Edinburgh diver who travelled 437 miles to Dorset to swim fined for flouting coronavirus rules

Two divers, including one from the Capital, have been fined for failing to comply with current social distancing measures.

Two divers, including one from the Capital, have been fined for failing to comply with current social distancing measures.

The pair went diving hundreds of miles away from Edinburgh in Lyme Bay on Saturday.

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One of the divers went missing at about 3.30pm, which was reported by his companion sparking a massive emergency response.

Coastguard helicopters, RNLI lifeboats, fishing boats and a Royal Navy warship searched the area after responding to an HM Coastguard Mayday.

Coastguard helicopters, RNLI lifeboats, fishing boats and a Royal Navy warship searched the area after responding to an HM Coastguard Mayday.

The two had decided to go diving as a leisure activity and were fined by police after they were brought safely back to shore.

A Dorset police spokesman said: “We received a report at 4.55pm on Saturday 25 April 2020 from HM Coastguard in relation to a search for a missing diver south east of Lyme Regis.“It was subsequently reported at around 5.15pm that the diver had been found safe and well.

“Officers attended Lyme Regis harbour and spoke to the divers in relation to breaching the COVID-19 (coronavirus) regulations.

“Two men, one from Edinburgh and one from Wadebridge in Cornwall, were reported for breaches of the regulations.”

They were unable to confirm the price of the fine.

A Coastguard spokeswoman said: “HM Coastguard received a 999 call at 3.23pm on April 25 about an overdue diver. He was reported as missing by his friend, who had also been diving from the same boat off Lyme Bay, Lyme Regis.

“RNLI lifeboats from Lyme Regis and Exmouth were sent, along with Lyme Regis coastguard rescue team and search and rescue helicopters from St Athan and Newquay. Other nearby vessels including HMS Tyne and two fishing vessels also assisted with the search.”

The diver, who had been diving without a buddy, was found safe and well by the lifeboat from Exmouth shortly after 5pm.

The spokeswoman added: “Both of those onboard the boat had been diving as a leisure activity and were fined by police after being brought back to shore.

“He had surfaced safely but had lost sight of the dive vessel after his line became detached.

“The Government has been clear that during this coronavirus pandemic we need to #StayHomeSaveLives. Leisure diving is not essential and every 999 call made could put our frontline responders at risk of #COVID-19 and places avoidable pressure on our vital NHS services.”

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