Missing diver now presumed drowned is confirmed as doctor

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The missing diver who is bow being presumed drowned has been confirmed as local doctor Judy Beard.

The 52-year-old disappeared on Tuesday afternoon after diving with friends off the Eastbourne coast.

A frantic eight-hour search was carried out but was stopped last night and Dr Beard is now being presumed drowned.

The consultant haematologist was chairman of the Hastings Sub Aqua club and worked at both the DGH and the Conquest. She was also a trustee at St Michael’s Hospice in St Leonards. Dr Beard lived in Hooe, near Battle.

A spokesman for East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs two hospitals, said, “We are deeply shocked at the tragic news about the loss at sea of our esteemed colleague and friend Dr Judy Beard.

“Judy was a well respected doctor who was loved by her colleagues and patients alike. She will be deeply missed by us all. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this sad time.”

Did you know Dr Beard? Perhaps you were treated by her? Tributes can be left in the comments section below.