Rescue teams call off search for missing diver off Eastbourne

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SEARCH teams last night called off their hunt for a missing diver who was lost overboard off Eastbourne yesterday afternoon.

A major sea rescue was launched just afternoon at around 1pm for the diver, thought to be a woman, who failed to resurface after a diving trip six miles off the coast. She was among a group of divers, and she disappeared from view while returning from a dive.

A Mayday distress call was received which resulted in the Eastbourne lifeboat and Coastguard rescue helicopter being scrambled to search the area.

Eastbourne RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat was first on scene and, having assessed the prevailing sea conditions, Coxswain Mark Sawyer requested the assistance of Hastings all-weather lifeboat with the search. The trial Shannon class lifeboat which had stayed overnight in Sovereign Harbour whilst on passage was also requested to attend along with other passing craft and local fishing vessel Beachy Head.

After an eight hour search, nothing was found and with failing light the search was called off at 9.15pm last night.