Divers rescued from strong tides

TWO divers have been found safe after being swept more than four miles in the English Channel by strong tides.

Both were part of a group making a drift dive off Grove Point, Portland, Dorset, yesterday morning, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said.

The skipper of the boat from which they were diving raised the alarm when the two men failed to return at the end of the dive.

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Local boats responded to Portland Coastguard’s urgency broadcast and began searching for the men.

Weymouth Inshore and All Weather RNLI lifeboats were also launched and the Coastguard helicopter from Portland was scrambled.

The divers were spotted 1.5 nautical miles south-west of Portland after being carried four and a half miles in an hour by the tides. Both were airlifted to shore.

Portland Coastguard duty watch manager Nic Lonsdale said: “When the spring tides are running fast, every second counts. These divers were very lucky. Dive boat skippers should always contact HM Coastguard as soon as something starts to go wrong.”