Diver on road to recovery after suffering the bends

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A diver is recovering in hospital after suffering the Bends while diving off the Eastbourne coast at the weekend.

The man had to be airlifted to hospital in Chichester on Saturday afternoon after the boat he was on returned to Sovereign Harbour.

Dover Coastguard received the emergency call just before 4pm and immediately tasked the Eastbourne Rescue Team.

The ambulance service was also called to the scene and the diver was put on oxygen.

Eastbourne coastguard escorted the ambulance under emergency conditions to Eastbourne DGH where the casualty was transferred to the Coastguard helicopter that had flown from its base at Lee on Solent.

The man was flown to a specialist decompression chamber at St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester.

A spokesperson for Eastbourne Coastguard said, “This is not a particularly uncommon occurrence and we do deal with several such incidents throughout the season especially when the weather is warm and a lot of deep diving takes place in the channel.”

A hospital spokesperson said the condition of the casualty was improving.

The Bends is decompression sickness and also known as divers’ disease. Treatment is by hyperbaric oxygen therapy in a recompression chamber. St Richard’s is the nearest hospital with a decompression chamber.