Search for missing diver 'scaled down'

The diver went missing two miles off the coast of Scarborough
The diver went missing two miles off the coast of Scarborough

A major search for a 74-year-old diver missing off the Scarborough coast has been ‘scaled down’.

A Scarborough man, who has not yet been named, was diving a wreck two miles off the coast when he failed to surface on Sunday afternoon.

The coastguard have scaled down their search

The coastguard have scaled down their search

It is believed the diver was with a group of friends aboard the Francis Ann, which is privately owned by members of Scarborough Sub Aqua club.

Matt Newsome, chairman of the club, said: “We are still trying to make sense of it ourselves. It is just completely unexpected. We are still in shock really. It is very upsetting.

“You never expect that something like this will happen. When we first learned [the diver was missing] we were searching. Late on Sunday around 9pm we were called back to the harbour.

“I’d like to thank everyone for their efforts in the search – the coastguard, RNLI and Yorkshire and the Humber Underwater Search Unit as well as the vessels that assisted in the search.

“I don’t know all the names as some of them weren’t local. I’d like to thank them all.”

The search for the missing diver continues and officers from the Yorkshire and Humberside Underwater Search and Marine Unit will carry out underwater searches over the next two days.

A group of club members and non-club members were diving the wreck and were estimated to have been around 46 metres deep off Ravenscar.

Mr Newsome said all the divers knew each other well and teams are working to support the missing diver’s family.

Scarborough’s all weather Shannon lifeboat was launched at 4.52pm on Sunday and did not return until 3am on Monday morning. Both Scarborough lifeboats, both Whitby lifeboats, North Yorkshire Police and coastguard teams – including the search and rescue helicopter – were part of the full-scale search.

But coastguard teams were stood down and an active search did not continue yesterday.

A spokesman for Scarborough Coastguard Rescue Team said: “The search has been scaled down. As far as I’m aware we have no assets deliberately out searching. Obviously people are keeping an eye out.

“We are still keeping an open mind but we’re not actively out searching unless we receive a call-out or further information.”