rescued from the sea off Salcombe in Devon after their 40ft (12m) dive boat sank.

The divers from London let off a flare when their boat, Aquanaut, started taking in water, sinking in about eight minutes off Bolt Head on Saturday.

The divers were spotted by the crew of a passing yacht which took two on board while the rest got into a life raft. A lifeboat took them all into Salcombe.

The divers were with the Aquanauts Dive Centre, based in Plymouth.

Something must have gone catastrophically and unexpectedly wrong
Roger Hirst, Dive Wimbledon

The boat started taking on water so fast it overwhelmed the bilge pumps according to Aquanauts.

Ten of the divers took to a life raft and the remaining crew boarded the yacht, Dutch Angel.

The 10 divers, from Dive Wimbledon, and two instructors, were checked over and were all fine.

Roger Hirst, from the club, said: "Something must have gone catastrophically and unexpectedly wrong for a boat of that size to sink so quickly.

"It's quite surreal."

He said Aquanauts had a "really good reputation" and all the divers were experienced in British waters.

A spokesman from Aquanauts said: "We are just glad everyone is okay and safe.

"It's at times like this it's nice to know that all our emergency procedures and training paid off, as the systems we have in place worked perfectly.

"We would like to thank the yacht Dutch Angel, who came to assist us, and Salcombe lifeboat for their help."

Details of the incident have been passed to the Marine Accident Investigation Branch.