Divers’ deaths: post mortem reveals what happened


Police have revealed the results of post mortems carried out after two divers died when an underwater adventure went tragically wrong off the Eastbourne coast earlier this month.

The two scuba divers Christopher Mehegan, 45, and friend Peter Stanning, 44, were unconscious when they were pulled out of the water and airlifted to Eastbourne DGH by the coastguard helicopter on Saturday June 24. Despite efforts by the trauma team at the DGH both men died.

A post-mortem examination showed Mr Mehegan died from diffuse gas embolism due to pulmonary barotraumas – where gas expands in the lungs. It can be caused by rising to the surface with speed and not exhaling enough. Mr Stanning’s cause of death was given as drowning.

The pair had been part of a dive group that had set out into the Channel aboard a boat called the Channel Diver, owned by Sussex company Channel Diving. Just hours before his death, Mr Mehegan, who reportedly had a number of years of diving experience, posted a picture on his Facebook showing the Channel, with the caption, “Flat calm slightly overcast for today’s dive mid channel >60m dive on board Channel Diver.”

A police investigation was launched.