Inquest into two divers who died off Eastbourne coast

TWO DIVERS DIE OFF SUSSEX COAST-POLICE AND COASTGUARD AT BRIGHTON MARINA-POLICE ON THE DIVE BOAT SUS-140616-091538001
TWO DIVERS DIE OFF SUSSEX COAST-POLICE AND COASTGUARD AT BRIGHTON MARINA-POLICE ON THE DIVE BOAT SUS-140616-091538001

Despite efforts from the trauma team at the DGH, both men died

Peter Stanning, 44, of London, and Christopher Mehegan, 45, of Essex, died on June 14, after a diving trip on the Channel Diver.

The two scuba divers were unconscious when they were pulled out of the water and airlifted to Eastbourne DGH by the coastguard helicopter.

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.”

Dover Coastguard contacted police at 1.40pm on Saturday June 14, to report two divers in difficulty in the Channel, near Eastbourne.

The pair were airlifted to hospital by the coastguard, but they could not be saved.

At the time, Detective Chief Inspector at Sussex Police, Mark Ling said, “Tragically two divers have died after getting into difficulty while diving in the Channel.

“We are informing their families and will be conducting an investigation into the circumstances.”

The inquest will be held at Eastbourne Magistrates’ Court on Monday March 9 from 10am.