Diver in Sound of Mull treated for the bends

The Oban Lifeboat was despatched to help the diver. Picture: Donald MacLeod

The Oban Lifeboat was despatched to help the diver. Picture: Donald MacLeod

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A DIVER had to be rescued after suffering the bends while exploring a 100-year-old shipwreck.

The Oban Lifeboat was alerted to the stricken female diver in the Sound of Mull near Lochaline on the west coast at around 10.30am.

The team responded after a report she was suffering from potentially deadly decompression sickness, known as the bends.

The diver was taken to an ambulance at Oban and then to the recompression chamber at nearby Dunstaffnage Marine Laboratory.

She had been exploring the wreck of the steamship Shuna, which sank in May 1913 after hitting rocks at the entrance to the Sound of Mull.

The ship sank while carrying a cargo of coal from Glasgow to Gothenburg, Sweden, and lies in around 30 metres of water.

Oban Lifeboat spokesman Iain Fulton said: “Oban Lifeboat is fortunate to have a doctor as one of her crew, and with many years of experience working with divers in this situation his input is invaluable in providing excellent casualty care.

“When the lifeboat arrived alongside the dive boat at 11.16am, the diver and dive-buddy were assessed by our doctor and the decision was made to transfer the divers back to Oban as quickly as possible.”

Decompression sickness occurs when nitrogen bubbles form in the body and treatment typically involves spending hours in a hyperbaric chamber.

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